Solar Power

Rise Light and Power is proud to be a Clean Energy Council Accreditied Solar Installer.

We understand the importance of moving away from traditional fossil fuels to provide a cleaner and greener future. The renewable energy industry is constantly growing and the advancements and innovations in the technology of solar panels, inverters and battery storage is very exciting. While the primary goal of renewable energy’s such as solar power is to reduce emissions and lower our carbon footprint, the increasing efficiency and reduced cost of small and large scale solar systems makes it feasible to both help out the environment and save money at the same time. Now more than ever with soaring energy prices, its time to install a solar system that is right for you.

RLP can cater to your specific needs (budget, home/business energy consumption, location) and design and install a solar system that will help to reduce your carbon emissions and save you money.

Clean Energy Council accreditation is a qualification that demonstrates an installer’s competence in design and installation of stand-alone and grid-connected solar PV systems.

Systems designed and installed by Clean Energy Council-accredited installers are eligible for government incentives and rebates. Rise Light and Power are now one of around 4500 accredited installers in Australia.

The future of solar PV in Australia

Even without feed-in tariffs, a combination of rising electricity prices and the falling cost of solar PV systems means the business case for solar remains compelling. In its 2012 Australian Energy Technology Assessment, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics estimated that solar power would be among the cheapest of all energy sources by the end of the decade.
State feed-in tariff rates have continued to reduce, leading to lower but more stable and sustainable sales figures. Some consolidation of solar businesses in this environment is inevitable. The commercial solar sector continues to show steady growth, and as more major brands install solar this inspires smaller players to consider the technology as a cost-saving measure to improve their bottom line.
Australia is one of the sunniest continents in the world. Given a stable policy environment, there is massive potential for solar PV to make a significant contribution to electricity generation in Australia over the coming decades.

What is a REC?

When you install solar power, solar water heating and other renewable energy technologies you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This entitles you to receive environmental credits called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
These credits are a commodity and are tradable like shares. Like other commodities the REC price is not fixed and fluctuates with supply and demand.
Organisations in Australia such as power and gas companies (liable parties) must purchase specified quota of certificates, on a quarterly basis in order to meet their own renewable energy targets set by the government. This creates the demand for the certificates and Australian residents and business provide the supply of certificates after they install renewable energy technologies.
Greenbank Environmental is the largest independent creator of these certificates in Australia, purchasing certificates from consumers and selling them to organisations that have a government mandate to acquire them.
RECs are made up of two types of certificates – Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).

How grid-connected PV systems work

PV modules use semiconductor materials to generate dc electricity from sunlight. A large area is needed to collect as much sunlight as possible, so the semiconductor is either made into thin, flat, crystalline cells, or deposited as a very thin continuous layer onto a support material. The cells are wired together and sealed into a weatherproof module, with electrical connectors added. Modern modules for grid connection usually have between 48 and 72 cells and produce dc voltages of typically 25 to 40 volts, with a rated output of between 150 and 250 Wp.
In order to supply electricity into a mains electricity system, the dc output from the module must be converted to ac at the correct voltage and frequency. An electronic inverter is used to do this. Generally a number of PV modules are connected in series to provide a higher dc voltage to the inverter input, and sometimes several of these ‘series strings’ are connected in parallel, so that a single inverter can be used for 50 or more modules. Modern inverters are very efficient (typically 97%), and use electronic control systems to ensure that the PV array keeps working at its optimum voltage. They also incorporate safety systems as required in by set standards and regulations.
PV modules are specified by their ‘watt-peak’ (Wp) rating, which is the power generated at a solar radiation level of 1000 W/m2, equivalent to bright sun in the tropics. They still work fine with less solar radiation. The voltage produced by a PV module is largely determined by the semiconductor material and the number of cells, and varies only slightly with the amount of solar radiation. The electrical current and the power generated are proportional to the amount of solar radiation.

What are the benefits of grid-connected PV systems?

By reducing the need for fossil-fuel generation, grid-connected PV cuts greenhouse gas emissions (and other air pollution), because no emissions are produced during PV operation.
In the past, there has been concern about the greenhouse gases emitted (‘embodied’) in the manufacture of PV systems, particularly in the production of ultra-pure semiconductors. With current production techniques, these embodied greenhouse gases are saved within two to four years of use of grid-connected operation, depending on the amount of sunlight.
PV is the easiest renewable electricity source to incorporate into buildings. The electricity is supplied at the point of use, thus avoiding the losses which occur in electricity distribution. It can be used at any scale – from less than a kW on an individual home up to MW scale systems on large public buildings – and is simple and reliable. Because of this, it is a valuable way to raise awareness of electricity supply and use, and helps highlight the potential for renewable energy.

Photovoltaics (PV)

covers the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.
A typical photovoltaic system employs solar panels, each comprising a number of solar cells, which generate electrical power. The first step is the photoelectric effect followed by an electrochemical process where crystallized atoms, ionized in a series, generate an electric current. PV installations may be ground-mounted, rooftop mounted or wall mounted. They may be mounted in a permanent orientation to maximize production and value or they may be mounted on trackers that follow the sun across the sky.
Solar PV generates no pollution. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity occurs without any moving parts. Photovoltaic systems have been used for fifty years in specialized applications, standalone and grid-connected PV systems have been in use for more than twenty years.

For best performance, PV systems aim to maximize the time they face the sun. Solar trackers achieve this by moving PV panels to follow the sun. The increase can be by as much as 20% in winter and by as much as 50% in summer. Static mounted systems can be optimized by analysis of the sun path. Panels are often set to latitude tilt, an angle equal to the latitude, but performance can be improved by adjusting the angle for summer or winter. Generally, as with other semiconductor devices, temperatures above room temperature reduce the performance of photovoltaics.

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