Frequently asked questions about government rebates, how solar works and solar installation.
What are some of the biggest benefits of going solar?
Receive a great return on investment. You'll see immediate reductions in your power bill and could possibly even eliminate your energy bill completely! If you install a system equal to your current power consumption, you can completely wipe out your power bill and save hundreds of dollars every year.
Reduce your carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions are undoubtedly a huge issue. Installing a solar system is a positive way to help reduce your carbon footprint, whilst feeding clean energy into the grid system for others to use and being paid to do so through Feed-In Tariffs. Plus, installing a solar panel system and becoming a self-sufficient mini-power station is the best way to avoid being hit by the Carbon Tax.
Increase your home's value. While eliminating your power bill and helping make the world a greener place, you'll also increase your home's value in the process. With the cost of power rising, installing a solar panel system will help eliminate a large bill, which is a valuable asset and valuation feature when assessing your property value.
What Warranty and after Sales Service is provided?
AICA Engineering is committed to providing the highest quality in material and technical support. We purchase system components from internationally renowned manufacturers, specifically for photovoltaic and Solar thermal applications.
All solar Panels have a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year output warranty. For inverters please refer to the specific products page for exact details about the warranty conditions. In addition to product warranties AICA Engineering provides a 24 month workmanship guarantee from date of installation.
Upon completion of an installation you will be provided with an installation pack, which includes an product specification sheets and factory warranties for panels, inverters and railing. It also contains general information on the operation of the solar system, safety instructions, shutdown procedures, maintenance checklist, trouble shooting and numbers for technical assistance.
How do solar cells work?
Solar cells work by converting visible light into electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect. Photons in visible light hit the solar cell and are absorbed by the semi-conducting material (which in most cases is silicon), creating an electron hole which another electron must fill. This causes movement in the electrons thus creating a flow of electricity.
How does a solar grid connect system work?
Solar grid connect systems work by connecting many cells and panels together to reach a desired power output, for example 1.5kw - 5kw. This needs to be converted to match the everyday electricity supply, typically 230volts AC. To do this, an inverter is used to filter the power to the correct values so it can be used for day-to-day power needs. Any excess is fed back to your energy supplier and is bought back.
How should I choose my system size?
Depending on your energy consumption and your current financial situation, AICA Engineering can discuss and supply different solar packages which fit your needs and budget.
How can I be sure the system size I've ordered will fit my roof space?
With each enquiry we perform a free aerial measurement of all roof spaces to provide you with an accurate visual assessment of space to ensure the system requested will fit comfortably on the roof. Our customers enjoy being able to visualize where their system will be placed before we even get on their roof. This also allows us to identify any shading issues, caused by nearby trees or obstructions, which can be rectified before installation.
How do I figure out how much electricity I consume? How can I tell how well my system is performing?
To calculate the average daily units of electricity produced by your system count the number of days your system has been connected to the power grid and divide the number of units displayed on the inverter screen by the number of days.
Is it possible to increase the size of my solar PV system?
This depends on roof space availability and the size of your inverter. If you have sufficient roof space and a large enough inverter, it's usually quite simple to add additional panels to the system. Please contact us for further information on upgrading your system.
How long does the whole process take?
Once we start with the paperwork, it can take between 2 - 4 weeks to have your panels operational. This obviously depends on current work load and grid connection approvals.
Do I need to be home for the installation?
Yes, though you aren't required to be there for the whole installation. Generally you'll be needed for approximately the first half an hour to allow the installers access to the premises and to answer any questions. You will need to be available at the end of the installation to sign off and be shown how the system works.
How long does installation take?
Depending on the size of the system and the accessibility of your roof space, installation can take anywhere between 1-2 days. Installs are generally done on the same day.
Can you install panels anywhere?
Wherever the sun shines you can usually install solar panels. The direction the panels face in relation to the sun makes differences in power output. In the northern hemisphere, a southern direction is best. The angle in relation to the horizon also needs to be considered as does the degree of latitude you live in, which equates to the perfect angle for panels. Will shading the solar panels affect the productivity of the panel? In order for your solar system to work at full capacity, the solar panels must be free of dirt or shading from trees, shrubs, or any other obstructions.Even slight shading from roof antennas or exhaust fans can cause the panels to not function at their peak.
Will my solar system produce energy on cloudy days and be effective in winter?
Yes it will, although the amount of energy produced will be less than on days with full sun. Surprisingly solar PV systems actually work more efficiently in colder conditions. Photovoltaic panels rely on visible light not heat for their energy production. In India, we have ideal conditions for solar in winter with many sunny but cold days and generally no issues with snow on the panels. Naturally though there will be less total production in winter because sunlight hours are shorter and the sun is lower in the horizon.
Does my solar system need to be faced directly south to be fully-functioning?
Not necessarily. Ideally we would install your system on a south-facing roof, but we find that solar systems placed on either eastern or western-facing roof sections function quite well also, only losing about 5% �?? 10% of efficiency depending on the angle of the roof. Anywhere from south-east to south-west is preferred.
How much maintenance is required?
A grid connect system requires little maintenance because there are no moving parts or components. Generally the solar panels are self-cleaning with rainfall. However, if there is a noticeable amount of dust or debris on the panels due to long periods without rain, we recommend you to wash them to gain maximum output. Prune trees and bushes that may shade the panels.