Does My Solar Power System Require Regular Inspections?

Are you unsure about the best way to maintain efficiency in your solar power system in the long term? One of the best ways to look after your system is with regular inspections.

What is the Eexpected Efficiency Degradation for Solar Panels?

Before we discuss the maintenance, it’s worth mentioning that all solar panels degrade slightly over time. You will notice when you buy solar panels that you’re given a performance warranty. Rather than being a promise that your panels will operate at 100% efficiency forever, this is a guideline of the expected performance degradation over the life of your panels.

For example, a manufacturer may give you a warranty that promises no more than a 10% degradation in the first 10 years, and then another 10% over the following 15 years. These numbers vary of course, but it’s a sign that no solar panels, no matter how much you spend, will operate at 100% efficiency forever. Most quality solar panels will lose between 0.5-3% performance per year.

So, Do My Panels Need Regular Inspections?

he short answer is yes. It’s best to have your solar power system inspected regularly to ensure that it’s still working within expected guidelines. Unless you frequently track and monitor your solar system’s output, you may not even be aware there is an issue. So, having your system inspected regularly helps you stay on top of any unexpected performance issues.

How often you have your system checked is up to you, however, every 12 to 18 months is usually the recommended time frame. You can tie this in with annual cleaning, which is another important part of solar system maintenance.

What’s Involved In a Solar Inspection?

Your solar panel inspection should check for a range of potential issues. Some of the things that will be checked during routine maintenance include:

  • Ensuring your solar panels are clean and free of problems
  • Making sure your panels are still secured safely
  • Checking the wiring for damage or deterioration
  • Making sure no parts have corroded
  • Ensuring isolator switches are still working properly
  • Analysing the inverter display for any recorded faults since the last inspection
  • Clearing vents from debris
  • Checking that all switches are in good working order
  • Comprehensive electrical checks to make sure all components are working safely
  • Checking that all fittings and cables are secured
  • Ensuring emergency procedures for shutdown and isolation are clearly displayed

Importantly, your solar panels can also be cleaned professionally. This keeps them free of debris such as dirt, grime, bird droppings or other contaminants that may reduce solar energy production.

Who Should Perform a Regular Inspection?

While you don’t need to be an expert to clean solar panels, it’s recommended that only qualified specialists perform inspections on your system. This may be a licensed electrician or a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited solar installer.

This is partly because they have the expertise to perform such checks, but they also have the electrical qualifications to ensure your solar system doesn’t pose any safety risks. Ultimately, if you do choose to use an electrician rather than a solar installer, it’s a good idea to make sure that they specialize in solar energy. This will give you extra peace of mind that the inspection is being carried out properly.

Does My Home’s Location Affect How Often I Should Have Inspections?

It certainly does. If you live close to the ocean, you might need to schedule more regular inspections and cleaning. With this positioning, there are often higher winds and salt deposits can form on your panels. In addition, if you live in a very dusty area, or where there’s a lot of vegetation nearby, more frequent inspections are advised.

Contact Solar Bright for Solar Panel Inspections Today

Whether you purchased your solar system through us or not, Solar Bright is always happy to arrange regular solar system inspections. We want all of our customers to get the most out of their solar installation, and regular maintenance plays a big part in that. Contact the friendly team at Solar Bright today, and keep maximising the benefit of your solar panel installation.

The Solar Inverter: The Backbone of a Solar Power Systems

When it comes to taking advantage of and harnessing the power of solar energy, solar inverters play a crucial role as the backbone of solar power systems. These devices are responsible for converting direct current (DC) electricity from your solar panels into the alternating current (AC) electricity that powers our homes and businesses. In this article, we will look at the importance of solar inverters, their functionality, and how to get more value for money.

What are Solar Inverters?

Solar inverters are essential components of solar power systems, responsible for transforming the DC electricity produced by solar panels into usable AC electricity. They act as the interface between the solar panels and the electrical grid, ensuring a seamless flow of energy. Solar inverters perform several key functions:

  • DC to AC conversion: Solar inverters convert DC electricity from your solar panels into usable AC electricity. AC is the type of energy that powers homes and businesses.
  • Power optimisation: Solar inverters improve the performance of solar panels by tracking and maximising the power output, even in shaded areas or with cloudy conditions that aren’t perfect for solar generation.
  • Grid connection: Solar inverters enable the connection between the solar power system and the electrical grid, allowing for the transfer of excess electricity back to the grid.

