Most Australians are connected to the National Electricity Grid, a network of electric cables and transformers that links power generating stations to your home.
A Grid-Connect Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System acts as a mini power station on your roof, feeds power to your home, and surplus power back to the grid.
Solar systems generally consist of solar panels, an inverter and a metering system.
Most solar power systems use PV modules (panels) installed on a rooftop to create and collect energy from sunlight. An inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into Alternating Current (AC), the form of electricity conventionally used in homes. The system is connected through a meter to the grid. Solar systems allow you to use your solar power when it is generating electricity during the day and put any excess back into the grid. As soon as you need more electricity than your system can generate, your electricity will automatically be supplied from the grid. At night, your house draws energy from the grid.
Solar cells are produced from thin wafers of silicon. When light falls on the cells an electric current is produced. A collection of solar cells connected together forms a module.
Ideally the modules should be tilted towards the sun (North-facing) at around 20 – 30 degrees to maximise the solar collection.
You will need an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) power collected by the solar panels into power for your home, or power to send back to the electricity grid. It can be placed inside or outside your home and can give you information about the amount of electricity being produced by your system. Larger systems may require more than one inverter.
You still need to be connected to the electricity grid to ensure that you have electricity at nighttime when no solar power energy is being collected. A meter will also enable you to sell back excess electricity. Most premises have had a digital smart meter installed as part of the Government roll-out. The smart meter will be configured post-installation to enable excess electricity to be sold back to the grid.
For safety reasons, when your electricity supply from the grid is interrupted, your solar PV system must automatically and immediately turn off.
To download the Consumer Guide to Buying Household Solar Panels, go to the Clean Energy Council’s website.
Read more about the benefits of solar power and what size system you need. If you have further questions about how solar power works, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Matt was a nice young man, and should be very lucky to have him as part of the team. He also went out of his way to explain things
We highly recommend the City To Surf Solar panel group. From the initial phone call to the installation we were so impressed by the advice we got, to the worker's polite manner and efficient working practice. Joe and I would not hesitate to recommend your company.
Levi was excellent and went beyond to ensure everything kept with the aesthetics of the home. In general all the boys that were on site worked very efficient and professionally
Thank you to Kurt and the team from City to Surf Solar+ for doing such a wonderful job installing my solar power system. The level of customer service I received was outstanding – from my initial enquiry, right through to the assistance provided to me with the completion and submission of all the paperwork to follow, particularly in dealing with my electricity retailer and making claims through energy efficiency schemes. The team knew their products and were able to provide me with a unique solution suitable for my home.
I would also like to commend Kurt and the team on the level of after-care service provided. Even after the installation was completed, if I ever had any problems or needed someone to help me understand the system, they were always more than happy to take the time to assist me with any enquiries.
I also signed up to their regular maintenance and clean service, which means that my system will continue to perform at its best for years to come.
I am now enjoying the benefits of reduced electricity bills, which previously had been quite high, whilst knowing that I am doing my part in contributing to a more sustainable future!
I am very satisfied with the exceptional quality of the installation along with the professional workmanship provided by the installers and would have no hesitation in recommending City to Surf Solar+ to anyone looking to install a high quality solar power system.
– Marianna from Bell Park
Marianna – 4.08kW
Dear City to Surf Solar, it has now been a few months since the install and have had a chance to see the outcome of the install. The whole process and the final outcome has been nothing short of fantastic. From the detailed information provided to enable us to select a system, to the install, the process was painless and extremely professional. I had another system installed at our house in Melbourne by a different company, and I would definitely use City to Surf Solar again, and recommend you to my friends and family. The install looks great and the system has performed exactly as planned, and better than I had expected.
I look forward to installing some batteries from you guys to complement our system when the Enphase batteries are released. Great job and thanks again.
– Tim from Torquay
Torquay – 5.75kW
I had a City to Surf Solar+ 3KW system installed in late January 2013. After initially checking the PV market and securing a number of quotes I settled on City to Surf for a number of reasons including reputation, value for money and being locally owned. I have to say that I have been impressed with all aspects of the purchase and installation and in particular the professional and friendly approach by the sales, technical and installation personnel.
The company use high quality materials and installers and the work was carried out efficiently and inspected shortly after with no problems. The staff provided all the paperwork to meet the power retailer’s feed-in requirements which was a great help. The system has been running as expected for the past month and I would not hesitate to recommend the company to my friends.
