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Tips for Choosing the Best Solar Panels

Choosing Best Solar Panels

Are you tired of the increasing electricity bills in your household? Have you been thinking about going green but feel overwhelmed about finding the best solar panels?

There is so much information out there regarding solar panels and solar energy that it can be overwhelming. Beyond choosing the right panels and systems for your house, you will need to pick the right company for the installation. If this sounds like you don’t fret. In this article, we are going to help make this process as smooth as possible by discussing tips that should help you pick the best solution.

1. Determine the Right Panels for the Home

There are several different kinds of solar panels, each with its unique advantages. They include Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin-Film Amorphous. Each has its pros and cons, but all you need to know for now is that monocrystalline and polycrystalline are the most common.

A reputable solar installation company should help you pick the best option based on your location and budget. Buying an off-grid system is another important thing to consider. That’s because the systems allow you to be completely off the grid and depend on just solar for electricity.

2. Determine Whether Your House is Ready for Solar

Once you have come up with a budget and decided on a system, the next step is to ensure your home is ready for a solar system installation. Some houses are more capable than others, but yours may call for some improvements for the ultimate efficiency.

Your roofing condition and what supports it are the most important things to consider in this regard. Solar panels are not heavy, but in some cases, an engineering study is required. The age of the roof is a primary consideration as well. If it needs to be replaced in the next few years, then it’s advisable to have it replaced before installing a solar power system.

Getting a ground system is an alternative to installing panels on the roof. It may not be the best option in regards to visibility and can consume a lot of space in your backyard. However, if you have an abundance of land, a ground system can be an appealing option.

Choosing the Best Solar Panels

3. The Capacity Level

The capacity level of the panels is another vital factor in picking the right system. Keep in mind, however, that the capacity you ultimately pick depends solely on your requirements. For instance, you should expect a solar panel with a capacity of 300 watts to deliver electricity of this amount. Also, bear in mind that your selection will ultimately affect the price of the panels.

4. Longevity/Durability

The longevity or durability of a solar power system warranty is vital for a variety of reasons. First, it’s an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their products and services. Ideal solar panels tend to have a performance warranty of at least two decades. However, it is imperative to note that a warranty can only be honoured for as long as the company remains in business. This is another reason to go for a well-known module brand instead of an obscure cheap brand that may disappear into the unknown.

Since you will most likely not be able to purchase solar panels straight from the manufacturer, your choice of a retailer and installer is also imperative. It is advisable to pick an installer that’s a service agent for the solar panel warranty job for the manufacturer you pick. This means that if you come across an issue, the resolution turnaround time will be way faster.


With the above simple and straightforward tips, the only thing left is to enjoy your green home. You not only get to save money on electric bills but also reduce your carbon footprint.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Can A House Run Solely On Solar Power?

Can House Run Solely Solar Power

Home solar is an emissions-free, sustainable, and renewable energy source, but can it cater to all of a home’s needs? Can a house run solely on solar power?

Undoubtedly, it will lower energy bills, improve the environment, and offer a reliable power source when the mainline is out. But is it a dependable solitary source of energy? Here are things to consider when it comes to solar energy management:

How Does Solar Power Work?

Solar power is energy from the sun that has been absorbed by solar panels then converted into electricity. The electricity is then used to light a home, power electric devices as well as heat water. In this sense, the main components of a solar power system are sunlight, solar panels, and inverters which convert solar energy into electricity.

Can Solar Power Light Up a Whole House?

The simple answer to this question is yes. However, many factors determine whether solar energy can light up a whole house. Here are a few of those factors:

Factors That Affect Whether a House Can Run Solely on Solar Power

  • The Size of the House

Normally, energy needs differ from house to house. Larger houses normally require more energy than smaller houses. Therefore, for solar energy to run an entire house, the size of the house should be proportionate to the amount of energy produced by the existing solar power system.

  • The Number and Size of Solar Panels

Solar panels are devices that harness sunlight and absorb its energy. Therefore, the more panels a system has, the greater the amount of energy harnessed. This means that to run a big house, more panels are needed.

On the other hand, a small house can be run by one or two solar panels. That said, always install the number of panels that match the energy requirements of a house.