Of course, not all solar inverters are created equal. Some are more efficient and suffer lower energy loss than others, which can affect your whole system’s performance. Rather than worrying about the cheapest solar inverter price, high-quality inverters with a track record of reliable performance should always be your priority.

Different Types of Solar Inverters

There are many different kinds of solar inverters available, each with its advantages. Most importantly, these different types of inverters are typically used with specific types of solar panels. So, when choosing an inverter, you’ll want some expert assistance to ensure all of your system’s components work well together.

  • String inverters: These inverters are commonly used in residential and small-scale commercial installations. They connect multiple solar panels in a series (string) and convert the combined DC electricity into AC electricity.
  • Microinverters: These smaller, efficient inverters are installed on each individual solar panel, allowing for independent operation. They offer higher efficiency and greater flexibility in system design and also ensure that if one solar panel or cell fails, others will still be productive.
  • Hybrid inverters: Hybrid inverters incorporate battery storage capabilities, enabling the integration of solar panels with energy storage systems. They allow homeowners to store excess solar energy for use during the night or in case of power outages.
  • Central inverters: These inverters are typically used in large-scale commercial or utility-scale solar installations. They convert the DC electricity from multiple strings of solar panels into AC electricity.

Get More from Your Solar Inverter

The efficiency of a solar inverter directly impacts the overall performance of your system and, therefore, the energy savings you can expect. Higher efficiency means more solar energy captured by the panels is converted into usable electricity. When selecting a solar inverter, it is essential to consider its efficiency rating and performance specifications.

In Australia, solar inverters must comply with the standards set by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to be eligible for government incentives and rebates. Essentially, if you use an inefficient inverter, more solar energy will be lost between your solar panels and your switchboard.

Monitoring Solar Performance

Monitoring the performance of a solar power system is crucial to identify any issues or inefficiencies promptly. Many modern solar inverters come equipped with built-in monitoring capabilities, allowing homeowners to track their system’s energy production and monitor its performance in real-time via an app.

Regular maintenance is another factor in getting the most from your solar system. Ideally, solar panels themselves should be cleaned and checked by experts at least once a year. When arranging this, ensure your inverter is checked for potential faults or inefficiencies.

Looking for the Best Solar Inverters?

At SolarBright, we provide tailored solar solutions based on your specific energy needs, budget, and energy-saving goals

Contact us today, as it’s time to discover more about our solar inverters. We’ll always help you choose the right fit for your needs. Our professional solar experts are available to answer your questions, provide expert advice, and assist you in making informed decisions about your solar energy journey.

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Why You Should Care About Energy Security and Strategies for Your Home?

Power outages aren’t much fun for anybody – especially in the modern world, where so much of our life and entertainment relies on electricity. However, power outages can be a lot more serious than not being able to watch Netflix for a couple of hours.

Why Should You Care About Energy Security?

There are many other reasons you should care about home energy security, and these are just a few.

Power Outages Can Affect Your Work

In the last couple of years, more and more people have started working from home. In the office, with power outages occurring in the day, many of us don’t care too much. However, if you work from home or run your own business from home, a power outage is going to compromise your ability to earn money. We rely heavily on electricity for everything in the home office – from laptops and PCs to the modems that keep us connected to the internet. So, to avoid issues when working from home, you need a power backup strategy.

There are Several Hidden Costs

If the power goes out at home for an hour or so, it may not cause too much of a problem. But what if the outage lasts longer? One of the biggest hidden costs is wasted food. If you’ve got a fridge and freezer full of food and the power goes out, it can spoil quickly. Plus, your freezer will likely start leaking water as the ice defrosts.

You may also find that some small home appliances become damaged in the process of power switching off and back on again from the source. While many modern homes use power boards and plugs with surge protection, that’s not the case in every home.

The Effects On Children

If we think back to even 20 years ago, a power outage was almost seen as a bit of fun for families. You get the candles out, play a board game, read books – it wasn’t really an issue. Fast forward to today, and children are more reliant than ever on being connected. Whether it’s online gaming, using computers for school work, or merely chatting with friends, much of their lives are invested in things that require electricity.

While most parents would argue that their kids should just be able to do without their devices for a couple of hours, it can still be distressing for children.

