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We’ve listed below, more detail on the precise steps of how sunshine is transformed into power in your home, but the below is a quick explanation on the pathway that solar power takes from your roof to your company. Solar panels are machines that switch light into electricity, and are typically installed on the roof.
Inverters are the apparatus that carry out the conversion of the photovoltaic cell DC output into a AC current that is then fed back onto the electricity grid.
The utility meter frequently records your electrical supply – it measures not only the output of your solar solution but how what you can do to optimise your set up and power usage to reduce your electricity usage and reduce your average quarterly power bill. Unless you are off grid or have organized solar storage or batteries your company generally stays linked to the electricity grid so that your company remains connected with a power source so that you still have electricity to run your business at night.
To go into slightly more detail, the solar panels are one of the most important parts of your solar solution.
The solar module is made up of several photovoltaic units that are connected in a series or parallel, applied to a plastic panel and electrically joined with a solder or other hard conducting machinery. Like photovoltaic units, solar panels can also be configured to create a precise current and voltage. The size of the solar panel array that you need is dictated by the size of your roof and the amount of energy you use. To standardize solar panel rating and predictability across the globe all solar panels are rated through the same Standard Test Conditions (STC).
When in production, solar power electrical performance is tested in a flash simulator that mimics the brightness and heat of sunlight and is accurate within about 3% of the naturally occurring element. Like many electronic devices and even home based appliances, solar panels tend to be more efficient in the lower temperature spectrum say 22 – 28 degrees, some of the extreme temperatures of Australian summers, though not necessarily harmful, are no more effective than a 24 degree day in Spring.
Luckily in Australia, snow and blizzard conditions are confined to our rare high peaks, predominantly on the east coast, so having the snow and ice build up that many countries have to worry about in winter in Europe is just not a problem in Australia, in fact we have the best solar conditions in the world here in Australia. There are varying degrees of cloud cover and dozens of different cloud types, the distant cirrus cloud that are 18,000 feet above and are often quite broken up have very little or no impact on your panels (less than 5%) but a large, grey gathering of low lying cumulus clouds (about 6000 feet from Earth) can reduce the impact of your solar panels by up to 80%! There is not a lot you can do to negate this other than to make sure you live in any area of Australia that has as many sunny does as possible, luckily this is pretty much everywhere in our lucky country, but some places are more blessed than others, Perth has more sunny days than any other city in Australia, and due to the high winds their metropolitan region receives clouds don’t tend to hand around as long. There are panel varieties that you can buy that work better in cloudy conditions (and conversely not as well in direct sunlight) but these tend to be a little more popular in countries that experience more and longer cloud cover (ie.
Using mirrors or any other reflecting device can actual add to the total output of your solar investment. You’ll find that most reputable companies (Sun Connect included) will sell high output monocrystalline panels that are really very highly optimised and negates the need to risk extra juice from installing reflectors.
Solar panels themselves are the most durable, longest living part of your entire solar solution, they don’t contain any moving parts and are 100% self-sufficient (though annual cleaning is always helpful).
Solar panels are made of a glass superstrate which is a low iron-tempered glass that has been coated with several layers of composite plastic. Cheaper panels are made with a lower grade glass, less durable plastic and weaker frames and are more prone to breaking, so it’s definitely worthwhile investing in something that’s built to last. A solar panel tracker is a swivel head attached to the mounting device that is programmed to follow the path of the sun throughout the day.
It’s the largest state in the lower 48.  It has enormous ranches, lots of oil and gas wells, and a booming economy. In Dallas, temperatures were well above 100 degrees on most days, and hit 110 degrees on August 2 and 3. Now Texas is looking to one huge power project in order to increase supply and fight off rolling blackouts.
Electric utilities saw record-breaking demand for electricity far outstripping their expectations.
As a result of these high rates, if you live in Texas, you’ll be paying higher electric bills to your utility. This eliminates the cost-of-service regulatory process that utilities in the rest of the country have to go through in order to recover excess costs from customers.
Here in America – unlike most developed countries – we have a fragmented power grid system.
This type of connection would have essentially eliminated Texas high peak power costs during its recent heat wave.
Back in October 2008, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced that the town of Clovis, New Mexico was going to be the home of the Tres Amigas Super-Substation.

