Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I expect to save?

Depending on the size of system you want, Darwin homeowners can typically expect to save between $1,500 – $1,900 off their bill each quarter. There are huge rebates for solar batteries, so holding onto your energy for when you are home in the evening is even easier and cost effective. Our systems are designed to save:

  • 6.6kW: $3,120 p/year
  • 10kW: $3,950 p/year
  • 13.3kW: $6,295 p/year

Ask our team for different sizes and savings

How much does cloud matter?

Photovoltaic (solar) panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, although they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds, which means they can still produce 10–25% of their typical output on a cloudy day. Obviously, since the capacity of panels are severely affected by the blocking of light due to clouds, this amount is much less than during periods of direct sunlight, but it cannot be considered as nothing.

What size system do i need?

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To determine the type and size of a solar system, the following factors are needed to be considered:

 

  1. Budget
  2. Household electricity consumption behavior

 

At Top End Solar, we analyze these factors holistically for our valuable customers before deciding the appropriate size and type of systems to be installed. We also present standard interactive proposals to our customers which not only include type and size (capacity) of the system but also covers maximum savings estimation and payback period calculation.

How long do solar installations take?

A typical system (6.6kW-13kW) will require 1 day for installation. Larger systems will typically take longer. However, there are several other stages that needs to be completed before actual installation, starting from customer’s interest until the solar system is up and running. The overall process for this includes Site Assessment, Design Approval, Permitting, Installation, Inspection and Utility Interconnection.

I have a solar system already, can i add batteries?

Installing a solar battery can be a great way to get the most value out of your solar panel system. They are an excellent source of backup power, can make you less reliant on the grid, and in some cases can save you even more money on your electricity bill.

 

Yes, you can add a battery storage to the existing solar system. The level of difficulty associated with adding a battery depends on whether your solar panel system was designed with the intention of adding energy storage later on.

 

If you have a “storage ready” solar system, you already have an inverter that can easily integrate a battery into your solar panel system. In this situation, a battery is relatively simple to install, and the installation process won’t require much additional equipment.

 

If your solar panel system was not originally designed with the ability to add storage later, the installation will be slightly more complicated. In this scenario, you have two options: an “AC coupled” solution (i.e. your battery is installed with a separate inverter that is integrated into your home’s energy system), or replacement of the existing inverter with one that works with your battery.

What feed in tariff do i get?

The feed-in tariff is different for every state in Australia. Considering the NT, the GST inclusive and GST exclusive feed-in tariffs are AU$ 0.0913 and AU$ 0.083 respectively.

Can I upgrade my solar system later?

Yes, solar systems can be upgraded later on. However, the complexity of an upgrade is affected by whether it’s classed as a ‘repair’ or ‘alteration’. Repairs (replacing failed panel/s, inverters, etc.) are generally allowed without (much) additional work while alterations (increasing the size of the system, adding battery storage, moving the system, etc.) require more work to meet the current standards.

How does a solar system work?

A grid-connected PV (solar) system uses solar (PV) modules (or panels) as the power generation source. PV modules convert sunlight into DC power. The power produced is fed into an inverter that changes the DC power output of the PV modules to AC power, compatible with the Australian power grid and majority of appliances. The system allows for any on-site appliances to be powered by the power generated by the PV system or the power drawn from the grid or a combination of the two. Any excess power generated by the PV system is generally exported to the grid to receive benefit in terms of feed-in tariff. In a PV system with battery storage, you can generate your own electricity from the PV system, self-consume it as much as possible, charge the battery, export any surplus energy and finally, use the stored energy during the night to maximize the benefits.

Does a solar system require maintenance?

A grid-connected PV (solar) system that has been appropriately installed and commissioned should operate over its life with minimal intervention: this is one of the main advantages of solar systems over other forms of power generation. However, PV systems do need regular inspection and maintenance to ensure that they are operating – and will continue to operate – efficiently, to check for any problems and to maximize the life of the system. On the other hand, although the solar system that has been well designed and installed should provide fault-free operation for many years, it will occasionally require troubleshooting to determine the source of problem if there happens to be one.

What happens during a blackout?

A power blackout (also called a power cut, a power out, a power outage, power failure or simply a blackout) is the loss of the electrical power network supply to an end user. Essentially, a blackout is a problem for home owners. Putting into simple words, during a blackout, you are devoid of any power from the grid into your house. A PV (system) with battery storage is a perfect solution for residential homes as well as commercial buildings that experience regular (or frequent) blackouts as this system will disconnect from the grid as soon as the grid failure happens and immediately supply power to the specified appliances to prevent any loss due to the grid failure.