Wollongong’s climate is quite pleasant. Summers are warm with an average high of 25.6° in January, while winters are mildly cool with an average low of 8.3° in July.
Wollongong Solar Potential
Solar panels on a north facing roof in Wollongong will typically receive an average amount of solar energy equal to about 4.8 hours of full noon sunshine a day; putting it on par with Sydney.
A new 6 kilowatt solar system on a north facing roof using good quality components and competently installed could be expected to produce an average of around 23.65 kilowatt-hours a day or 8631 kilowatt-hours a year.
Solar Feed-In Tariffs In Wollongong
Payment for surplus electricity produced by rooftop solar that isn’t used by the household or business but is instead sent into the grid is eligible for payments called feed-in tariffs. The rate of payment varies between electricity retailers.
Given the various electricity plans offered to solar owners by electricity retailers, it pays to shop around. You can compare what's available using the SolarQuotes electricity plan comparison tool.
The Rooftop Solar Application Process In Wollongong
I always recommend having your installer guide you through the application process for rooftop solar. While in some areas network operators request you contact them first, that doesn't appear to be the situation in Wollongong.
Maximum Solar System Size In Wollongong
Wollongong households can install up to 4.99 kilowatts of rooftop solar if they have single phase power. The maximum is determined by both the size of the inverter and the total capacity of the solar panels.
Households with 3 phase power can install up to 30 kilowatts of rooftop solar before special protective equipment needs to be installed, but council permission will be required to install more than 10 kilowatts.
Ten kilowatts of solar panels requires a considerable amount of roof space, and many household might have some difficulty finding enough room on their roof for 10 or more kilowatts!
Wollongong Electricity Usage
A Wollongong household of 3 people without a gas connection will use an average of around 6,940 kilowatt-hours a year. The average Wollongong home uses around 34% more electricity in winter than summer.
Wollongong Roofs And Solar Panel Tilt
The best angle to install solar panels in Wollongong is the angle your roof - yes, it's that simple. While roof angles vary greatly, the majority in Australia have a pitch of either 15 or 22.5 degrees. While Wollongong has homes with steeper roofs of 30 degrees or more, there's little difference in output over a year between a shallow 15 degree roof and a (very) steep 45 degree roof.
Shallow and steep roofs have their own advantages when it comes to solar. For example, shallow roofs provide some advantage in for households with high summer air conditioning demand. Steeper roofs provide a mild advantage for households consuming more electricity on winter days. Compared to panels on a shallow 15 degree roof, those on a steep 45 degree roof will produce around 19% less electricity in January and 22% more in July. .
How Solar Panel Direction Affects Output In Wollongong
North facing solar panels will produce the most electricity, but placing panels facing east or west can certainly be worthwhile, especially if by doing so it increases a household’s solar electricity self-consumption. Find out more about solar panel orientation here.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Rooftop Solar
An effective way to increase self consumption of solar electricity for households that have higher electricity demand in the mornings and afternoons than the middle of the day is an east-west split of solar panels
From around the 10th of December to the 4th of February, the sun doesn’t set until after 8:00 pm in Wollongong. In terms of solar power, this is useful for air conditioner usage in the late afternoon and particularly when using west or north-west facing panels.
Wollongong’s leafier suburbs, such as Mangerton, are the most likely locations where trees will shade roofs for a portion of the day. This can be more pronounced in winter when shadows are longer. The use of microinverters or DC optimisers can help limit the loss of solar panel output caused by shading.
The Solar Rebate In Wollongong
Wollongong households and business can benefit from PV installations where the solar panels have a total capacity greater than that of their inverter. Although this will result in some loss of solar panel output on clear days when the sun is high in the sky, more output will be generated when the sun is low or skies are overcast. The smoother production of solar electricity through the day through doing this can help increase a household’s self consumption, which is very useful for improving the economic payback of rooftop solar.
A rooftop solar system’s total panel capacity can be up to one third larger than the size of its inverter and still receive the full amount of STCs, aka the "solar rebate" (which technically isn't a rebate). The subsidy is being reduced on the first of January each year until it ends in 2030, so the earlier a system is installed, the greater the rebate you'll be eligible for.
The maximum system size allowed is determined by the size of the inverter and the total capacity of the solar panels for homes with single phase power. This means that a 5 kilowatt inverter could not have more than 6.65 kilowatts of solar panels.
Upgrading Electricity Meters For Solar Power
An import/export electricity meter will need to be installed when rooftop solar is added to a home. Most reputable installers will handle this themselves and include its cost, along with that of any required upgrading of your switchboard in their quote. However, some installers do not change meters, so be sure to check whether or not this is covered.
Rooftop Solar And Emissions
Solar electricity generated in Wollongong will mostly displace black coal based electricity generation in NSW and some natural gas generation, making rooftop solar in Wollongong very effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.