New Mexico was chosen for a good reason: In a study undertaken by the Western Governor’s Association, the “Land of Enchantment” was ranked No. But the most important factor in the New Mexico site was its proximity to all three of the major power grids. It will unite and revolutionize the nation’s power grid, and make problems like the one that occurred in Texas and the most recent blackout in San Diego things of the past. More importantly, it will create the nation’s first energy trading “hub,” similar to Louisiana’s Henry Hub for natural gas. Utilizing the latest in power grid technology, a redundant, triangular “power pathway” (similar to a traffic circle) will be created, opening the door to efficient transmission of green, renewable energy throughout the country. Tres Amigas will utilize state-of-the-art super-conducting DC power cables developed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the latest energy storage system technology. When fully operational, each of its giant high-voltage DC power converters can direct as much as five gigawatts of power to any of the other two grids. The company has indicated that the Tres Amigas project could be worth as much as $1 billion in business.
But once Tres Amigas gets under way this fall, the company could see its fortunes reversed, and along with it, the reversal in the steep slide in its share price.
On this power-grid map of the United States, the black-circled areas are regions especially vulnerable to collapse during an extreme geomagnetic storm.
Using new technology, Oncor's interactive stormcenter map keeps you informed about known issues in your neighborhood. Oncor takes several steps to restore power after a large storm, doing our best to ensure crews arrive at the hardest hit areas first. As crews move through neighborhoods making repairs and restoring power, some homes and businesses may have service before others. There are so many routes nations take in order to answer this energy shortage crisis – nuclear power, energy storage and the like. These panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) chambers, which convert sunshine into direct current (DC) power.
Grid linked solar inverters don’t only convert this current; they are now sophisticated mini-computers that analyse many aspects of your solar panels performance. The meter calculates units and is able to determine a snapshot of how solar works for the creation of these energy units (in kw hours) and your power bill alters these units into a monetary value; when your solar solution produces more electricity than it needs your meter needle can literally start spinning backwards which can lead to credits with your power company that can help offset your next bill. The amount of power made by each panel is determined by the amount of cells within each sheet and how that cell is constructed.
By joining solar panels in certain configurations you can dictate the energy and voltage of the solar solution, and in turn determining the output that the system produces.
A professional installer, like Sun Connect, can spend time with you (over the phone or in person) taking you through your current usage recommend a size that suits your requirements and prepare a quote accordingly. STC’s are defined as the solar irradiation of 1 kilowatt per square metre, a module temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a solar irradiation angle of 45 degrees.
It’s a common misconception that panels are less efficient in cold weather, but in actual fact panels are more efficient in the lower temperatures that you would find in Autumn or Spring, the only reason summer being the best overall season is the consistently higher amount of sunshine and cloudless less days in the months of December, January and February, as well as the slightly longer days (day light hours) that we enjoy. The exact impact is almost impossible to measure as the exact type of cloud, it’s height, it’s density, it’s nature, how long it stays around for and the time of the days it’s is around all go into the equation when measure their impact of solar efficiency. But it’s important not to go over the top with this as too much increased light can cause the panes to overheat which reduces their efficiency and in the long term can lead to the panels failing completely which is a waste of your time, effort and money and will most probably make the product warranty void. They are designed to withstand extreme temperature variations, very strong winds, and in most cases hail. This is an incredibly durable substance which protects the already strong glass that covers the solar cells within the panel frame. As mentioned Sun Connect’s high output panels have an industry leading 10 year manufacturer’s warranty and 1 year installation guarantee on all our solar panels. In perfect conditions it can add up to 40% to the output of your solar system, but we’ve found they are considerably more expensive and prone to breakdowns than your standard fixed solar panel system and until they have reached a more realistic price point and the technology and application of that technology has improved we will not be adding them to our stock of products. And investors should get to know one company that stands to benefit when Texas, once again, goes big on the Tres Amigas Super-Substation project. Things got so bad that on a few days, demand actually exceeded their ability to supply enough power. The bigger problem was the increased cost to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the wholesale power market operator for most of the state.

August day-ahead on-peak prices spiked to levels far exceeding rates that normally are in the $125-per-megawatt-hour (MWh) range. You see, unlike other areas of the country, Texas mandates that nearly all of its retail customers choose a competitive electricity supplier. As you can see from the graph below, courtesy of the National Electric Reliability Council (NERC), Texas is more or less its own electrical entity, at least as far as power grids are concerned. The continental United States has three main, distinct power grids: the Eastern Interconnect, the Western Interconnect, and the Texas Interconnect. It could have simply purchased cheaper power from other operators anywhere in the United States. When completed in 2014 at a cost of $4 billion, Tres Amigas will be the largest – and most important – power substation ever built in the United States. Tres Amigas will also help to provide a more open market for green power producers who want to sell their power to an increasingly green conscious public.
The system is designed to take that number higher as New Mexico’s renewable energy generation expands. There’s no question that many companies will be providing services and equipment to build Tres Amigas. Management changes and problems with several customers paying on time has led to restatement of earnings for the last quarter and the last fiscal year. Investors who want to participate in the possible resurgence of American Superconductor might want to consider a small, speculative position. Paying dues gives you several advantages over other registered users, including a subscription to the club newsletter, an AOAS.ORG e-mail address, use of club materials, including books and telescopes, and access to the Coleman Observatory facilities.
Oncor immediately mobilizes all available crews and equipment, and will ask for assistance from other utilities in our Mutual Assistance Program if necessary. We dispatch crews to the affected areas to assess damage prior to committing them to specific neighborhoods and cities. If your neighbor's power is restored before yours, you may be on a different circuit (see F, diagram below). Even in the Gold Coast, I always hear this topic being discussed in local newspapers and discussion forums. The 2nd and most important aspect of your solar solution is the inverter, this converts DC into AC that in turn powers your business requirements.
When the solar cells are joined in sequence, the total energy is the addition of the energy from each separate cell. This is quite a complicated process and hence there are national and international solar standards that apply to the manufacturing process for all solar technologies and all solar installers need to have the correct training and accreditations to install panels and connect them to your power supply. Obviously you can take step to make your solar panel system work even more efficiently by maintaining it with annual inspections and cleaning and as well as taking advantage of our renewable living ideas mentioned in our Solar Benefits section.
Most installers and manufacturers have a standard industry output guarantee (at above 80% output) of 20 years, and the better providers are now closer to 25 years, Sun Connect leads the pack with a standard output warranty of 25 years, added to the industry leading 10 year manufacturer’s warranty on parts.
But they are by no means bullet proof, if a tradesperson was to accidently stand on them, if a overhanging tree or large branch fell or a very severe hail storm erupted you will find that the panels can shatter or puncture, if this immediate damage doesn’t break the machine the subsequent water and dust that gets into the solar cell swill. It lasted the entire month, and set numerous all-time high temperature records across the entire state.
On top of all that, you also qualify for a 20% discount on all books at any Books-A-Million location.
While Oncor's efforts have been effective, we continuously review this work and seek ways to improve your experience by being as responsive and successful as possible.
If you see Oncor trucks drive through your neighborhood without stopping, it's all part of this evaluation process.
So it’s very important to check on the durability and warranty of the solar panels you’re looking to purchase as not all panels were born equal.

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