Choosing the Right Commercial Solar Panel System

If you’re a business owner in Victoria, Australia, you’ve likely felt the burden of neverending energy bills. The ideal solution would not only reduce those energy costs but do so in the best possible way for our planet.

As we face the realities of climate change, we can all accept that businesses need to make the shift towards more sustainable ways. If you want to reduce your business’s carbon footprint while cutting energy costs, your best bet is to invest in a commercial solar panel system. 

How can you choose the right commercial solar panel system for you? There are plenty of things to consider. We’re here to guide you through the entire process and help you make the right call that will fit your specific needs.

Understand Your Energy Requirements

Before you start looking at different solar panel systems, you should have a clear understanding of your business’s energy consumption. Check out your energy bills to find useful data. Take note of how much electricity your business uses during peak hours and where you’re using the most power. 

Knowing your energy needs will help you figure out the size of the solar panel system that will best suit your commercial space.

Types of Solar Panel Systems

There are a few key types of commercial solar panel systems to choose from. Each variety offers its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The three most common types are:

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

These are the most efficient and expensive panels, made from a single crystal structure.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

These are less efficient but more affordable, made from different crystal structures.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

These are the least efficient but are highly flexible and can be used in more diverse settings.

The system that will work best for you will depend on countless factors. Consult with a professional to learn more about these options as they relate to your business.

Important Factors To Consider

Location and Sunlight Availability

Victoria can experience an unpredictable mix of weather conditions. Luckily, solar panels can still generate electricity even on cloudy days. However, the efficiency of your solar panel system will be significantly affected by its location and orientation. 

Generally, a north-facing installation is recommended for optimum energy production in the Southern Hemisphere. Consult with experts to determine the best angle and position for your panels.

Quality and Warranty

Your solar panel system will be with you for the long haul. To ensure you get the most out of them, analyse both the quality and warranty of your solar panels. 

Look for warranties that last at least 25 years, and make sure that the manufacturer has a reputable track record in the industry. Weigh up whether a more expensive but also more efficient system is worth it to you. If you choose to go with a lower-quality option to save money upfront, you might end up paying more in maintenance and repairs down the line.

Incentives and Financing Options

In previous years, the Victorian Government has offered several incentives and grants for businesses that invest in commercial solar panel systems. The Small Business Energy Saver Program and the Victorian Energy Upgrades program were among the programs that helped businesses finance new systems. 

Research whether there are any similar opportunities available so that you can take advantage of potential savings.

Battery Storage

A solar battery storage solution helps you squeeze the most value possible out of your system. This will allow you to store excess energy to use during times when the panels are not generating electricity, like at night or during cloudy days.

Ongoing Maintenance

Solar panel systems are relatively low maintenance, but they do require regular checks to ensure optimal performance. Plan regular cleanings to clear away dust, leaves, and bird droppings – all things that can hurt your system’s efficiency. Also, consider installing a monitoring system. This will keep an eye on your solar panel performance, telling you if there is ever an issue.

Understanding Solar Panel Efficiency

Efficiency is a crucial factor when choosing a commercial solar panel system. Higher efficiency means better conversion rates and fewer panels as a result.

Efficiency is expressed as a percentage. While higher-efficiency panels may be more expensive, they often require less space and yield a higher return on investment in the long run.

Other Considerations To Keep In Mind

Grid-Tied vs. Off-Grid Systems

There are primarily two types of systems to consider:

Grid-Tied Systems

These systems are connected to the electricity grid. This allows you to sell excess energy back. Grid-tied systems are typically both easier to install and more cost-effective.

Off-Grid Systems

Off-grid systems are stand-alone, storing energy in batteries. They are often more complicated and expensive but are essential for remote locations without grid access.

The choice between these systems depends on your location, energy needs, and financial considerations.

Installation Timeline and Process

The installation process for a commercial solar panel system can vary, but generally, you can expect the following steps:

  1. Consultation and Feasibility Study
  2. Design and Planning
  3. Permitting
  4. Installation
  5. Inspection and Commissioning

The timeline can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the project and local permit requirements.

Commercial Solar Panel Case Studies

Real-world examples serve as excellent validation points. Businesses across Victoria, from manufacturing plants to retail shops, have been successfully transitioning to solar for years, reducing their energy costs and environmental footprint. By going through case studies, you can identify how companies similar to yours have benefitted from making the switch.

Environmental Impact and CSR

Embracing solar power aligns perfectly with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals. Picking a commercial solar panel system isn’t just good for the bottom line. Show that your business is committed to sustainable practices and making a positive impact on the community by committing to solar.

End of Life and Recycling

Solar panels typically last for 25-30 years. After this period, their efficiency may reduce, but they can still generate electricity. 

Many manufacturers offer recycling programs. By turning your old panels into new ones, you can ensure that your environmental footprint remains low even at the end of your system’s life cycle.

Final Steps In The Consideration Process

Conduct A Comparative Analysis

In the midst of your research? To aid your decision-making process, consider creating a comparison table of different types of solar panel systems. Include data points such as their average costs, efficiency, warranty periods, and any other factors that may be critical in your decision-making.

Legislation and Policy

Before you install, look up the local and national regulations. In Victoria, various policies and permits relate to commercial solar installations, so make sure you’re compliant to avoid any legal issues down the line.

Keep An Eye On Future Trends

Innovation in the solar industry is constant. Exciting technologies – such as bifacial solar panels, which capture sunlight on both sides or innovative solar tracking systems that move the panels to follow the sun – pave the way for even more innovation. Keeping up with these trends will help you stay at the forefront of the tech and make better decisions when upgrading or expanding your system.

Consult Professionals

Don’t hesitate to consult professionals at each step of your journey to selecting the right commercial solar panel system. Experts know the systems better than anyone. They have installed systems in a wide range of businesses and environments. This knowledge is invaluable to help you make the right call.

Don’t Underestimate The Importance of Choosing the Right Supplier

Going solar is no small investment. To make the process as easy as possible, you need to pick the right supplier. Look for trusted companies offering quality products, reliable installation, and excellent after-sales service. You want a partner who will stand by you throughout the lifecycle of your solar panel system.

Discuss Your Solar Needs With The Experts

Selecting the right commercial solar panel system for your business in Victoria is not a one-size-fits-all process. If you’re still not sure how to proceed, we recommend you contact our team at iPromise to discuss your commercial solar needs in Victoria. 

We’ll guide you through the many options available and use our years of industry experience to pair you with the right system. Contact us today.