– Denis from Lara
Lara – 3kW
I want to commend City to Surf Solar for their highly professional installation of my solar power system. They were prompt, punctual, polite and friendly. Their advice demonstrated a depth of knowledge of the systems and appreciation of conditions that was not matched by the other three companies from which I received quotations. Their costs were comparable. The quality of their work was excellent, and the finished product is unobtrusive and working well.
Their after-care included appreciated reminders about necessary changes to insurance, and ongoing maintenance.
I cannot fault them and am happy to commend their business to others
– Lynne Clarke
Highton – 1.92kW
Both Ivor and myself would like to thank you for a great job the men did putting our Solar Panels and the Safety Switch and Earth Stake for Ivor. He is very much confident about that problem now. Your staff were very happy and friendly doing the job and you both have been so helpful to us we can not thank you enough. I am telling a lot of my friends about the wonderful service we were given.
– Betty & Ivor
Grovedale 1.68kWGrovedale – 1.68kW
Both Susan and I are very happy with the service provided by City to Surf Solar. All the people we have dealt with in the company have been courteous and helpful and we would recommend City to Surf Solar to anyone looking to have a solar system installed.
– Murray from East Geelong
East Geelong – 1.5kW
After having researched the Solar Power Industry we chose City to Surf Solar to provide advice, design and the installation of a solar power system at our home. Christian and Emma are great to deal with and the main reasons we chose them to install our solar power include:
On their completion of the installation we found the following:
Wallington – 8kW
Thank you to all involved in the installation of our solar system. From the initial phone call to completion it has all happened so quickly and smoothly. We are very happy to have your sign on our front fence and we certainly made a great decision choosing your company.
My new obsession is watching the inverter readout as the sunlight changes. We had heard horror stories from people of delays and poor workmanship when dealing with other companies.
Thank you all for making this such a pleasant experience. My only question now is “Why didn’t I do this months ago?”
– Jan Dorelat
Geelong West – 1.5kW
My wife and I had always entertained the idea of installing a solar system into our new home we had recently built, but it can be quite a daunting task trying to work out what size, how many panels, what type of inverter etc… There were a number of solar providers in Geelong that We found through various newspaper adds and websites. After trawling through most of the various online web pages, we found the information contained on the City to Surf Solar website to be the most valuable. Of particular benefit was their live portal which showed the daily outputs from an active 1.5kW solar system City to Surf Solar have installed at their offices. The website also had some very good information about solar power, how it works, and how it can be harnessed and used in your very own home. It also allows you to look at the products provided and shows some of the existing work they have completed through the online photo gallery. So we contacted them for some further advice.
Immediately we were invited to visit their showroom, which was great as you are able to see (and touch) the panels and inverter options available. We sat down with Mark, and he went through the various benefits of solar as well as system sizes, how many panels and inverter options. Mark also provided us with some indicative pricing on some different sized systems. From here they organised a site visit to our house to check the roof size and orientation best suited to a solar system. Piers arrived on time as arranged, and spent some time accessing our roof and power meter, to ensure it would be suitable. We then decided on a 2kW system which was fully installed a week later. Emma also helped us with all the relevant paperwork required to certify the system and assisted in having it connected to our electricity provider for the feed in tariffs.
We now use the solar power being generated from our system to power our household electrical appliances each day, with any additional power being fed back into the grid. We were extremely impressed with City to Surf’s professional manner and willingness to answer any and all of our questions from start to finish. They can even provide a maintenance schedule to come out and check and clean the panels for you.
We would highly recommend City to Surf Solar to any householder or business looking at going solar.
Leopold – 2kW
I have to say Mark, that everyone I have been in touch with (including your kind self) have been very nice. I have no hesitation in recommending your company to others. Piers, the guys who installed the panels and John the inspector. They have all done your company proud.
– Pauline Rankin
Lara – 2kW
Before deciding on a supplier for solar power we asked a number of people who had recently had solar power installations about their experience. Those who had dealt with City to Surf had been unreservedly positive about their experience.
This was our experience also. From the first phone contact, we had friendly and informative service. Our panels were installed quickly and efficiently, despite this happening at a most busy time when the tariffs were changing. We were given clear information about the choices available and are very happy with the result. Due to problems with our roof, Christian used a new fixing system for the panels. The clips used mean that there is no need to bore holes in the roof to connect the panels.