Can House Run Solely Solar Power

  • Availability of Sunlight

While solar power can run an entire house, it all depends on the exact location of the house. This is because houses located in some parts of the world do not have enough access to sunlight. For example, during winter, it is impossible to run an entire house using solar power.

On the other hand, during summer, most houses can run effectively using solar power. This means that a house with no access to sunlight cannot run on solar power no matter how big its solar power system is. Therefore, before installing an expensive solar power system in a house, always make sure that it is strategically located.

  • Energy Consumption and Electrical Devices

Having a big house does not necessarily mean that a lot of energy is required to run it. While the bulbs and other lighting devices in a big house are many, lighting does not consume much energy. However, a house with a lot of electric appliances like cookers and water heaters is likely to consume more energy no matter its size.

This means that when trying to determine if solar power can run their whole house, homeowners have to think about what appliances they have. People with many energy-consuming appliances should invest in larger systems to run the home effectively. On the other hand, those with few or no appliances can do with a small or medium-sized solar power system.

  • Size of Batteries

While solar energy is harnessed through panels, homeowners must invest in batteries to store energy. This energy is used at night or during rainy days when there’s hardly any sunshine.

That said, the size of batteries determines whether the energy stored is enough to run an entire home when there is no sunlight. Homeowners with huge energy requirements should invest in large solar batteries to make sure that they are sorted even at night.

GCR Electrical Systems; a Reliable Solar Energy Specialist

While solar energy is cheap and can run an entire house, homeowners need a reliable expert like GCR Electrical Systems to install the system. 

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Run a House Off-grid? 

How Many Solar Panels To Run House Off-grid

Are you a self-proclaimed off-grid living aficionado? Perhaps an ecologically concerned, forward-thinking person looking to lower your carbon footprint while saving money on your monthly power bills? 

You might be wondering, can I go completely off-grid with solar panels? If so, how many solar panels would the average home need? Read on for comprehensive answers:

What Does It Mean To Go Off-grid?  

Going off-grid involves disconnecting your home and all of its appliances from the national electricity system. If you’ve considered doing something like this, one of the top questions you probably have is: Can I go off-grid with solar panels? 

Yes, you can. When it comes to producing and supplying your own electricity, solar panels may be the most accessible and efficient green technology available. 

Then there’s the question of how many solar panels the average home requires. The solution, as you will soon discover, is quite complicated and dependent on your home’s specific energy requirements. Let’s get into it:

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Go Off-grid? 

Before determining how many photovoltaic panels you’ll need to get off the grid, keep in mind that solar panels aren’t the only thing you’ll need. Firstly, you’ll need a place to store all of the solar energy that your solar panels generate. If you can achieve this, then you can sustain a healthy off-the-grid life.

Solar batteries are the best technology for storing your off-grid solar energy, just as solar panels are the most accessible and efficient for electricity production. So, with solar panels and some form of storage mechanism, you can effectively go off-grid.

How Many Solar Panels To Run House Off-grid

Sizing Your Off-Grid System

The number of solar panels needed to go off-grid solely depends on the following factors:

  • Amount of Electrical Energy Needed

To rely totally on its own energy output, the average off-grid home requires roughly 7 kW (or 7,000 Watts) of power. While numerous factors influence the amount of electricity a solar panel can generate, in Australia, a typical single solar panel can provide roughly 2 kWh per day. This, however, is dependent on each panel’s performance output.

  • Size of Available Useable Roof Space

The more space available, the more solar cells you can install, resulting in higher performance. If your energy needs were the same as the average (7 kW) and you used 200-watt solar panels, you’d need about 35 panels to get off the grid. 

Alternatively, 20 350-watt solar panels would suffice. To estimate how much space 35 solar panels will take up, multiply the square meterage of each by the number. To work backward, establish your roof size and divide that by the square meterage of each solar panel. This way you can learn how many will fit. 

If your roof space is the standard size which is usually around 160 square metres, 35 solar panels will take up around 36 square metres of roof space. This gives you plenty of room if you decide to add more panels to your system in the future.

  • Amount of Direct Daily Sunlight 

Solar panels use a combination of direct and indirect sunlight as inputs to generate electricity. Photons are carried by both types of sunlight, which the solar panels convert into electric current. In the absence of direct sunshine, however, there will be a reduction in performance, therefore necessitating more solar panels.

Granted, the sun’s beams are the most direct and strong when it is directly overhead. The intensity of the light drops as the sun hits the panel at a lower angle, resulting in a lower power generation. A solar panel receiving this light produces less electricity meaning you’ll need more panels or a larger output capacity. 

  • The Type of Solar Panel You Choose

Solar panels come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. The amount of solar panels you’ll need is determined by the performance output of each panel. The panel’s performance is measured under standard testing settings (STC), which include 1,000 W/m2 of irradiance, an AM 1.5 solar spectrum, and a module temperature of 25 °C. 

Generally, the larger the panel, the better its performance. A 100-watt solar panel, for example, is 47 x 21,3 x 14 inches in size. On the other hand, the dimensions of a 200-watt solar panel are 64 x 26 x 14 inches although these are rough estimates.

How Can I Calculate How Many Solar Panels I Will Need? A 5 Step Process

Step 1: Determine how much electricity you consume.

Step 2: Determine how much sunlight your area receives.

Step 3: Determine how big of a solar system you’ll need to go off the grid.

Step 4: Determine how many solar panels you’ll need to go completely off the grid.

Step 5: Contact a solar panel installation expert like GCR Electrical systems for a comprehensive analysis.

Contact GCR Electrical Systems Today

Does the process seem more complex than you expected? Don’t fret! Our highly skilled and knowledgeable electrical contractors are completely licensed and trained to handle all of your residential and business electrical needs. 

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

What Happens To Solar Power When Batteries Are Full?

What Happens Solar Power When Batteries Full.

You have invested in rooftop solar panels and are happy with your system’s performance. It is generating the expected amount of solar electricity. It meets your electricity needs even when there is a grid failure because you had the foresight to invest in solar batteries. However, you have planned a holiday and are wondering what’s going to happen to all the solar electricity produced when nobody is at home.

What Happens to Solar Power When Batteries Are Full?

Before diving into the details, let’s first understand how a typical solar power installation works. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. This electricity is produced in the form of direct current which is converted into alternating current by the connected solar inverter. This AC power is then supplied to all the appliances connected to the home circuit. 

When you have a solar battery, the batteries are also trickle-charged. This battery charging is done by a device known as a charge controller. 

If you are connected to the grid, the excess power is directed to the grid once the battery is fully charged. In Australia, most energy retailers offer feed-in tariffs which mean you get paid for any electricity you export to the grid. The rates of feed-in tariff vary from one electricity retailer to another.

The feed-in tariff applies only to grid-connected systems. If you are completely off-grid and your battery bank becomes full, the battery system will stop absorbing power as overcharging can harm the battery. The solar panels will keep working and generating voltage but that voltage is not going to be used in any way or stored anywhere unless you use an appliance or there is battery space to store that excess energy.

Are Your Solar Batteries Becoming Full Regularly?

If you have a smart meter, this allows you to keep track of solar electricity production in real-time. It also provides information on battery levels. 

If your batteries are reaching capacity on a regular basis and your system is still generating solar electricity, this means that you have excess solar capacity installed. If you are connected to the grid, the excess electricity can be exported to earn feed-in tariff but the rate of the feed-in tariff is usually only a fraction of the retail electricity price you pay when you take power from the grid.

Many homeowners choose to install excess solar power capacity taking into account their future electricity needs. However, if you do not see any use for the excess electricity your solar power system is generating, you should consider doing some refinements to your system. In an ideal situation, your system should generate enough power to meet your regular needs and to charge the battery for a rainy day.

What Happens Solar Power When Batteries Full

If the solar battery is becoming full regularly, you should consider the following possibilities:

Excessive Number of Solar Panels

If you have gotten a sweet deal on solar panels and installed a lot more than you need, there is no point in keeping all those panels if you are not going to use all the solar electricity generated. There is actually an active market for used solar equipment. You may consider selling off excess panels to ensure that solar electricity generation is in line with your requirements.

Enhanced Battery Capacity

You may also consider adding to the existing battery capacity. This is especially an option when you haven’t got a big enough battery to fulfil your requirements. If you notice that your solar battery is constantly going from full to empty, and vice versa, it is time to add more capacity. Keep in mind that every time you discharge the battery completely, you are taking away from its expected service life. 

