Commercial solar systems for Public Spaces – Benefits and more

    Introduction: What are commercial solar systems?

    Commercial solar systems are an array of solar panels connected that generates electricity from solar power. The solar cells inside these panels are made from materials like silicon, boron and phosphorus. They are arranged in a grid-like pattern and help trap photons from sun rays and then generate electricity from them.

    The DC power generated in the panels is sent to the solar inverter where it gets converted into Alternating Current which is suitable for commercial and private consumption. A solar system consists of multiple components like panels, inverters, batteries and more.

    What is the need for commercial solar systems?

    Commercial inverters are available in the range of 2.5kW to 250kW power levels. The range is wide enough to meet any required commercial application. These solar panels are installed in open spaces like rooftops and grounds and can generate power for 20-25 years from the day of installation. Commercial solar systems are long-term investments, and hence we suggest you do your research before installing one. There are many factors you need to take into consideration before deciding on the type of system you want. Start with why? Why do you need a solar system?

    Different types of commercial solar system set-ups

    Depending on your requirements and the type of setup you want, you can opt for:

    1. An on-grid solar system helps your case when you have access to regular electricity but your electricity bill is quite steep. Here you can also make money or gain credits via net metering. This system works when connected to the power grid, and in case your system produces more power, you can send it back to the grid for consumption by others.
    2. An off-grid solar system that is not connected to the power grid. Works well if you are in a remote location and do not have access to regular electricity. These systems come with a power bank and convert DC input to AC output that can be used or stored for future use. If you plan on going camping or enjoy a quiet vacation in peace then portable solar systems will be your best option.
    3. A hybrid solar system is all about making the best of both on-grid and off-grid systems. There’s DC-AC conversion and also net metering options. This helps you stay connected with the power grid but also function independently in case there is a power outage and consequently a blackout.

    The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is keep in mind your budget, the available space for installation and what your electricity consumption requirement looks like to find the right solar system for your workplace.

    The different types of commercial solar solutions are:

    1. For Small Businesses that are looking at things from the long-term perspective and would like to enjoy lower energy bills along with an eco-friendly and sustainable status.
    2. Commercial Real Estate (CRE) and Investment Properties become prime-time properties with the addition of solar systems. Something about previously set-up solar systems helps people assess the worth of the property better and on the higher end.
    3. Solar farms and microgrids are other places that benefit from solar solutions.
    4. If a large-scale commercial project installs a solar power system, they tend to save tremendously in the form of electricity bills. They have the bandwidth and capacity for an elaborate solar power system and hence benefit the most.
    5. Universities and schools are other places that can benefit from a commercial solar system installation. These places are operational year-round and hence switching to solar power is a means of ensuring that the electricity bills stay on the lower side.

    What are the Pros and Cons of going for commercial power installation in Brisbane?

    Pros of switching to commercial solar power

    • The best part about switching to commercial solar power is the comparatively lower electricity bills. If you have a regular business then you are likely to recover your initial cost of investment within 10 years.
    • Most solar panels have a life of 20+ years which means that you will be enjoying the benefits of the one-time installation for years to come.
    • The maintenance of commercial solar systems is really low. You just need to ensure that the panels are clean and don’t get overheated and you are good to go.
    • Also, if your solar panels generate additional electricity that you do not require then you can sell them to local power companies. In this manner, you can make money out of commercial solar installation in Brisbane.
    • You are not dependent on the local power grid for your electricity anymore. In case of storms or blackouts, you can keep your business operational because you wouldn’t be affected by such events.
    • You also enjoy tax breaks from the Government if your solar system is energy-efficient. It is a win-win because the government is promoting and appreciating clean energy efforts.
    • You help reduce pollution, promote sustainability and openly stand out as an environmentally conscious brand in the community. Major brownie points right here.

    Cons of installing commercial solar systems

    • While your dependency on the power grid reduces, you become dependent on the weather for your energy requirements. Cloudy days affect your solar system’s efficiency of generating power. It is suggested that you opt for commercial solar power if you are in a sunny area for maximum benefits.
    • Before you decide to invest in commercial solar systems, get a technician to review your building. This will give you a fair estimate of how much electricity your panels might generate and compare that with your current requirements.
    • If you have tall trees surrounding your business place then that will affect your power generation as the panels might not get sufficient sunlight because of shade.
    • The upfront investment for commercial solar installation in Brisbane is quite heavy, so a cost-benefit analysis is a must. The rebates and tax breaks can go only so far.
    • If you are adding solar panels to your already existing structure then you will have to make some structural changes and maybe also upgrade your roof. Get a technician to give you an overview before you start looking for the right solar panels and other parts.

