The Future of Solar Power

The Future of Solar Power

Large solar energy farm with many panels raised over water and pylons in the background

Solar energy is emerging as one of the best renewable alternatives to our diminishing gas, coal, and oil supplies. We must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that emit greenhouses gases, and are the major contributors to global warming and climate change.

The general trend of increased solar installations and reduced costs will continue, with most countries in the world contributing to the production of solar energy in some way, however small.

It’s been estimated that the earth receives more than 173,000 terawatts of energy from the sun each year, which is about 10,000 times more than the entire planet can use, so there’s no concerns about running out of solar power.

Decreasing Costs

The cost of photovoltaic modules is now about 200 times less in real terms than the cost in 1978, and it’s not just PV modules that are much cheaper. All components in the system are coming down in price due to increased demand and new technology that enables cheaper production.

With our increasing awareness of the need for more sustainable energy sources, the low cost of solar energy systems is one of the main reasons the industry has grown so much, as more people and businesses are adopting solar technology.

Battery Storage and Off-Grid Solutions

Out of the new solar technology in recent years have come more efficient and cheaper batteries for storing excess solar power. With battery storage, people can use only their own solar power and will no longer need to connect to the main grid in case they run out of electricity. Solar power stations are also taking advantage of new technology in battery storage to deliver more sustainable power solutions.

The Tesla Powerwall is a great example of new technology in battery storage. It’s sleek and efficient, and you can use up to ten at a time for increased storage. Another example is the Tesla Powerpack for larger commercial applications.

New Technology

Silicon photovoltaic modules are the dominant solar technology, and are likely to be for at least the next ten years. However, a new type of solar cell technology has emerged. Metal halide perovskites are still in the testing phase but have the potential to be cheaper and more efficient than PV cells. Currently, scientists are finding success by piggy-backing metal halide perovskites on existing PV cells (perovskite-silicon tandems) to increase performance and output.

Keeping Up with the Latest Technology

With so much research and new technology in recent years, the future of solar power and our planet is looking bright. Gem Energy is on the cutting edge of solar energy technology, and we strive to stay up-to-date with emerging solar power solutions. We’re passionate about moving solar power forward and bringing down costs so everyone can benefit from free, clean and sustainable electricity. Call 1300 969 471, or contact us online.

How Solar Energy Systems Work

How Solar Energy Systems Work

Technician wearing a hardhat squatting on a roof covered in solar panels checking them for efficiency with a handheld meter

You know that solar power is free, clean, environmentally-friendly, quiet, and doesn’t give off any greenhouse gases, but just how does a solar energy system work?
The sun produces a lot of energy, more than we could ever use in our life time, but to use this energy as electricity to power our homes and businesses, we first need to collect it and convert it to something useable.

Your Solar Panels

The solar panels on your roof contain photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, made from silicon like a semiconductor; they create an electric field just like a battery does. There are many cells in one solar panel, and many panels can be joined together to create more energy. That’s why you see roofs covered in solar panels. The more sunlight you can collect, the energy you can create.

Direct Current Electricity

The solar panels create direct current (DC) electricity, the same as a battery, meaning the electrons flow in one direction around a circuit. However, we need alternating current electricity (AC), meaning electrons are pushed and pulled, and keep changing direction. It’s AC electricity that runs through your house or business when you turn on a switch or plug something in.

Your Solar Inverter

Your solar inverter does all the work of changing the DC electricity to AC electricity so we can use it. Older solar energy systems had only one inverter for the entire solar array, but new technology uses an inverter on the back of every solar panel to maximise efficiency. When one central inverter was used, a problem with just one solar panel would affect the performance of the entire array. Today, every panel has its own inverter, so if one isn’t performing efficiently, the rest will still go about creating power.

Putting it All Together

When the sun hits the solar panels they convert the energy to DC electricity, which flows to the inverter and converts it to AC electricity, powering your home or business. The entire process is clean, free, and quiet.

Storing Excess Power for Later

Once the sun’s energy has been converted into a useable energy source, it needs to be used straight away, or you won’t get the benefits of free electricity. However, if you’re not home during the day or can’t use all the power, your solar energy system creates it will just go to waste. This won’t happen if you store the excess in batteries to use at night, or on days when the sun isn’t shining.