Even though the latest lithium-ion batteries are capable of 10,000 to 15,000 discharge cycles without losing charging capability, you should avoid complete discharge of the battery to maintain its service life. Adding to the existing battery capacity will allow you to keep a bigger buffer and enhance the service life of the existing battery.

Here at GCR Electrical Systems, we have designed and installed hundreds of solar power systems that are running successfully. Our CEC accredited and licensed installers have the necessary training and experience to design and install a rooftop solar PV power system that perfectly matches your needs. 

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

How Do Solar Panels Collect And Store Energy?

How Solar Panels Collect Store Energy

Solar electricity is magical. Have you ever wondered how it all works? Do you know how a solar panel converts sunlight into electricity? In today’s blog post, we will discuss how solar panels work to convert sunlight into electricity and other related things.

How Solar Panels Work?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the inner workings of a solar panel, let’s first discuss what these panels contain. Traditionally, solar panels have been made from silicon crystals. However, constant innovation in this space has resulted in a variety of materials being used for making these panels. Some of these materials include Amorphous Silicon, Cadmium Telluride, Gallium Arsenide, and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide.

When you go out in the sun, sunlight transfers energy to electrons in your skin which makes these electrons jump up and down producing heat. That’s when your body starts sweating in order to cool down your body. In the case of silicon and these other materials, when the sunlight hits the atoms, the electrons start to move. The electrons do not jump around and when electrons move, it produces electrical current instead of heat.

Each solar panel consists of a number of cells. A typical solar panel has anywhere from 60 to 72 solar cells. These solar cells have tiny wires which act as a highway for electrical current and all these wires feed power to a solar power inverter. The electricity produced in this manner in a solar panel is direct current but appliances in your home require alternating current. Inverters perform this conversion of direct current to alternating current.

Solar panels available today are not capable of converting all the sunlight into useful solar electricity. Their efficiency generally ranges anywhere from 15 to 21%. As far as the solar output is concerned, it is measured in terms of watts. Typical solar PV panels available today have an output ranging from 250 to 400 W.

How Solar Panels Collect Store Energy

How Solar Panels Store Energy?

If you’re wondering how energy is stored inside the solar panels, you should know that solar panels only generate electricity but do not store it. This is why solar energy can only be produced when the sun is shining and you have to return to grid power once your rooftop solar stops producing electricity. Thankfully, there is a way to get solar electricity continuously with the help of solar batteries.

There are basically 2 types of solar batteries: Lead-acid batteries and Lithium-ion batteries. Both these batteries have their own pros and cons.

Lead Acid Batteries

This is the type of battery you would see in your vehicle. These are the most prevalent batteries around and cost less compared to lithium-ion batteries. However, these can’t match lithium-ion in terms of performance.

A lead-acid battery is rated for only 1,000 to 3,000 discharge cycles before you’ll have to throw them away. Also, they have a depth of discharge rating of just 50% which means you can’t use all the energy stored inside a lead-acid battery. These have an effective service life of 2 to 3 years as they lose their recharge capacity after this period. These also require constant maintenance.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

These are the batteries you will find inside your mobile phone as well as in a typical electric vehicle. These offer a number of advantages over lead-acid batteries. 

One of the biggest advantages is a higher number of discharge cycles. These batteries can undergo anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 discharge cycles which means they have a much longer service life compared to lead-acid batteries. Also, they have a depth of discharge rating of more than 80% which means you can safely use almost all the energy stored inside these batteries without negatively affecting their lifespan. Also, these do not require any maintenance and are not easily damaged when exposed to excessive heat.

The main disadvantage is their higher price compared to a typical lead-acid battery. However, lithium-ion batteries turn out to be cheaper in the long run due to the exceptionally higher number of discharge cycles and the ability to safely discharge almost all the stored energy.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Tips For Choosing The Right Solar Company For Your Installation

Tips Choosing Right Solar Company For Installation

Australia has quickly emerged as a leader in rooftop solar PV installation. By the end of 2018, there were close to 2 million rooftop solar installations in the country and this number is expected to rise to more than 3 million by the end of 2021. Consistent positive changes in the policy mechanisms have given a huge boost to this immense increase in the rate of installations. However, these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Choosing a trustworthy and reliable solar company isn’t as easy as it seems.

Since 2011, more than 750 solar installation companies have shut down. It is estimated that around 450,000 to 600,000 solar installations in Australia are orphans. An orphan system simply means that it is unsupported and there is no support from the installer as well as the manufacturer. 

One of the main reasons for the failure of so many solar installers is the poor quality of solar panels, inverters and other accessories leading to consumer complaints. The companies that installed and/or imported these solar panels decided to liquidate instead of bearing the cost of replacing thousands of failed solar inverters and/or panels. This is why it is important to research important parameters when choosing a solar power installation company. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:

CEC Accreditation And Approval

Every single solar installer in Australia is required to carry CEC accreditation. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the leading body that represents the clean energy sector of Australia. It is made up of more than 600 member companies in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy. It maintains a list of accredited and approved solar retailers and installers. 

Accreditation means that the individual has undergone the required training to safely design and install solar energy systems. Similarly, CEC approved solar retailers are required to comply with a specific code of conduct that has been designed to ensure a better standard of service in the solar and renewable energy industry. CEC maintains a list of accredited and approved solar PV installers and retailers on its website. GCR Electrical Systems is fully accredited with the CEC. Also, all the electrical contractors in our team are fully licensed and well trained.

Customised Installation

There are many solar installers who provide a cookie-cutter quote on the phone without visiting the location where the solar panels are to be installed. Always choose an installer that provides a customised estimate after visiting your location as every location is different and a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to solar PV installation. 

GCR Electrical Systems promises a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We will provide a customised design and installation service to ensure maximum return on your investment in solar power.

Tips Choosing Right Solar Company For Installation

Warranty Terms

All the solar panels sold in Australia are required to have a standard 10-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. However, the whole system warranty provided by an installer is completely different. Always choose an installer that provides multiple years of system warranty to ensure peace of mind.

Complete Transparency

When you are comparing estimates provided by various solar installation companies, make sure they provide a written estimate with their licence number and CEC accreditation details. Make sure the estimate includes itemised prices for labour and parts, including GST. The estimate should also specify various components along with their brand, quantity and model number. 

The quote should also include STCs and a proper timetable for supply and installation of the system along with payment method, deposit requirements and other such things. When you call for estimates, always ask the installer to specify whether you will need to spend extra money on upgrading the meter or switchboard, or other systems.

Years Of Experience In The Industry

It is recommended to choose a company that has been in this business for several years. It allows you to check their customer reviews and general feedback from existing customers. It is a highly competitive industry and it’s not easy to remain afloat for so many years without meeting the expectations of customers. GCR Electrical Systems has been serving the customers for several years.

Don’t Choose On The Basis Of Price

One of the most common mistakes made by buyers is that they choose the cheapest solar panel retailer and installer without paying attention to the quality of product, CEC approval, CEC accreditation, years in business and licensing details. Some installers in the industry are known for baiting customers with low-priced components and swapping them at a later date with cheaper ones. This is why it is recommended to establish a base price for good quality components by calling a few installers and choosing one with multiple years of experience and a good reputation.


There are thousands of solar panel installation companies in Australia. Unfortunately, not all the companies are CEC accredited or properly licensed. Many buyers have burnt their fingers by falling into the trap of cheap solar panels. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a solar panel installer because they are the cheapest. Make sure they are CEC accredited, have been in business for several years, are properly licensed and provide an excellent warranty for the whole system in order to get the best value for your money when choosing a solar power installation company.

Please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 if you have any questions about solar installation in Hervey Bay, or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.


Can A Solar Company Help You Produce 24-Hour Electricity?

Can A Solar Company Help You Produce 24-Hour Electricity

There are those that avoid installing a solar array, simply because it only provides electricity when the sun shines. Or does it? Can you change the game by using renewable solar energy at night? The answer is yes, and the answer to this problem is incredibly simple. But to make sure everyone is on the same page, this post will go through the elements of solar power, and whether a solar company can help you produce 24-hour electricity? 

A brief outline of what will be covered include: 

  • A Basic Overview Of Solar
  • How Is Solar Energy Used At Night? 
  • Can Professionals Help To Install Such A System?