Medical Emergencies

One of the major problems with power outages is when medical emergencies occur. People often think of the elderly in this situation, but emergencies can strike anybody. Whether it’s an important piece of medical hardware such as a CPAP machine being affected by a power outage, or merely an inability to call for help because the phone isn’t charged, power outages do pose a significant risk to the health and well-being of anybody in the community.

How to Avoid Power Outages

Here are some ways to avoid power outages and protect your home’s energy security.


Generators have been used for many years to combat power outages, and they do a pretty good job of it. A generator runs on fuel, such as natural gas or diesel. They will turn on immediately in the event of a power outage, or if you have a very old generator, you may need to turn it on yourself. Either way, your home’s energy security is protected. Plus, with enough fuel, some generators can keep your home going for days if necessary.

The only downside is the need for continuous refuelling. Even if your generator is connected to your natural gas line, you are still somewhat reliant on the gas line being operational. If you run out of fuel or there’s a problem with gas, you’re still going to have to suffer through a blackout.

Solar Battery Storage

The best way to protect your home’s energy security is with a solar panel installation and solar battery storage. With a solar battery setup you can be virtually free from reliance on the power grid. Solar energy powers your home during the day, and excess energy produced is stored in a battery for use at night, or at other times when your system isn’t producing energy (such as cloudy days).

With this system, you can power your home 24/7 with free solar energy, provided your solar power system is big enough to handle your electricity needs and fill the battery. If you have an existing solar system and are considering adding a solar battery, look at your power bills and so how much excess power you are sending back to the grid. This will be the power you can use to fill a battery.

Many batteries now have the capability to provide emergency backup power to your home during a grid outage. The battery detects the blackout and automatically switches to backup mode.

Energy security is important for so many reasons, and a high-quality solar system and battery gives you the protection you need. Plus, you’ll save heaps of money on electricity bills and contribute to Australia’s green revolution. For more information, contact the team at SolarBright today, and we’ll be happy to arrange a free battery consultation.

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What is the Best Orientation for Solar Panels?

The whole idea behind solar panels in Australia is to catch as much available sun and turn it into energy that powers your house or business. Many people think it’s just a matter of installing the panels on the roof, and that’s all you need to worry about. However, to maximise the benefits of solar panels, you need some careful planning.

Where you position solar panels on your roof can drastically impact the amount of power you generate. Plus, it can be a little different depending on where you live in Australia. Here’s a guide on installing solar panels for maximum benefit.

The General Rule

In Australia, the sun is mostly directed from the north because we’re in the Southern Hemisphere. For residents keen to tap into solar energy, this means the general rule is to ensure your solar panels are north-facing. This helps you capture sunlight for most hours of the day, therefore increasing the energy yield.

If you were to install your solar panels facing east or west, you may lose somewhere between 10% – 20% efficiency. However have 2 strings of panels with 1 string facing east and the other west gives good efficiency. The east facing start in the morning, both strings produce during the midells of the day and the wast panels produce until late in the day.

We do not recommend mounting any panels facing south as you can lose up to 30% efficiency. So, as you can see, it’s important to get your solar panels installed for maximum benefit.

Different Times of Day

It’s also a good idea to analyse your energy usage to determine what times of day you use the most power. This is because turning your solar panels to face a different direction can give you an advantage at certain times of the day.

For example, if your panels face west or even north-west, you’ll generate most of your power between 1:30 pm and sunset. So, if you tend to use a lot of power during these hours and not so much in the morning, it makes more sense to face your panels west.

If the bulk of your energy use is in the morning, east-facing panels will be best. Because the sun rises in the east, you get access to more solar energy in the morning, even if the sun isn’t quite as intense as in the middle of the day.

The Best Tilt Angles for Solar Panels

When installing solar panels in Australia, the direction they face isn’t the only consideration. To really maximise energy production, you can install panels at a particular angle to increase efficiency. There’s a simple way to calculate the ideal angle, even if it might seem a little complicated.

Basically, your best angle is equal to the latitude angle of your location. So, that means the optimal angle is different in each part of the country. Confused? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy list for you to follow.

Below are the ideal solar panel angles for each capital city in Australia:

  • Sydney – 33.9 degrees
  • Melbourne – 37.8 degrees
  • Perth – 31.9 degrees
  • Brisbane – 27.5 degrees
  • Hobart – 42.9 degrees
  • Adelaide – 34.9 degrees
  • Darwin – 12.5 degrees

On flat or only slightly sloped roofs it is best to mount the panels on a tilt mounting at these angles to get the best performance from the panels.