    Now that you have a clear idea of the pros and cons of switching to commercial solar power, let’s go over the exclusive benefits that you will enjoy and how your business will benefit from the same.

    The benefits of switching to commercial solar power are:

    1. You enjoy multiple tax benefits and rebates from the local and federal government.
    2. You reduce CO2 emissions and help save the environment.
    3. Your solar power system can help you earn credits or even money by sending power back to the grid.
    4. You are looking at a one-time investment that will last you a minimum of 2 decades, and also comes with multiple guarantees and warranties.
    5. A low to no electricity bill should be your primary motivation for finally making the switch.

    Now that you know the pros, cons and specific benefits of installing a solar power system, there are certain things you need to know beforehand. Here’s a quick guide to help you with all the FAQs.

    Things to keep in mind before opting for a commercial solar system

    1. While looking for commercial solar systems opt for Tier 1 quality structures as they come with a minimum of 12 years manufacturer’s warranty and around 25 years of performance warranty.
    2. Make sure that you get your system insured in case it gets affected by extreme weather conditions, this will make sure that you don’t bear the massive brunt of repair costs.
    3. Along with a reduction in CO2 emissions, you will also gain PR benefits. Recent studies have shown that people want to associate with businesses that care about the environment. So, eco-friendly and sustainability is the way ahead. This will also ensure that you stay ahead of the competition.
    4. Also you will enjoy a lot of government incentives. One such tradeable commodity issued by the federal government is the Small Scale Technology Certificate (SSTC). Check whether they are still issuing these certificates and whether your business is eligible for them.
    5. There are also energy rebates like New South Wales and Victorian Solar Energy Rebates (VEEC) and also NSW’s Energy Saving Certificate (ESC). You also get certificates for LED lighting upgrades and whatnot. The idea is to slowly move away from the endless reliance on the grid and become self-sufficient. Commercial solar systems are one way of ensuring that the dependence on the grid lessens to some extent. This will help in extreme and adverse conditions.
    6. If your commercial solar system is generating more power than what you use, then you can sell it to local energy companies. There are feed-in tariffs schemes run by the state and territory governments that identify businesses eligible to be paid for the surplus energy they generate. Make sure you have an energy-efficient system installed to become eligible.
    7. You can also become eligible for financial assistance from the government under the Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). The government is now providing finance for long-term environmental upgrades (that also includes solar system installation) in existing commercial buildings and non-residential properties at attractive terms. Check if your business is eligible for the same.

    You can also avail of different council-based incentives and see what all options you have.

    Wondering what the long-term maintenance of your solar power system will look like? We have got you covered.

    How to maintain your commercial solar power system?

    1. It depends on the weather in your area. If you have regular rainfall then your panels will be relatively clean as compared to other areas. You will have to clean the panels and remove bird dropping, dust and tree debris.
    2. If it snows in your area then you will have to remove the snow from panels to maintain their efficiency. Use a soft broom or brush to remove the snow. Go for a ground-mount system if you live in a snowy area as rooftop systems can be a hazard for cleaning.
    3. Make sure that you check the wiring and electricals in your solar panel system annually. Look at the visible hardware and ensure that no damage has been done to them. Fittings, ground conductors and electrical conduits are some of the things to keep an eye out for.
    4. Decide the type of racking you need, ground-mount or roof-top racks. These are the supporters that will ensure the safety and security of your solar system and make sure that it stays in place.
    5. If your solar system has batteries in them (off-grid system) then make sure you look into its upkeep. Schedule battery maintenance regularly to maintain their lifespan and efficiency. This doesn’t take much time but is a helpful practice in the long run.

    You can also set up a solar panel monitoring system that will help you keep a track of the performance of your system and see if any unexpected issues are coming up.

    In conclusion

    Commercial solar systems are a must-have for public spaces. They not only help you cut down on the expenses but are sustainable. It is the right time to join the green energy movement that is being promoted by the Australian government and enjoy the benefits provided by them. Get your quote and professional advice today!