Australia is blessed with abundant sunshine, which you can count on almost daily to break through the clouds. But what happens when it goes down? 

A Basic Overview Of Solar 

The concept of solar power has not changed. You still need to catch rays from the sun using a silicone cell combination. And this harvested energy still has to go through a conversion process. In other words, you will require panels for harvesting. And you will need an inverter to convert the energy

What type of panels do you get? Are all solar panels the same? Essentially, solar panels function on the same basic principles. But you will find a wide variety of different designs and capabilities. For example, cost-effective panels do not harvest and produce as much energy as higher-quality panels will.

The same can be said about the inverter. Given that it has to constantly make the energy available in your home, it needs to be durable. At the same time, it should match the combined power of your panels. Otherwise, you are letting the energy go to waste. 

Can Solar Company Help Produce 24-Hour Electricity 

How Is Solar Energy Used At Night? 

Now, for the interesting part, you have been waiting for. How are people able to use solar power night and day? Through a battery. Yes, it is really as simple as that. Installing it may be another story, but when you have a battery bank in place, the energy you do not use is stored in it. And when night time comes along, you switch from on-demand to stored power. 

Once again, there are different types of batteries you can look at. Lithium batteries are incredibly popular but can be pricey if you are working with a tight budget. Luckily, there are many affordable alternatives that are high quality and trustworthy. 

Can A Solar Company Install Such A System? 

Without a doubt, the right professional can help you maintain the use of solar power throughout a 24-hour period. However, it will require a fairly big battery bank. Or do you plan on using the energy sparingly? Either way, it is definitely possible. 

A professional will also give you valuable information and guidance. Many people are intimated when they want to put up panels but do not know where to start. However, a professional helps you clarify the situation by asking a few simple questions and providing their expert advice.

Solar Is The Way Of The Future 

If you live in Australia, you are in the perfect position to harness solar energy. Few places can boast such powerful sunshine, so just imagine the energy it puts out. And if you add a battery bank to the mix, there is no reason why you can have free electricity at night. It is just a matter of contacting a friendly solar company and getting direction. 

You will not just be saving on the electricity bill, but you also take pressure off the environment. That in itself is something to remember.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Tips On How To Minimise Rooftop Underperformance

Rooftop Underperformance

The Physical Causes Of An Underperforming Solar System

When designing a system on PV software or facilitating an on-site inspection, you can sometimes be faced with certain issues that affect the optimisation of your solar system.

Following are some of the main things that affect the optimisation a solar system on a rooftop:

1. Multiple Roof Directions

Sun irradiation is mismatched on a string of panels.

2. Shading Caused By An Antenna Or Chimney

Rooftop objects such as chimneys, satellite dishes, or TV antennae can interfere with the overall performance of PV panels by casting shadows.

3. Shading Caused By The Home Of A Neighbour

Houses that have shade caused by their neighbours home or any other building, should consider one of the shade-management systems to lower underperformance.

4. Shading Caused By Bird Droppings, Leaves, Or Trees

Bird droppings often lower panel output which affects efficiency. An optimised system accounts for this issue, until cleaning.

These are all scenarios that result in a mismatch when it comes to panel generation. This often results in dragging down the performance of the system for either an “array of panels” or the whole string. When panels are connected along a string in series, these should be operating from a mutual current. If one or more of these panels generates less power, the entire array usually suffers.

To explain this phenomenon, think about the analogy of water pipes. The water that flows through a pipe is usually constant, similar to the current that runs through cell strings. If a mismatch occurs between the panels, this is similar to a partial blockage in a water pipe which causes the flow rate to slow down, which in turn affects the flow of water to the other pipes that connect to it. In the same way, the current that runs through the string will start to reduce when a mismatch occurs.

Why Is It Important To Pay Attention To Shading?

1. Heating Problems

Fallen leaves reduce the output of the panels which prevents sunlight from reaching the panels in specific areas that negatively impacts efficiency.

2. Roof Direction

According to market research, around 2 out of 10 homes have to factor in roof direction and shading. The power output reduces and a mismatch could also lead to extensive damage to a panel known as hot-spot heating. In extreme cases, this can even result in a fire. Using the analogy that was mentioned above, think about the blocked water pipe. When the pressure starts to build up the pipe might explode as the pressure increases.