Different solar energy systems will require different batteries. Budget, ambient temperatures, available space, and energy usage are all factors that should be taken into consideration.

Consult with the Experts

By using batteries to store excess solar power, you’re ensuring maximum efficiency of your solar energy investment, and you’ll dramatically cut your utility bills. Gem Energy is the expert when it comes to solar energy. We’ll give you the best advice on making your solar energy system work hard for you. Call us on 1300 969 471, or contact us online.

Questions to Ask Before Installation Begins

Questions to Ask Before Installation Begins

Concept picture of a question mark made of solar panels with a green leaf on the right side

Before your solar energy system installation goes ahead, there are some things you should ask the company to make sure you’ve made the right choice.
Be sure you’re well-informed about the right system for your requirements and whether it’s enough to just reduce your energy bill, or completely replace it by becoming self-sufficient.

What Size System Do I Need?

Your solar energy installer should have already calculated the correct system size from your previous power bills by looking at your average usage statistics. Be sure the company understands your reasons for installing a solar energy system and how you intend to use it. Your installer should have a good idea of how much you’ll save on your bills.

Roof Factors to Consider

Ask about the best way to configure your solar panels for maximum sunlight. Do you have enough space for the capacity you need? Is the pitch steep enough? Will you need tilted panels? What about trees near your roof? Will you need to prune them back to maximise the amount of sun your solar panels receive?

Can I Add to the System Later?

What if you want to add more capacity at a later date, or install batteries to store excess power? Your system should be flexible enough that you can expand it if your energy needs increase. Will your current installer be able to do the work of installing more panels or batteries so your warranty isn’t voided? Will your current installer be around to support you and your solar energy system?

Quality Components

Ask about the brand of the components you’ll be receiving. Where are they made? Are they top quality with good warranties and will they last? What happens if something fails under warranty? Will the installation company fix it, or will you have to run around trying to find someone else to do it? Your system is brand new now, but what will happen in a few years if things go wrong?

Maintenance

What maintenance will you have to do, when and how? Does the installation company offer a maintenance plan? If so what does it involve, and how much extra will it cost? Can you save money by doing your own maintenance?

How Much Will it Cost and How Long Will it Take to Pay for it?

Find out exactly what your new system will cost, make sure there are no hidden charges, and get as many quotes as possible from reputable installers to see the difference in pricing. Are there any government rebates or incentives? Is financing available? How long before the system pays for itself?

Use a Professional and Reputable Installer

If your installer can’t answer any of these questions, you should think twice before proceeding with the installation. Fortunately, Gem Energy is a professional and reputable solar energy company who will gladly answer all your questions and show you how we’ve calculated everything. We’ll be to offer support and advice for the life of your system. Call 1300 969 471, or fill in the online contact form.

Things to Consider Before Going Solar

Things to Consider Before Going Solar

Close up view of large rooftop solar array with trees, sky and clouds reflected in it

Once you’ve decided to change install a solar energy system, there are a few things you need to consider before you make the change. This includes your roof size, energy needs, how much sun your roof receives, choosing an installer, and whether you want to become totally self-sufficient or still rely on the main grid for some of your power.

Consider Your Roof

Have a look at your roof to decide if it gets enough sun and if you have enough room for solar panels. Homes and businesses that are shaded by trees for much of the day might not get enough sun to produce the electricity required. Depending on when your highest energy needs are, it’s possible to install some solar panels on the eastern side for more power in the mornings, or the western side for more in the afternoons. All roofs will get some sun, but some roofs will be more efficient at producing power than others.

Know Your Energy Requirements

Before you consider going solar, you need to know what size system is best for your needs. Here’s where it’s best to speak to an expert who can calculate your energy requirements and advise on the best system for you. If you’re considering a commercial application, it’s especially important to get the right advice before you go ahead.

Know When You Use the Most Energy

If you don’t have battery storage for your excess solar energy, you’ll only have power during the day. If you use most of your power at night, a good battery storage system will enable to use the energy produced in daylight hours every night. Even if you use most of your energy during the day, it’s a good investment to have battery storage to reduce your dependence on the main grid, and make use of free energy from the sun.

