Solar Facts


How energy from the sun can power your home, business or institution

Many Australians are now familiar with the fundamentals of how rooftop solar systems work.

But if you haven’t yet had a chance to catch up then the diagram here illustrates the basic principles and components for household solar – and the principles are similar for solar systems for business and industry.

System designs and components will vary according to your situation and needs. For example you may benefit from the extra efficiency provided by micro inverters rather than a string inverter or your location may mean you should consider battery storage (Don’t worry we will explain all these terms as we go).

We will take a quick look at various key components, what they do and why they are important. It may help you to better understand the process when you have your property assessed and are considering the recommendations and costings for your rooftop solar installation.

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THOSE SOLAR PANELS you are seeing on more and more rooftops every day are the foundation of your solar system. The silicon photovoltaic cells they contain within them gather the light energy from the sun and transform it into DC (direct current) electricity … no motor, no moving parts, no noise, long life, minimal maintenance ….


And you will never have to refuel them … EVER!

The quality of the PV panels is critical because it will determine the output efficiency of your system and for HOW LONG they will continue to deliver the power you need without degrading.

With premium quality rooftop panels you should be able to expect 20 to 30 years of FREE electricity from the sun.

The panels will be the largest component of your solar system and – unless you are installing battery storage – the most costly item.

The good news is that research, technical breakthroughs and the benefits of large-scale production have dramatically reduced the cost of rooftop panels and also increased their efficiency.

Lower component costs have been the key to making solar energy the world’s cheapest form of new electricity!

Country Solar NT has access to the entire solar panel market, is not tied to any particular brand or manufacturer and keeps a close eye out for new and improved technologies and products.

But we know which manufacturers consistently deliver quality and reliability and will always recommend the best solar panels for your situation and tell you the reasons why.

Questions to ask when ordering solar panels

Is the panel manufactured by a “Tier 1″ brand name solar manufacturer?

Be very wary if a solar installation company doesn’t specify the brand of panel to be supplied. You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing the manufacturer and the model, and solar is no different.

Likewise, if you are actually provided with the name of the panel but you can’t find information about it easily online, reconsider the purchase. There’s a plethora of information available online about panels made by the world’s leading solar panel manufacturers.

Large scale solar farms around the world only source solar panels from large “Tier 1″ solar manufacturers. They do so for good reason and you should follow their lead.


Does the Solar panel manufacturer have a significant Australian presence?

Be wary of local solar retailers importing panels directly from overseas. In the case of a future malfunction, you’ll have very little warranty support if the retailer is not around anymore.

Country Solar NT sources solar panels from manufacturers who have a significant presence in Australia, providing you with multiple levels of warranty support.


Has the Solar Panel demonstrated superior performance in Australian conditions?

While Country Solar NT can source most panels on the market we believe the solar panels from three manufacturers currently stand out as superior for the Territory’s tough Top End climate.The table ABOVE is a ranking of the leading manufacturers of  TIER 1 solar panels. The manufacturers we recommend for our Northern Territory customers appear prominently in the tables.

The tables does not bother to even mention the Tier 2 and 3 manufacturers – we suggest you also should not bother with them.

The purchase price offered for lower quality panels will no doubt be less but it is odds on that you ultimately will pay more when an inferior system quickly degrades and doesn’t produce power efficiently or ultimately fails way sooner than a premium product.

Why would you even consider going cheap? After all, an extra $1,000 investment over the 25-year life of a premium product works out at about 11 cents a day!

The video above by Richard Komp has been published by Ed-TED and explains some of the basic physics of rooftop solar and some interesting statistics

These are some of the PV panel brands we currently recommend - they are proven quality products from reliable manufacturers that are well priced with sound warranties

We are continually trialing promising new products as they become available to assess their suitability under Northern Territory conditions.