Can Solar Panel Positions and Angles Be Changed?

The main issue with solar panel installation is the pitch of your roof. While it’s great to know that a Brisbane home needs panels at 27.5 degrees, if the roof pitch is 30 degrees, you can’t change that. What you can do, though, is have the solar panels professionally mounted at a particular angle. This adds to the installation price, but it may pay off in the long run.

You could also ask about specialist installation on mounts that allow the angle to be changed, however, this will again increase the cost of installation. Regarding the way your solar panels face, it’s even more complicated to change these for different times of the year, but you really don’t need to. For extra flexibility, you could install two sets of panels facing different directions – perhaps north and east. This will depend on what’s possible with your roof design.

For each solar power system design a professional installer will use special software that takes into account the geographic location, the panel model, the direction the panels face, and the panel tilt angle. The software will then estimate the average daily power production of the system throughout the year and show it in a graph like this:

Estimated Average Daily Energy Output by Month

For expert solar panel installation and great deals on solar packages to suit every budget, contact SolarBright today.

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2 Reasons Why a Cheap Solar System is Cheap

Customers often ask why there is a significant price difference when obtaining quotes from multiple solar businesses. To understand this, let’s examine the cost of a typical 6.6KW system with string inverters and reasonably good panels.

Direct Costs of a 6.6KW Solar System

When it comes to installing a 6.6KW system, there are four main direct costs:

Item Description Percentage of total direct cost
1 Solar panels 15 X 440W 37%
2 Inverter 5KW 13%
3 Balance of system Rail kit and electricals 10%
4 Installation Professional compliance 40%

Besides these direct costs, businesses incur other indirect costs to improve customer experience, such as providing professional customer support and honouring long-term warranties. These indirect costs are crucial for any operation planning to stay in business long-term. Unfortunately, many operators don’t factor these into their calculations, as they only intend to stay in business for a short time without offering extra support post-sale. Customers often realise this too late, facing disappointment when they require after-sales service for solar.

Hidden Costs Behind Cheap Solar Systems

Most online solar advertisements display low-price packages for top brands of panels and inverters. These businesses often hide behind big brands but offer little else. Customers must vet many fake five-star reviews, making the selection process harder.

The difference between high and low quotes isn’t that one business is making a larger profit; it’s that the other business is cutting costs at the expense of their customers. Here are the two main reasons a solar business can offer such cheap solar power systems:

  1. No After-Sales Service
  2. Poor Design and Installation

Purchasing quality equipment (solar panels and solar inverters) is recommended, but this alone cannot ensure a successful solar system. Proper design, installation, and connection with decent parts are essential. When considering the Solar Installation Costs, it’s important to balance quality and affordability to avoid unexpected issues down the line.

The Impact of Quality Installation

Here are the likely outcomes when installing the same-size solar systems from three different suppliers:

top brand equipment + quality installation(normally heights quote) good – likely excellent efficiency
quality equipment + quality installation(normally mid-range quote) good – similar efficiency to scenario 1
top brand equipment + poor installation(normally lowest quote) bad – likely poor efficiency and safety risks for people and properties

As seen, quality installation is more important than merely having top-brand equipment. Most cheap quotes fall into the third category, where businesses take shortcuts and have no intention of offering after-sales service once they have received their money. These businesses often fold and disappear once their liabilities increase or rebates dry up, leaving customers to rectify defects in their substandard solar systems and cover the costs themselves.

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Solar Quote for Your Home

  1. Valid Licences, Accreditations, Business Insurance, and Credible Affiliations Ensure the solar system will be attached to your property by professionals you can trust. Verify their credentials.
  2. Well-established and Reputable Businesses Look for companies with a long history and verifiable track records. Their experience and longevity are advantageous.
  3. Physical Place of Business Visit their showroom to gauge their infrastructure and capacity to provide after-sales service.
  4. Free In-Home Consultation Companies that offer site inspections and provide information upfront are more likely to support you post-sale.
  5. Reasonable Price A responsible business won’t be the cheapest, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive either. Avoid the lowest quotes.
  6. Verifiable Online Reviews on Multiple Platforms Don’t be swayed by companies with thousands of fake reviews. Ask for a few references before signing up.
  7. Adequate Written Safety Compliance and Professional Communication Processes Ensure the company provides clear safety guidelines and maintains professional communication.

Remember, cheap solar system quotes may end up being the most expensive choices. While tempting, they often need to be dismissed to avoid future issues.

SolarBright is your trusted partner for high-quality solar solutions. We offer reliable, efficient, and affordable solar systems tailored to meet your needs. With our focus on superior solar panel quality and professional installations, you can ensure long-term satisfaction and performance. If you’re ready to invest in a solar system that delivers real value, contact SolarBright today. Let us help you save money, reduce your energy bills, and contribute to a sustainable future with our premium solar solutions.

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Choosing the Right MaxLight Skylight for a Room

If you’ve decided to choose MaxLight skylights for your home, then congratulations! The decision is inarguably an extremely smart choice and you are installing some of the most technologically advanced skylights on the market. However, with several options to choose from, it’s not always easy to know which size MaxLight skylight you should use in the different parts of your home.

This quick guide will help you make the right choice to maximise natural light flowing into your home, reduce your energy bills and keep the heat outside – where it belongs.

The Key Benefits of MaxLight Skylights

Before we discuss which skylights you should use in each room of your house, here are just some of the reasons you should choose MaxLight skylights over other brands.

  • MaxLight skylights are energy rated with a triple lens diffuser
  • They come with an advanced roof dome
  • Skylight installation is easier, quicker and far less expansive than standard skylights
  • MaxLight uses cutting-edge technology
  • Seamless leak-proof roof flashings
  • MaxLight features the highest super-reflective anodized tube
  • You have a choice of diffusers lens
  • They offer an industry-leading 20-year warranty
  • MaxLight are Australian designed, made and owned.

You can’t go wrong with MaxLight, as thousands of our satisfied customers have already discovered. You can control the light far better with MaxLight, and they’re even energy rated, meaning they are proven to reduce energy costs in your home.

The MaxLight ML250

This skylight features a 250mm diameter tube, hence its name. This is the smallest option in the MaxLight range, and should therefore be considered for smaller areas of the home. Ideally, they’re great for lighting rooms up to 18m2. Popular rooms for the MaxLight ML250 include:

  • Smaller kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundries
  • Walk-in wardrobes

They’re even great for hallways, however, depending on the length of the hallway, you may consider two or more skylights. When choosing the ML250, you also have a range of diffuser options, depending on your requirements. Choose from:

  • Prismax Diffuser – the traditional lens used for most skylights.
  • Warm Diffuser – A matt satin surface that produces warm and soft light.
  • Aurora Diffuser – Transmits and spreads light effectively in every room.
  • Auroramax Diffuser – This Fresnal micro-optic lens is engineered to transmit pure, natural light evenly regardless of the sun’s angle.

The MaxLight ML400

Much like the ML 250, the name here comes from the tube diameter. The MaxLight ML400 features a 400mm diameter tube and diffuser. This is definitely the option for those larger rooms in your house, as it’s capable of spreading light evenly throughout rooms up to 25m2. You should consider the MaxLight ML400 for larger rooms, such as:

  • Lounge rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Open, combined living spaces
  • Large kitchens
  • Wide hallways

Once again, you have the same diffuser options, so this skylight can be tailored to suit your needs. However, it’s important to note that the MaxLight ML400 also comes in a Hybrid version. The ML400 Hybrid features a square diffuser, measuring 400mm x 400mm. Not only does it bring in more light, increasing the lighting capacity to rooms up to 28m2, but it also provides a different aesthetic for your room.

Solar Dimming Options

One of the great things about MaxLight skylights is the solar dimming option. This is available in both the ML250 and ML400 models, and gives you greater control over the amount of light in your room. Best of all, it won’t cost you a cent in electricity, because the dimming function is solar-powered.

A small solar panel is installed on the roof to power the dimmer mechanism. This mechanism sits above the diffuser and is controlled by a remote control. Perhaps the best part is that no additional wiring is required, so you can install the dimmer function yourself without the need for an electrician.

Contact SolarBright for MaxLight Skylights Today

SolarBright are your local solar and skylight specialists. We’ve got a huge range of skylight options to suit all homes, old and new. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an old one, we’ve got lighting solutions for you. Cut energy costs by flooding your home with beautiful, natural light. Best of all, MaxLight diffusers only let light into your home, not excess heat, so you can stay cool in summer. Contact the team today to get started.

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