Understanding solar and the network
In SA, almost 33% of home owners are utilising solar on their roof tops
Our Energy Advisor Harry Pavlou shares information to help understand solar and the network.
Harry’s key points:
Having solar on your roof is a great way to reduce the amount of energy you need to power your home appliances and in turn save money on your electricity bill. Any energy generated by your solar system is first used in your home with any excess usually exported to the electricity grid in exchange for a credit, otherwise known as a feed-in tariff.
However, at certain times it’s not always possible to export energy to the electricity grid. The electricity network was not originally designed to accept large amounts of reverse power flows generated by solar generation. When there’s too much excess solar energy being exported into the grid and not enough energy being consumed locally, the voltage on the network may increase. Eventually the inverter on your solar system may reduce its output or even turn off to protect both your equipment and the network.
To make sure customers get the most out of their solar systems we’re working really hard to:
- Improve and standardise appropriate inverter settings;
- Get better visibility of the network so we can strategically upgrade it where it needs it most;
- Improve the design of new parts of the network;
- Develop smarter ways to operate the network.
Is my solar system operating effectively?
- If you’re getting a new inverter or solar system installed, make sure your installer applies the right settings to your inverter. The latest settings available on our website will ensure you get the most out of your system.
- If you’ve already got solar, check with your installer that the latest settings have been applied. If this has been done and you think your system operating poorly get in touch with an accredited solar installer. Don’t forget, most inverter systems are only guaranteed to operate for 10 years so if your system is older than this, it may be your inverter that needs replacing.
- Try and align your energy consumption to peak solar output periods, for instance running pool pumps, or appliances during this time rather than later in the evening. This will generally provide even greater costs savings and can improve solar performance when the network is congested.
- Talk to us, we have experts who can give advice.
There’s lots of other great info on the internet: