FAQs

Have questions about Clipsal Solar?
We’re here to answer them.

  • Clipsal Pulse
    • How do I know if my solar system investment is paying off?
      • Pulse offers a return on investment calculator that tracks your solar generation and electricity rates to calculate your costs and predict your solar system’s return on investment accurately over time.

    • Does Pulse check my solar system to ensure it is running optimally?
      • Pulse runs system health checks to ensure your solar system is running in peak condition and sends automatic alarm notifications to your phone or network when your solar system is underperforming or off-line.

    • Is a Pulse unit compatible with my existing solar system?
      • Pulse can be easily integrated into any existing power system to start saving you more immediately.

    • How does Pulse differ to other inverter apps
      • Whereas most other app providers give estimates on kilowatt-hours (kW) saved, Clipsal Pulse provides very accurate dollar savings estimates. Pulse is constantly monitoring for system health, performs checkups on inverter faults and ensures the system is running as expected. Pulse dealves deep into the insights and offers a level of sub-system granularity not offered by many other apps

    • How does Pulse work?
      • The Pulse unit is an internet connected sensor, connected via Wi-Fi or 4G to monitor your solar production, battery storage and electricity consumption. It measures individual appliances such as air conditioners, pool pumps and hot water heaters in real-time to give you an accurate breakdown of your usage shown in the Pulse App. Through sophisticated data-enabled algorithms and machine-learning models, Pulse analyses the data to deliver personalised data-driven insights into your electricity consumption that helps you use electricity more efficiently to save more on electricity bills.

    • What is Pulse?
      • Pulse comprises of a physical monitoring unit installed into your homes switchboard. It is a monitoring technology that helps you take control of your home’s electricity usage through our Pulse app. The Pulse app monitors your solar production, battery storage and sub-circuit level consumption, showing you when and where you are using the most electricity and what it’s costing you. Pulse uses this data to offer personalised insights to help you save on electricity bills.

  • Company Info
    • Is Clipsal Solar independent?
      • We don’t make solar panels or storage batteries; nor do we take kickbacks from energy retailers to promote certain products or plans. We only develop innovative software and technologies to save you more on your electricity bills. We are your trusted independent advisor and energy partner for life – from solar to future technologies (like electric vehicles), we’re with you every step of the way to guide and inform you.

    • How frequently will Clipsal Solar evaluate my retail electricity plan?
      • Clipsal Solar runs automated retail plan checks on a semi-annual basis to determine if your retail plan is the best one for your electricity needs. We have a massive database of electricity rates and retailers and crunch the numbers to determine your optimal plan.

    • How can Clipsal Solar help me save?
      • Your solar savings are only as good as your solar production. Clipsal’s Pulse tracks your solar system’s energy generation and measures your home’s electricity consumption in real-time. Through our sophisticated data analytics, Pulse offers personalised insights and advice to help you use your solar power more efficiently to boost your electricity savings.

    • Why does Clipsal Solar want to help me save?
      • Electricity bills are too costly and confusing and that’s not fair, so we’re challenging the status quo. We’re here to help you get the most use and electricity bill savings from your solar system by enabling you to make better energy choices for your home

    • Why choose Clipsal Solar?
      • Clipsal Solar is part of a 100-year old Australian company backed by Schneider Electric. We have the legacy and resources to support you over the life of your system. Once we’ve installed your system, we continue to monitor, maintain and support it to make sure it’s always in top condition. And we don’t stop there, we’re always a call away for answers or honest advice. We’re your energy partners for life

    • Who are Clipsal Solar?
      • Clipsal Solar is a technology company that takes the cost and confusion out of electricity through sensors, data-driven algorithms and machine-learning technology. Clipsal Solar’s Pulse App enables you to make better energy choices in your home and save more on electricity bills.

  • Home Energy Storage
    • Can I feed power from my solar storage into the grid and get feed-in tariffs?
      • Once your battery is fully charged the electricity generated by your solar panels will be sold to the main grid. Your electricity retailer may put a limit on how much you can export, so it’s best to confirm with your consultant before installation.

    • How long does a battery charge last?
      • Battery life depends on your electricity consumption. If you operate multiple energy-intensive appliances such as your aircon, pool pump and washing machine, your battery may only last between 2 to 3 hours. However, if you use electricity efficiently, your battery should last approximately 12 to 13 hours. With continuous recharging you could spend multiple days off the grid with a battery.

    • What happens if there is a blackout?
      • All of the batteries that we provide have the ability to form their own grid during a blackout. This is necessary to provide backup power to the critical loads. This is not the case for all batteries in the market so beware when buying batteries that do not provide backup power.

    • How do I select a battery to meet my needs?
      • We analyse your electricity consumption and help you design a critical load plan to select a battery which meets your current and projected energy storage requirements.

    • Can I add solar storage to my existing solar system?
      • The batteries we supply can be integrated into any solar PV system on the market through AC-coupling.

    • Can solar storage be installed outside?
      • Batteries can be installed outside, but it is recommended batteries are installed in a well-shaded area out of direct sunlight to prevent excess heat which can cause long-term damage. Best leave the sun to solar panels.

    • Will solar storage get cheaper?
      • Battery prices are becoming increasingly more affordable as more manufacturers enter the market.

    • What is the typical ROI on batteries?
      • Your return on investment depends on your initial investment and your electricity consumption. However, a battery is not just a financial investment as it also provides you with backup power. We help you select a battery that meets your needs and only recommend a battery if it’s the best solution for you.

    • What batteries does Clipsal Solar provide?
      • We stock storage batteries from manufacturers including Tesla and LG Chem. These batteries and their companies are evaluated by our experts. We only recommend top-tier suppliers that stand behind their products and have unquestioned reputations for quality.

    • Why do I need solar storage?
      • A battery allows you to store excess electricity generated by your solar panels for use during the night and when the power goes out, further reducing your dependency on the grid and saving you more on your electricity bills.

  • Renewable Energy
    • Can I add to my existing system?
      • If you find your energy needs are increasing, Clipsal Solar can help you to determine the solar options to meet your needs. This may include adding additional solar panels or a solar storage battery to your existing system.

        In short yes, however undertaking a solar expansion comes with a number of considerations, varying from state to state. This is where our customer service teams work hard to help design the best solution for your home. Clipsal use only Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved inverters and systems, giving you the peace of mind that your new install or expansion will abide by any state-specific laws.

    • I use most of my electricity after 6pm – should I get solar?
      • Solar panels require sunlight to generate energy, so most households with solar still rely on grid energy at night. If the bulk of your household’s consumption happens at night, it may be wise to install a battery to capture the excess energy your panels generate during the day. Clipsal Solar will work with you to determine whether you require a solar battery and help you to select the right battery for your home. If you do not have a battery, solar is exported to the grid and you are paid at the feed-in-tariff rate. In many cases, this is high enough to justify the investment in solar.

    • What if I have a small, older system with a high Feed-in-Tariff?
      • Customers with older systems that are on high FiTs often consume most of their solar energy and in practice do not get the most out of their solar system. Even if you are exporting power to the grid, your overall consumption in the evening can make it a very good investment to upgrade your solar system. However, there is no single answer and Clipsal Solar will provide you with a site specific analysis to identify options that make the most financial sense for you.

    • Will I still get an electricity bill?
      • While solar can reduce the amount of electricity you consume from the grid (billed via energy retailers), you will still receive an electricity bill from your retailer. How much you will need to pay depends on how much of your electricity is generated by your solar panels versus how much you consume from the grid – you may even receive money from your retailer if you generate excess electricity!

    • Is solar worth the investment?
      • Whether solar is right for your home will depend on your lifestyle and electricity consumption. Our consultants will factor these in when determining the right system for your home and will show you a projected energy yield and payback period bespoke to your home.

    • What can I expect to save with solar power?
      • Each household is different, which means the specific amount of savings comes down to a number of factors including the size of your solar system, your energy consumption and your electricity rate plan. Depending on which state you live in and your Feed in Tariff (FiT), you can expect a payback on your initial investment within 3 to 5 years.

    • Will solar save me money?
      • Australians pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world. As renewable energy adoption gains momentum, solar power systems are quickly becoming more efficient and affordable, with many people seeing a return on their initial investments within 2 to 4 years.

    • How much does solar cost?
      • Australians are fortunate that solar prices are much lower than what they are throughout the rest of the world. Thanks to state and federal incentives and a highly competitive solar market, the median price of a solar system is up to a third of the price compared to the United States and Europe.

  • Solar Inverters
    • If I choose to install more solar panels, will I need to change inverters?
      • If your energy requirements increase because of additional solar panels then an inverter with greater generating capabilities will be needed. However, you can plan for the future and install an inverter that can manage greater electricity generation to meet future needs.

