Solar Energy

Solar power is generated when energy from the sun (sunlight) is converted into electricity or used to heat air, water, or other fluids. There are two main types of solar energy technologies:

  • Solar thermal is the conversion of solar radiation into thermal energy (heat). Thermal energy carried by air, water, or other fluid is commonly used directly, for space heating, or to generate electricity using steam and turbines. Solar thermal is commonly used for hot water systems. Solar thermal electricity, also known as concentrating solar power, is typically designed for large scale power generation.
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) converts sunlight directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells. PV systems can be installed on rooftops, integrated into building designs and vehicles, or scaled up to megawatt scale power plants. PV systems can also be used in conjunction with concentrating mirrors or lenses for large scale centralised power.

The Australian continent has the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent and consequently some of the best solar energy resources in the world. The regions with the highest solar radiation are the desert regions in the northwest and centre of the continent.
Australia receives an average of 58 million PJ of solar radiation per year, approximately 10,000 times larger than its total energy consumption. However, Australia’s current use of solar energy is low with solar energy accounting for only about 0.1 per cent of Australia’s total primary energy consumption. At The Solar Family, we want to change that statistic.

The advantages of solar power

Solar power systems have several advantages. The biggest one being that solar panels produce zero carbon emissions once they’ve been manufactured. Another great advantage of solar panels is that they have the potential to lower your power bills. On top of this, they can reduce the power grid’s reliance on fossil fuels, and provide remote homes and communities with a degree of energy independence.
In other words, solar panels are a great way for you to take control of your energy needs.

How can The Solar Family help reduce your energy bills?

The installation of a solar system can potentially help to cut your energy bills in two ways:
1. By using solar energy as a power source, you’ll lower your dependence on your energy provider (which may assist in reducing your energy bills)
2. If your solar power system produces more energy than you use, excess energy will feed back into the main electricity grid. When this happens, your energy retailer will buy this excess electricity at an agreed price (known as a feed-in tariff). This too may help to lower your overall energy expenses

And will they keep the lights on?

If you’re using a grid-connect system, then as long as the grid is up and running, your lights will stay on as long as you need.