Ever since you installed a solar PV system on the roof, you’ve been supplying your home with renewable energy every day. That system has worked perfectly, and you have been saving money off your electricity bills… until now. You may have increased your consumption with the addition of new family members or different appliances. You may have lost a premium feed-in tariff. The stress is evident in the higher monthly bills and some scary news in the media – increasing electricity prices will inevitably hit all residents; you must do something!
Fortunately, your roof is spacious enough to fit in a few more panels, and you are wondering, “Can you upgrade an existing solar system?”
Yes, you can upgrade an existing solar system. In many cases, that’s exactly what people do when they are using more electricity than they generate. As a matter of fact, various reasons can lead to this decision, for example if you’re looking to produce more energy so you can charge a battery for night-time consumption. No matter the reasoning, it is important to understand that you still need to meet the standards outlined by the policies of your state and network provider.
Solar panels have been available in the Australian market for decades, and more popular than ever thanks to the advances in technology that have made them more affordable and reliable. Ever increasing electricity bills really make expanding your rooftop system an option to consider. Fortunately, you have a few options available for adding more solar panels to your home.
Keep the same inverter, just add more panels
There are different ways you can expand your solar generation. The easiest option is to have your original installer add more of the same solar panels that you already have to your existing system and inverter.
Many people don’t know this, but a solar inverter can be connected to a system of panels that exceeds the inverter’s rated peak power up to 133% – this is because of the natural power lost in transference from the panels into the inverter. For example, you can safely have a 6.6kW array of panels connected to a 5kW inverter.
This option is possible only if you can hire your original installer to add the exact same panels to the existing system, and you still have some wiggle room in the existing inverter.
Replace your inverter with a larger one, then add more panels
Practically every year, there is newer and more efficient solar technology hitting the market. There’s the chance that your system may be due for an upgrade, especially if your system is older than 7 years. In that case, you can replace your existing inverter with a bigger, more reliable one, which in turn will also allow you to add more panels, combining an array of new panels with your existing one and having them connected to the same inverter.
Replacing your old inverter can do wonders at increasing the overall efficiency of your system. Keep that in mind!
Install a completely new separate system to your existing one
Probably the most straightforward option to expand your solar energy generation. You could add a completely new inverter and solar panels as a new system, independent from your existing one. Both your old and new solar PV systems can then work together to feed into a battery for example, further reducing your reliance on grid electricity.
The new system can either use a string inverter system or a micro inverter system. The advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t alter your original system, which means you can leave the old system running, without it being brought up to current standards. This is a good approach if your existing system is working well.
There is the possibility that this option is limited by your electricity distributor (the ones in charge of the poles and wires), maybe even export restricted, which then means you wouldn’t be eligible for a feed-in tariff for any excess generated. It is best to check your individual circumstances to gauge the pros and cons of doing this.
I want to expand my system. What’s next?
If you’re interested in any of the options described above for expanding your PV system at home, you’ve arrived to the right place!
Whatever your energy needs, we will give you an appropriate, budget-friendly solution to allow you to escape the grid’s electricity prices as much as possible. Stop giving away your hard earned money to the major energy companies. Have a conversation with our team and allow us to help you. Please contact Solar Battery Group on 1300 223 224 or send us a message.