After four months our Sunny Boy inverter shows that we have generated over 1400kWh to the grid. The rate of generation grows daily as we move from winter to spring and summer. As we live in a two storey building, and choose not to climb to the roof, we have opted for a service contract. We have now had our first maintenance visit. This went without a hitch.
It’s good to know that we are helping the environment by generating clean energy, reducing our own overall energy bills and supporting a local company to continue to give excellent service.
– Helen Lyth
Rippleside – 3kW
We have recently had City to Surf install a 5 kW solar electricity system on our house – in order to offset our huge electricity bills. We chose City to Surf because they were local, used top quality components, and were competitively priced. But most of all we chose them because of the way we were treated by Emma and Christian who were so helpful and friendly. City to Surf continued to impress us by:
Herne Hill – 5kW
After researching the advantages of installing a home-based photovoltaic (solar power) system, I was faced with the challenge of finding a suitable designer and installer. Having been in the telecommunications industry for 19 years with experience in power systems, I wanted a system that provided good quality, price and service.
I explored the many providers’ solar power systems and received a number of quotations. It soon became apparent that a number of the installers were installing systems that did not meet my requirements. I then discovered City to Surf Solar and made contact.
Christian visited my home to conduct a site assessment, and within weeks I had a 1.5kW expandable system installed. Christian’s wife Emma followed-up with the paperwork making the whole process simpler. I was very impressed with their service and two of my friends have since had solar power systems installed by City to Surf Solar.
I am a very happy customer and will continue to recommend this local business to others. Keep up the great work!
– Steve Gibbs
Ocean Grove – 1.5kW
After getting 3 quotes for solar power I would just like to say how very pleased we are with the installation of our 4.68kW (24 panel) solar system installed by City to Surf Solar. They were prompt, very professional, helped us choose the right size system for our needs, turned up on time – my pet hate is tradesmen that don’t turn up – cleaned up after themselves and handled all the paperwork.
I was astounded when we generated 27.5kWh of power on our first bright sunny day! I am now looking forward to having little or no power bills averaged over the year.
Christian has a great knowledge of the solar systems and is happy to take the time to explain the differences in the inverters and solar panels that other companies do not.
I have already recommended City to Surf Solar to a good friend of mine and he has also booked an installation which I am sure he will be pleased with. It was great to use a local Geelong company and I wish you every success for the future. Once again many thanks for your professional service and great job.
– Dawn and Huw Arlow
St Albans Park – 4.68kW
We built a new house in Ocean Grove in 2009 and included the wiring for Solar Electricity. The search for a suitable system proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Having received more than nine quotes from both large and small providers it was clear that there is considerable variation in product, service and price.
City to Surf Solar were prompt with their response, helpful with their advice and competitive with their price.
The high output solar panels supplied for our 3.4kW system meant that we required fewer panels than most other quotes. This combined with an unobtrusive mounting system made for minimal visual impact. The installation was completed in one day and without incident or extra costs.
The inverter supplied has enabled us to monitor our electricity production on a daily, monthly and yearly basis so that we can compare our production with the credit we receive from our electricity supplier.
An added bonus has been the “after sales service” we have received from City to Surf Solar. Both Emma and Christian know their business and product and are happy to answer any queries relating to this technology.’
– Stewart Sutherland
Ocean Grove – 3.4 kW
‘City to Surf Solar carried out the installation of solar panels, inverter and monitoring devices at our school, Clifton Springs Primary School. Christian and Emma were fantastic to deal with. Patient in dealing with delays at our end, professional and efficient with the works on site, and very helpful with explanations and after sales service. The monitoring program is a fantastic educational tool that can be used across the curriculum. I have no hesitation in recommending City to Surf Solar for solar installations in schools or homes.’
– Rob Riley
Environment Coordinator at Clifton Springs P.S.
Clifton Springs Primary School – 4.2 kW
City to Surf Solar were recommended to us after we had received a number of quotes from solar electricity installers. We were impressed by Christian’s thoroughness and attention to detail, simple explanations of the process, and premium equipment used. The quote was competitive, and the installation and ongoing assistance with processes and options available to us has been most appreciated. We would highly recommend City to Surf Solar for their all-round delivery of a high quality product.
– Bill and Noreen Nicholson
Highton – 1.75 kW