How Solar Works

A solar photovoltaic (PV) cell is most commonly made of a thin wafer of silicon modified with small amounts of other materials, so called impurities, that give the silicon wafer special electrical properties. When sunlight hits a PV cell, it produces an electric current. PV cells produce Direct Current (DC), which then needs to go through an inverter.

The inverter transforms DC electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, the form of electricity we use in our homes. The inverter also provides safety functions such as automatic shutdown of the solar electric system in the event of a power failure.

In the Northern Territory, we have a Gross feed-in tariff, which means we are paid a 1:1 rate for all generated power we produce throughout the day.

This means that the less electricity your house consumes during the day when the sun is at its peak, the more electricity you will sell back to the electricity provider and the quicker your system will pay for itself.

To discuss how we can assist in making solar PV work for you, please contact us today. We are more than happy to discuss your needs and provide you a quote, as well as all necessary information without any obligation and at no cost.

The Clean Energy Council has also produced a solar power guide for consumers to help them select the appropriate solar system for their needs.

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Solar PV panels

A solar PV panel uses silicon to absorb the sun’s rays and creates electricity. Photo Voltaic refers to the process whereby an electric current is produced when exposed to sunlight.

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Solar Inverter

An inverter is a piece of equipment that converts DC power (direct current) to AC power (alternating current). Solar panels generate DC power. However, the appliances you use require AC power to run them. The inverter converts the DC power from your roof to usable AC power for your home or business.


“The grid”

“The grid” refers to the electricity grid from which you currently receive you electric power. In the Northern Territory this is Power and Water.

All applications will require a solar PV fee paid to Power and Water to cover the cost of your special metering requirements and a new connection. Your fees may vary depending on your metering point setup and if additional inspections are required, ie the call out of a Power and Water crew to attend your property.  Your quote from Country Solar NT will be inclusive of the Power and Water Fees. We will also arrange the paperwork for you and the required shut downs for connection.

As of 1 June 1 2017, Power and Water  has re-assessed the maximum size that can be installed on a normal residential dwelling, the resitrictions are now inverter based with single phase dwellings able to have a maximum grid connected inverter of 5KVA and for dwellings with a 3 phase connection a 7KVA is permitted. For larger size residential systems and application process applies.   There are also size limits set for commercial customers.

PV application process:

PAWA Class