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Australians are embracing solar energy

Next generation of solar panels deliver greater power, efficiency and design for homeowners

With Australia enjoying approximately 2,700 to 3,300 hours of sunshine annually, it's not surprising that our nation has embraced solar power so enthusiastically.  With over 3.4 million homes now outfitted with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, Australia isn't merely leading the way - it's setting a global benchmark.

High inflation rates and a fluctuating economy is seeing many homeowners looking for ways to alleviate bill shock and ease the pressure on household budgets.  Solar energy might be the answer, especially when considering Australia's exceptional solar potential.  Recent research by the Federal Government’s Department of Energy reveals that households with solar installations can cut their electricity bills by more than 40%.

The benefits of solar energy cannot be ignored, however, for the homeowner, deciphering technical jargon to understand the intricacies of installation can be challenging.  World-leading smart PV and energy storage solutions provider, Trina Solar, has had a presence in Australia since 2011 and is one of Australia’s top brands of solar modules[1]. Here they offer expert insights to simplify the process and help homeowners make informed decisions.

“Very simply, solar is a clean and safe energy source that converts sunlight into electricity for homes,” said Edison Zhou, Trina Solar’s head of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.  “Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels turn sunlight into electricity by capturing the sunlight, causing electrons in the panel’s silicon cells to release energy that becomes direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter converts the DC into alternating current (AC) electricity, making it useable for homes.”

Solar energy is on the increase in modern Australian households

Due to higher power requirements for daily household use, as well as the energy demands from electric vehicles, Australian households are embracing solar power.  

“There are definite advantages of using solar energy including saving on electricity bills, increasing the value of your property, and reducing your carbon footprint,” said Zhou.  “Apart from significantly reducing monthly electricity bills and dependence on the power grid, studies have shown properties with solar systems are more attractive to buyers, increasing the resale value, selling up to 20 percent faster and at a 17 percent premium compared to homes without such systems.”

Previous barriers for homeowners included solar panels being expensive and the aesthetics which were visually unappealing.  “Concerns regarding aesthetics have been addressed by Trina Solar with the launch of our Vertex S+ panel range - a compact, slimline solar panel, which will be a game changer for homeowners looking for a sleek design.  We are also seeing that as solar power technology advances and becomes more affordable, an increasing number of Australian homeowners are opting for solar installations,” said Zhou.  Already, around one in three households in Australia have rooftop solar PV systems installed[2].

Small but mighty – the next generation of solar technology

With the increasing demand for solar uptake and the shift in preferences towards higher power generation solar systems, Trina Solar Australia’s new Vertex S+ panel range offers the next generation of technologically advanced solar panels.  The award-winning aesthetic black design offers homeowners a compact, innovative solar panel range that can increase installation capacity on residential rooftops by 5–7%, meeting the higher power requirements of modern households.  This dual-glass design not only increases power production for residential and commercial applications but also ensures enhanced durability and longevity.  The inclusion of a transparent design offering 3.2% transparency makes it perfect for additional applications such as carports and alfresco areas.

The average solar system size for Australian households is now more than 8kW whereas in the past households typically installed a 6.6kW system, due to it being the system size that maximises government rebates available via the small-scale technology certificates (STC) scheme.  Trina Solar’s Vertex S+ panel is perfectly suited for both 6.6kW and 8kW setups.

Decoding wattage and efficiency

When deciding on what solar product suits your requirements, homeowners need to understand the output of solar panels.  Zhou says, “The power output of a solar panel is measured in watts (W), and the higher the wattage, the more electricity the panel can produce.  Although there’s many factors to take into consideration, a good target for residential solar panels is between 300W-400W per panel, and above 21% efficiency.  These targets will depend on factors such as your energy usage, roof space, and budget.  It's all about finding the right fit for your home's needs.”

The most efficient solar panels on the market, like Vertex S+, which delivers 445W maximum power output, with an efficiency of 22.3%, generally use N-type TOPCon monocrystalline silicon cells.  The base n-type silicon is a high purity which enables higher efficiency, lower losses and much lower degradation over time; this results in higher generation and performance which also improves payback and generally outweighs the additional upfront cost over the life of the panel.

Understanding the solar standards for Australian homes

“Homeowners should ensure any solar panels they are purchasing are Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved,” said Zhou.  “This certification signifies that they meet specific standards in terms of safety, reliability, and performance.  It's also worth noting that many government rebates and incentives for solar installations require the use of CEC-approved panels, making it even more essential for homeowners to check for this certification.”

The Vertex S+ and is suitable for any type of residential rooftop as a universal premium solution, is easily integrated, being designed for compatibility with existing mainstream inverters and diverse mounting systems, and is backed by a 25-year product warranty and a 30-year performance warranty.

“As homeowners become more informed and proactive in their solar choices, it sets the stage for a future where sustainable energy is not just an option, but a norm.  The decisions made today, backed by thorough research and understanding, will shape the energy landscape of tomorrow,” Zhou concludes.

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[1] Trina Solar is listed as Australia’s top brand of solar modules, according to independent market research company Sunwiz, and supplies panels for prominent projects across the country such as Brisbane Airport, Adelaide Airport, ALDI stores and University of Queensland.

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