3. Rooftop Obstacles

Obstacles that cast shade across the panels such as vents, pipes, and chimneys can negatively impact panel performance. This is an important consideration when planning the panel layout for your home.

How To Gain A Better Yield And Lower Performance Loss

1. Panel Level Solutions

The traditional panels connect in series and come assembled with full cells. See the electrical diagram below that displays the interconnecting sequence on the solar cells in the panels.

The half-cut solar panel is regarded as 2 traditional independent panels (all the half-cut cells connected in series) that are parallel in connection.

If shading is blocking an entire column, performance will reduce similar to the full-cell panels. Around 1/3 of the performance decreases, causing the temperature of the cell to rise.

When shading is blocking an entire row, this means that only 50% of the panel performance will be affected. The other half-panel will continue to operate as normal in comparison to traditional panels that lose all their power.

When shading has only blocked a single cell, only 1 string is affected (1/6 loss) when compared to full-cell panels that lose around 1/3 of their power.

2. Vertical Panel Arrangement

In Australia, less than 90% of the panels that are installed on roofs are in a vertical direction.

3. Half-Cut Panels Vs Full Panels

The half-cut panels feature 6 separate cell strings, this offers improved partial-shade tolerance. This means that when 1/2 of a panel is in shade, the remaining half is still able to operate.

4. Shingled Solar Panels

The shingled panels feature a different type of solar-cell layout. For example, with LONGi HiMO-X the solar cells come in 6-strings and these strings work independently and connect in parallel. When shading has blocked one cell or an entire string, performance levels only drop by 16.7%, when compared to the traditional panels that lose about 33.3%.

5. MLPEs (Module Level Power Electronics)

MLPE solutions are one of the other loss minimisation methods for solar systems. Both power optimisers and micro-inverters can assist the solar panels to operate independently, which means the affected panel or panels will not drag down the performance of the entire system. An MLPE solution is another effective way to minimise the loss of efficiency in a solar system.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

What Should I Know When Buying Solar Panels For Home Use?

What Should Know Buying Solar Panels Home Use

If you are thinking of installing solar panels in your home, there are a few things that you should know before making the purchase. The factors to consider include performance, roof compatibility, durability, maintenance, and warranty. If you would like to learn more about these, feel free to explore our article below. 

How Solar Panels Work

The world of energy is changing, and many people are looking for ways to be more self-sufficient. Solar panels can help you do just that by providing clean renewable power in the format your home needs.

How do solar panels work? In simple terms, when light hits the solar panels, it knocks loose some electrons and they flow through electrical circuits to generate electricity. Multiple solar cells make up a panel. The more panels that are connected together, the more energy you’ll be able to generate! 

The Benefits Of Solar Panels For Home Use

There are many benefits to investing in a solar panel system for your home. The first is that you will be generating clean, renewable energy from the sun which can help cut down on utility bills every month. Solar panels are one of the most earth-friendly sources of household electricity.

Solar panels can also come replete with smart monitoring systems so their owners don’t have to worry about them going offline during peak hours. Moreover, solar panel systems come with all sorts of mounting options. This makes them more flexible than ever when it comes to fitting them onto the roof of your home. 

The sun is a powerful source of energy. As such, solar panels are an excellent way to harness this natural resource and make your home more environmentally friendly with minimal costs. 

What To Consider When Buying Solar Panels

Buying the right solar panels can be an overwhelming process. There are many factors to consider especially if this is your first time purchasing solar panels. To start, there are five factors to consider when buying solar panels: performance, roof compatibility, durability, maintenance, and warranty.

1). Performance

Performance is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing solar panels. Not only does it give you further insight into the efficiency of the solar panel system but it also gives you a system that can easily generate power. A solar panel system that has batteries that charge fast and generate electricity when you need it is an important necessity. 

What Should Know Buying Solar Panels Home Use

2). Roof Compatibility

Solar panels are typically installed on the roof of your home. Therefore, you need to make sure that the panels are compatible with your roof. However, some solar panels systems are also placed in other areas of the home that get a lot of sunlight. The important thing to note is that it is best not to place your solar panels near trees, buildings, or structures that can block sunlight from being absorbed by the panels. 

