FAQ

Should I put a battery onto my Solar PV System ?

To determine the correct answer to this question we need to ask some questions !
Q: How much of your electricity consumption does
your existing solar system cover?

A: Depending on when the system installed and
whether or not you have/had a feed-in tariff,
your system may only generate enough power to
meet a small portion of your electricity needs – or
it may generate more than you actually need. This
will dictate the best approach for sizing your
battery storage. If you need advise give us a call
about how to retrofit a system to optimise value.

Q: What energy storage system size would best suit
your needs and budget? Do you want to go off-grid
at all costs (possibly to spite your utility), or do you
view energy storage as an investment to
complement your solar PV?

A: Your answers to these questions will help you
determine the best system size.

Q: Will the system provide you with back-up power?

A: This is not a given with battery storage systems.
Only certain battery storage systems will allow you
to access your battery power when the grid is
down – make sure you ask.

Q: Should you install batteries now, or just get a
battery-ready inverter?

A: If your system is over 5 years old and due for an
inverter replacement, this might be a good time for
you to consider installing energy storage – or
perhaps just a battery-ready, hybrid inverter. Even
if you don’t install batteries right away, a hybrid
inverter will ensure that batteries can easily be
installed at a later date.

Need more advice? Give us a call on 9379 9000.

How Many Windows and Doors do I need to leave open for my Evaporative Air-conditioner to work efficiently ?

For an evaporative air conditioner to work effectively, some windows or outside doors must be open, or some other form of ventilation provided. This is to allow the hot air to escape outside of the building. The best approach is to open the windows or outside doors that are the furthest away from the air conditioning vents or ducts. In the rooms with air conditioning vents, try to have an exhaust area of open window (or door) that is about twice the size of the vent opening. Note: when it’s humid and the air is very moist, evaporation levels are lower. This means that the cooling effect is reduced. In some situations, it may help to switch the air conditioner to “ventilation” mode and run the fan on a high speed. If you have tried all of the above and still feel your air conditioner is not working effectively, your air conditioner may need to be serviced. Contact Austec Electrical for a service.

My safety switch keeps tripping. What do I do?

A safety switch or RCD trips because there is an electrical fault on the power circuit. It is designed to prevent people from getting an electric shock. Before you call an electrician to fix your power, follow these simple steps to see if there is a faulty electrical appliance causing the power outage.

  1. Turn off all circuit breakers and unplug all fuses in the switchboard.
  2. Turn the main power switch in the switchboard on.
  3. Turn on the safety switch that kept tripping.
  4. One by one turn on each of the circuit breakers and plug in the fuses.
  5. If the safety switch trips when you are turning each of the circuit breakers on, leave the circuit breaker that caused the safety switch to trip.
  6. Turn on the remaining circuit breakers and plug in the remaining fuses.
  7. Go through your home and see what electrical appliances or lights are off.
  8. Unplug all the appliances that have no power.
  9. Turn off the safety switch and plug in one unplugged device.
  10. Turn the safety switch back on. If the safety switch didn’t trip, that device isn’t the cause of the fault.
  11. Turn off the safety switch and plug in the next device and then turn the safety switch on
  12. Repeat steps 9 to 11 until each device is plugged back in.
  13. If the safety switch trips the instant that you turn it back on, the last device that you plugged in is faulty and needs an electrician to test and repair it.
  14. Turn off the safety switch and unplug the last device that was plugged in.
  15. Turn back on the safety switch
  16. Call Austec Electrical for help on repairing your electrical device.

Do I have to service my air conditioner?

Both Refrigerated and Evaporative air conditioners need regular servicing. Having an air conditioner serviced prevents costly repairs in the future and makes sure that the efficiency is kept as high as possible. By checking that the system is performing to specification and ensuring that all parts are in good condition.

  • What is done during an Evaporative Service
    • Clean and sterilise cooling pads
    • Empty, clean, and sterilise sump tank and water pump
    • Check and test all electrics
  • What is done during a Refrigerated Air Conditioner Service
    • Clean all filters and condensers
    • Check refrigerant pressures and levels
    • Check Compressor operation
    • Test all electrics and controllers
    • Check airflow and room air flow (if applicable)

Servicing your air conditioner can prevent $1000’s of preventable damage and should be done at least once a year.

Should I upgrade to LED lights?

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are over 80% more efficient than a standard electric incandescent bulb. It is true that LED lights are more expensive to buy, they have a live that is 5-10 times longer than a standard bulb.

Reasons you should upgrade:

  • Much longer life (5-10 time more)
  • Approximately 80% more efficient
  • Produce 95% less heat, thus saving also on cooling cost during Summer
  • Available in a vast range of light colours

My water feels tingly. Is that a problem?

Possibly. One of the major causes of water feeling tingly is that the electrical earthing in your building is not working properly. If there is an electrical earthing fault, you are at risk of serious electrical injury, such as electrical shock or electrical burns.

Electrical earthing prevents electrical shocks by giving the electrical current a place to go that is not your body. It is a very important safety feature in electrical safety. Ways that the electrical earthing system can be damaged is by:

  • Line trimmers hitting the yellow and green cable on your tap
  • Broken electrical connections
  • Electrical work done by someone who isn’t qualified
  • Overloaded switchboard
  • Very old installations

If you have any questions, call Austec and we will have an electrician check and certify your electrical safety system.

Do I have to service my solar system?

Yes. A solar system that is not serviced can lose over 50% of its efficiency compared to when it was new. Like anything that is left outdoors, the solar panels can get a thick build-up of grime and dirt and this dirt prevents light and solar energy from getting to the solar cell.

  1. Rain alone doesn’t clean a car; you need to scrub it. The same applies to solar panels. If the dirt is not cleaned, your solar return can be greatly diminished and your payback period can double.
  2. A solar service also checks the inverter for efficiency and also ensures the tele electrics of the solar system are safe for you and your family.

Is it worthwhile to install a solar system?

Yes. A solar system is the only appliance in your house than pays for itself. After approximately 4 years, the system will make back what it cost and the next 20 years are profit. The large outlay for a solar system can make it seem prohibitively expensive, but if you are wanting to plan for the long term and insulate yourself against further power price rises, a solar system is one of the best ways to plan for your long term bill savings.