    • Are there differences in quality and price between inverters?
      • Yes, the manufacturer of your inverter is important. All inverters included in our packages are grid-tie inverters which meet the highest manufacturing standards and are certified to Australian standards. We evaluate in-country support, the reliability data and the company’s viability before offering an inverter. An increase in inverter pricings come from the additional performance monitoring features. The benefit of a Clipsal Solar system is Pulse which offers you the real-time data analytics and insights that other inverters may lack.

    • Where should I place my inverter?
      • It is best to keep your inverter in the shade as direct sunlight will reduce its lifespan. If a shaded area isn’t easily accessible, an awning or cover can be mounted to protect your inverter from direct sunlight. Inverters can also be installed in your garage.

    • What type of inverters do Clipsal Solar use?
      • Included in all Clipsal Solar Power System Packages are grid-tie inverters. Clipsal Solar typically installs inverters from the top Australian brands including Fronius, SolarEdge and Sungrow.

    • What is a solar inverter and how does it work?
      • A solar inverter is responsible for converting (or ‘inverting’) direct current (DC) output from a solar panel into alternating current (AC) which power appliances in your home such as your refrigerator. Often regarded as the ‘brains’, the inverter maximises power output based off optimum timings with which power is produced. Responsible for the quality and safety of power coming from your system, the inverter adjusts power generation based on conditions such as sunlight. The electricity not used by your home is then stored in your battery or sold back to the grid. Many inverters display performance information so that you can track how your solar system is performing. Pulse offers more than an inverter in this respect, tracking performance as well as recommending actionable, real-time insights into saving money on your electricity.

  • Solar Panels
    • What’s the difference between P type and N type cells?
      • P type cells have a positive base (hence ‘P’) that attract negatively charged electrons, whereas N type cells do the opposite – base is negative and the electrons travel from the negative bottom to the positive top. P type cells continue to be the most common, however, some high-end panels such as LG Solar utilise N cells for greater efficiency.

    • How long will my solar panels last?
      • Your solar panels will come with a product warranty – guaranteeing the product will last – and an output warranty – guaranteeing its performance. For basic solar panels, this is usually 10 to 15 years, while for high quality panels the warranty tops out at 25 years. Each panel’s product and output warranty aren’t always the same so it is best to check with your consultant when making your choice.

    • How does temperature affect my solar panels?
      • Most solar panels are rated up to 85 degrees Celsius. Power output does vary with temperature and is highest at low temperatures. Panels generate electricity down to -40 degrees Celsius.

    • Can snowfall or extreme cold freeze panels or reduce efficiency?
      • Snow tends to melt or slide off solar panels before it causes any hindrance in performance. Cold weather does not inhibit electricity production as the photovoltaic cells absorb light not warmth. In fact, cold weather can actually be beneficial. A colder climate actually enables solar panels to work more efficiently.

    • What about hail damage?
      • At a minimm stadnard, panels are designed to the international standards code (IEC61215) to withstand 25mm diameter hailstones weighing 7.53 grams traveling at a velocity of 23 m/s (82.8 kilometres per hour). Particularly good quality modules in this regard will withstand larger hail traveling at a faster speed just like your car or roof of your house, Although highly unlikely, it is possible for hail damage to occur. Check with your insurance provider if your solar system is covered in your policy.

    • Are solar panels covered by home insurance?
      • Yes, but you must update your home and contents insurance policy to include solar panels.

    • How do I know if my solar panels are working?
      • While it’s easy enough to check if your solar power system is on and functioning, this does not necessarily indicate that it is working at optimum efficiency. Pulse runs system health checks to ensure your system is working at maximum efficiency and sends automatic alarm notifications when your system is underperforming.

    • What are solar panels made from?
      • Most solar panels on the market are made from a type of silicon, the most common being crystalline silicon.

    • What are solar panels and how do they work?
      • Solar panels absorb sunlight with photovoltaic (PV) cells, generating direct current (DC) and then convert it to usable alternating current (AC) through an inverter. AC energy then flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly.

  • Warranty
    • Clipsal Solar’s Workmanship Warranty
      • A 5 year workmanship warranty is offered across our insalls and covers the quality of the work overall. Details of all warranties will be contained within your quote and are reviewed by our sales consultants with you so you know exactly what is covered.

    • What is the warranty on my solar system from Clipsal Solar?
      • Clipsal Solar selects suppliers of panels and inverters based on their reputation for quality. In the event that there is an issue, the warranty for panels is typically between 12 and 25 years depending on the brand you choose. Inverters have a minimum of 10 years warranty with options avaliable for longer warranty periods.

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