When you’re welcoming a new family member, or your solar energy system is no longer meeting your current electricity requirements, expanding your solar energy system might be an effective way to deal with growing electricity bills and maximise your current solar panel savings.
Whether it’s financially feasible or not will depend upon several factors, including your current inverter size, solar panel compatibility, and energy utilisation.
Your Current Inverter Size
Situation One: Inverter capacity is more than solar panel capacity
If your existing solar energy system’s inverter capacity is bigger than the capacity of your solar panels, you could possibly add more panels. With good quality European inverters, you may oversize the array, maximising the solar inverter output for longer during the day. For example, in case you have a 3kW inverter with 2kW of panels, you might be able to add another 2kW of solar panels.
This may be your best-case scenario financially, as adding only solar panels to your solar panel system won’t come at a very high cost.
If you’re adding solar panels to an existing string, they should be of an equivalent/compatible model, like solar panels working in a string only perform as well as the lowest wattage panel.
And at last, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough space on your roof to install more solar panels and that their positioning won’t compromise the overall solar panel efficiency.
Situation Two: Inverter capacity = capacity of solar panels
In case your current inverter is already working near to its full capacity, for example, 3kW-4kW of panels with a 3kW inverter, you will have two options:
- Upgrade the inverter and add more similar solar panels
In this situation, you will be able to upgrade to a 5kW inverter and an additional 2kW-3kW of panels.
- Install an additional solar panel system
Your new and current solar energy system will operate side by side. If your electricity utilisation is so high that you’re exporting little to no energy back to the utility grid, your feed-in tariff has very little to no value anyway. To maximise your solar panel savings, it’d be more beneficial to expand your solar energy system over 5kW and cover more of your electricity demand. This can lead to higher solar panel output and also more energy to send back to the grid.
Solar panel upgrade and compatibility
What solar panels had been utilised in your original solar panel installation, and does any part require an upgrade? Your solar panels will continue to generate electrical energy for more than 25 years, at which point you may see more significant dips in solar panel production, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace the panels of the original system. However, still ask your solar panel installer to check every part, including the racking and wiring.
When adding new solar panels, it’s a good idea to install the same kind as your original array if possible. This ensures that every part will match aesthetically and has the same solar panel output and efficiencies as your other solar panels. If you’re unable to install the exact same panels, you may damage your existing array.
Your Current Energy Consumption
If you’re presently exporting over 50% of your solar energy back to the utility grid, it’s probably not worth upgrading your solar energy system as you already have a good solar panel output. When you send energy back to the grid, you maximise solar panel savings by using all the electricity generated from your solar energy system and minimise your purchase of costly grid electricity. Upgrading your solar energy system can only increase the amount of energy you export to the grid; it will not increase the efficiency of how you use your solar energy.
Before deciding whether or not to expand your solar panel system, you must fully understand the costs related to upgrading, particularly how long it will take based on these additional savings to offset the cost of upgrading.
AYKA Solar will solve your every doubt to help you understand the pros and cons of expanding your solar panel system and provide you with the best possible technical and economical solution to suit your energy needs. We provide high-quality solar panel installation with the best prices available. Switch to solar with us and get high solar panel efficiency in the long run. Contact us today!