Are There Any Government Incentive Schemes?

Doing your homework can get you the best deal on your solar installation, because government incentives and rebates are changing all the time from state to state, and residential and commercial purposes. Your solar energy company will know all about the best government rebates for your needs.

Choosing an Installer

Choosing a reliable and professional solar energy system installer is a major factor in whether your solar switch is successful or not. Choose a reputable company with plenty of experience in commercial and residential installations. Preferably, choose a company that’s dedicated to helping you save money with solar power and has a passion for using the best components and technology, as well providing excellent after sales support.

Choosing Gem Energy

When you choose Gem Energy for your solar installations, you’re choosing a company that turns every one of our solar installations in a thriving investment. We not only install the systems, but we’re experts in renewable energy consultancy and implementation, photovoltaic engineering, electrical engineering and energy efficiency. We stand by all of our products and services, and we offer a complete solar energy service. Call 1300 969 471, or contact us online.

O’Brien Group Arena – 463kW Commercial Solar Installation

O’Brien Group Arena – 463kW Commercial Solar Installation

O’Brien Group Arena – 463kW Commercial Solar Installation

O’Brien Group Arena – 463kW Commercial Solar Installation Drone Footage

One of Australia’s Largest CBD Solar Installs

We’re proud to present our installation of this massive 463kW solar energy system at the O’Brien Group Arena, a beloved ice-skating rink in the heart of Melbourne.

Generating more than 600,000kWh of solar energy production per year, this system will add 10 per cent to the total annual solar energy production of the entire Melbourne CBD.

The system consists of 1330 x 355W Canadian solar panels with 15 Fronius Eco 27kW inverters.

 

Look No Further. Get Started Today. 

How to Choose a Solar Energy Company

How to Choose a Solar Energy Company

Close up view of a large solar panel on a roof with the sun setting over a city in the background

Making the change to solar power is a big investment, so you need to get it right first time. With all the solar energy companies around, how do you know which one is right for your needs?
When you choose a solar energy company you should check for professionalism and reputation, but will they also be there to support you after the installation?

An Experienced Solar Energy Company

With solar energy becoming an increasingly popular way to save money and the environment, there are a lot of solar energy companies to choose from, but not all are created equally. Gem Energy was founded in 2013 and has since built an excellent reputation for experience, quality workmanship and professionalism. Many of our new clients are referred to us by existing clients, and customer satisfaction is a top priority.

Design and Installation

Some solar energy companies just provide components and installation, but at Gem Energy, we design and install the best solar energy system for your needs today, while taking into consideration your needs for the future. Our design professionals use AutoCAD (Computer aided design/drafting) software to ensure the maximum efficiency of your new system, whether it’s a residential or commercial application. Every project, big or small, is custom-designed and installed.

The GEM Energy Approach

When you choose Gem Energy to design and install your solar energy system, we use our ‘Three-Way Approach’ to analyse, assess, and understand your exact needs. We then develop and implement a strategy around those needs to save you money now, and in the future. We offer a complete package of services and support which builds trusting relationships with our clients, because they know we’ll be there for them in the long run.

Extensive Range of Renewable Energy Services

When choosing a solar installation company, you want one that offers everything you need. At Gem Energy, we provide one of the broadest ranges of services in Australian solar, with a free consultation and feasibility study. Whether you need residential or commercial, off-grid or hybrid solar services, we use the latest and best technology. Our services include:

  • Finance options
  • Electrical engineering
  • Energy and asset management
  • Turn-key project packages
  • Solar hot water and heat pumps
  • Solar irrigation
  • Tesla Destination Chargers – installed free for hospitality-based businesses such as restaurants and hotels
  • Grant applications for Not-for Profit organisations

 

Choose Australia’s Leading Provider of Renewable Energy Solutions

Gem Energy can provide all the products and services you need for a clean, green, energy-efficient solar installation for residential and commercial applications. Our focus is on top quality products and services that provide customer satisfaction at the lowest cost to you, with excellent after-sales support. Call 1300 969 471, or contact us online.