The mounting system must also be high quality most especially if you live in windy areas that could potentially unmount the solar panels. Make sure to double-check the certifications of the solar panel system to gain more information on this.

3). Durability

Solar panels will be placed outside, which exposes them to natural elements. With that, you need a solar panel system that is durable enough to withstand the elements. Make sure to learn more about the long-term durability of the solar panels from the manufacturer. If the solar panels are not good quality, they could easily be damaged which could drastically affect your savings.

4). Maintenance

Solar panels consist of parts and components that can degrade over a period of time. This means that your solar panel systems will need to be regularly serviced. Cleaning and removal of debris can be done by yourself, but when it comes to checking out the state of your components, a professional will be required on the scene. 

Some solar companies offer yearly maintenance in their solar panel package deals. Make sure to inquire about whether or not the package you plan to take offers this deal. It is also recommended to keep an eye on your solar panel system and notify your provider if it will be needing maintenance any time soon.

5). Warranty

One of your rights as a consumer is a warranty. Make sure to purchase your solar panels from a provider that offers a favourable warranty period. This will come in handy especially if there are unexpected malfunctions. Remember to maximise your investment!


When you’re looking to buy solar panels, the most important thing is getting a high-quality product. That means finding a great company that will stand behind their work and provide customer support after installation if anything goes wrong.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Are PV Solar Panels Practical For Homeowners?

Are PV Solar Panels Practical Homeowners

More and more people are installing PV solar panels on their roofs. Rising costs of power and a global push for people to move to renewable sources of energy are the main proponents of this shift to solar power. However, solar panels are still largely misunderstood by many homeowners, who don’t believe that solar power is a practical solution to their energy problems.

While there are many who see solar power as the future of energy, there are still many sceptics who are yet to be convinced. PV solar panels are an excellent way to cut both your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Taking some time to educate yourself on the benefits of solar panels can help to address any questions or doubts you may have and allow you to make an informed decision based on facts.

There are numerous misconceptions regarding solar panels that you might come across during your investigations and research. We are going to highlight some of these misconceptions below so that you can confidently assess whether PV solar panels are a practical solution for you.

1). PV Solar Panels Will Have To Be Replaced In A Few Years

It is a common belief that solar panels do not last very long. Some people say that they last only a few years, meaning they are not able to regain the cost of installation and purchase. This is false!

Most solar panel manufacturers now offer products with a guarantee of at least 20 years of power output. The solar panels will deliver at least 80 per cent of the original power output for the entire duration of their lifespan. Such a guarantee means you can confidently invest in solar panels knowing that they will meet your long-term energy needs. PV solar panels will almost always offer a positive return on investment.

2). No Point Of Installing Solar Panels If There’s A Chance You’ll Move In A Few Years

Solar panels are an investment that can benefit homeowners in numerous ways. If a homeowner intends to keep their home fitted with solar panels, they can benefit from reducing energy and power bills. In the prevailing real estate market, buyers may be attracted by the prospects of paying lower energy bills as opposed to purchasing a similar home without panels.

Solar panels, therefore, increase the value of a property and make it more attractive to potential buyers. So, you should not forego the chance of benefiting from solar power simply because you may move or relocate in a few years.

Are PV Solar Panels Practical Homeowners

3). Solar Panels Are Only Worth Installing On Properties With Large Roof Space

Some people may argue that PV solar panels are not practical for residential properties due to the small roof area on most homes. However, due to the long lifespan of solar panels, even a small roof can have a positive return of investment over the lifetime of the panels. Even if you choose to install just a few solar panels, they could be sufficient to power to cut a huge component of your energy bill, for instance, electric underfloor heating or heating water.

4). Solar Panels Are Too Costly To Be Practical

Solar panel prices have dropped tremendously in the past few years thanks to government subsidies and lower costs of production. Now is the best time to make an investment in solar power because solar panels prices are currently at rock bottom.

5). There’s Not Enough Sun Where I Live

This is a very common misconception that solar experts have repeatedly debunked, yet it still tends to come up time and again. While solar panels have a higher production capacity in sunnier places, PV solar panels are still able to absorb ambient light on cloudy days.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.