What is a Safety Switch?
A safety switch is designed to prevent injury or death. Safety Switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit. It detects a problem as soon as the current leaves the circuit, and turns the power off within 0.03 of a second. This stops the chance of current flowing to earth, through a person and electrocuting them.
If it trips occasionally, the circuit could simply be overloaded, which means too many appliances are drawing too much power. However, if the safety switch keeps tripping there might be a short circuit, which can be caused by broken wires, or when wires touch other wires. When this happens, call a licensed electrician.
How often should I test my Smoke Alarms?
Smoke alarms are life-saving devices. They detect smoke well before any sleeping occupant would and provide critical seconds to implement actions to save life and property. Smoke alarms are designed to detect fire smoke and emit a loud and distinctive sound to alert occupants of potential danger.
If your home does not have a smoke alarm, get one installed. A smoke alarm should be installed on each floor of the property and located outside all bedrooms or resting areas.
If you already have smoke alarms in your home, make sure they’re always in good condition by testing them monthly, changing the batteries every year and replace older smoke alarms, older than 10 years old.
How can i make my home more energy efficient?
- Start by Installing energy efficient lighting such as LED’s and avoid Halogen downlights
- Install and use energy efficient appliances
- Light rooms you are using. Where possible, zone your lighting and close off doors to unoccupied rooms
- Switch off appliances not in use at the wall
- Have a standby power controller installed to save money and electricity
What size solar system do i need to install?
This depends on a few things:
- Confirm your roof space
- Assess your electricity bill and confirm how many kilowatts you are using
- Confirm how much you would like to reduce your electricity costs
- Speak to one our solar specialists who can recommend a suitable system for your needs
What equipment is used when installing a solar system?
A solar system is made up of 3 common components Which Include:
- Solar Panels
- Mounting Kits
What types of solar panels are there?
There are 3 main types of Solar Panels:
- Thin Film
Electricians on Call commonly use Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panels for our solar installations
What is the difference between Monocrystalline & Polycrystalline solar panels?
Monocrystalline silicon is created by slowly pulling a Monocrystalline silicon seed crystal out of melted Monocrystalline silicon. A seed crystal is a small piece of silicon which is used as a foundation for the molten molecules. By having a foundation, the molten molecules are able to connect together faster to form an ingot. While the seed crystal is being withdrawn, it is rotated slowly and temperature is lowered slowly. This helps form the cylindrical shape until it has the right diameter which is when temperature remains constant.
Polycrystalline silicon is made through a simpler method. Instead of going through the slower process of creating a single crystal, molten silicon is just put into a cast and cooled with a seed crystal. By using the casting method, the crystal surrounding the seed isn’t uniform and branches into many, smaller crystals, thus “polycrystalline”.
Monocrystalline panels cost more than polycrystalline for the same size. Monocrystalline panels have a higher efficiency than polycrystalline panels due to the structure being made from one large crystal as opposed to many small ones. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient per area, the size of the panel is less than a polycrystalline solar panel for the same wattage. If you have limited roof space and want to get the most energy possible, Monocrystalline panels will be the better choice.
What does an Inverter do?
An inverter is an apparatus which converts Direct Current (DC) into alternating current (AC). The electricity generated by solar panels is direct current (DC), the inverter then converts the DC electricity into AC electricity suitable for household needs.
How much will i save with solar?
Tariff arrangements vary for each state. New customers can apply for the feed-in tariff of a minimum of 8 cents for 2013 which is available to homes, community organisations and businesses who install sustainable energy systems less than 100 kilowatts in size. To find out more about Tariff arrangements please visit: http://www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au/energy/environment-and-community/victorian-feed-in-tariff-schemes
How does the solar rebate work?
Rebates are still currently being offered by the Federal government for installing a solar system.
The Federal Government currently offer the following assistance when installing solar power;
- Reduction in the purchase price when you purchase the system through Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s)
- A payment for the excess power your solar system produces that you don’t use through Feed in Tariffs (FIT’s)
What are Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC's) ?
Small-scale technology certificates, or STCs, are a Federally Funded tradable commodity attached to eligible installations of renewable energy systems (including solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pumps). STCs were formally known as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Under the Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), when you install an eligible system, you may be eligible to claim a specific number of these STCs. You will receive 1 STC for every Megawatt of energy your system is expected to produce over the next 15 years.
Electricians on Call will request a customer assign the right to create the STC’s to our trading Agent in exchange for a discount on the purchase price of the system. You will be invoiced for the “Out for Pocket” price plus the assignment of STC’s created in relation to the system.
The number of certificates you can claim may vary depending on your geographic location, what you’re installing, whether your installation is eligible for Solar Credits, and/or the size and capacity of the installed system.
What are Feed in Tariffs (FITs)
Feed in Tariff’s are funded by the State Government and Electricity Suppliers. For each Kilowatt Hour (kWh) of energy a solar system produces which you do not use in your home is sold back to the grid. For every unit of electricity your solar system produces that you consume means that you do not have to purchase that unit from your electricity retailer.
The Feed in Tariffs vary from State to state, some electricity retailers offer additional Feed in Tariffs for switching to them when you install Solar Power. To take up a feed-in tariff, you will need to sign a contract with an electricity retail company of your choice.
Shop around for the deal that best suits you as different electricity retailers may offer different prices and different terms and conditions. All retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer eligible new customers the feed-in rate of a minimum of 8 cents per kilowatt hour.
For more information about Feed in Tariff’s in Victoria please visit http://www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au/energy/environment-and-community/victorian-feed-in-tariff-schemes/new-feed-in-tariff
How long does it take to install a solar system?
A standard 1.0kW to 5.0kW system takes one day to install. Larger systems like 6.0kw and above can sometimes take 2 days plus.
What is the best position to install solar panels?
It is best to have the panels north facing on a 20°-30° angle. However, this may not be possible for every roof. For a south facing roof or an angled roof, a tilt frame kit may be necessary to increase your systems performance.
Can i monitor my solar system performance?
Most Inverters in the market are manufactured with an output meter so you can check the performance of your system.
However, there are other Energy Monitors which can show you how much electricity you’re consuming in real-time and what it’s costing you. They also show you how much your standby power consumption accounts for. As an extra feature, some energy monitors measure the yield of your solar panels and include an app which yo can download so you you can see how much kWh you’re producing and how much you’re saving.
What are the warranties?
We offer a 5 year warranty on our workmanship. Most of the inverter manufacturers offer a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty but can vary between brands. Most of the solar panel manufacturers offer a limited product warranty between 10-15 years and a linear limited power warranty between 25-30 years and do vary between brands.
What happens after my solar system is installed?
- On the day of your installation your electricians will install your solar system, talk you through signing the required STC and Energy Retailer paperwork and finalise payment.
- After your system has been installed, we lodge a prescribed certificate of electrical safety and arrange an electrical inspection with a registered and licensed electrical Inspector
- Inspector carries out inspection of the Solar System Installation at your property (this can take up to 14 days). The inspector will approve the Prescribed Certificate of Electrical Safety and submit to us.
- Upon receipt of the approved certificate of electrical safety from the inspector we submit all of your post installation paperwork to your energy retailer. The forms required for lodgement to your retailer are commonly known as Electrical Work Request (EWR), Photovoltaic Generator Connection Form (PV form) / Inverter Energy System Generator Connection Form (IES), Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES)
- Once your energy retailer finalises your connection you can start enjoying the benefits of your system.