what is solar energy and how does it work?


Solar energy is energy that's generated from the light and heat which radiates from the sun. This energy is captured and then used to generate electricity that can be used in your home.

Solar power is a form of renewable energy, which means it is collected from renewable resources and replenishes naturally, lowering a household’s greenhouse gas emissions.

With both environmental and financial benefits, switching to solar could be the perfect option for your household.

Did you know Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre than any other continent in the world? In fact, we receive nearly 10,000x more picojoules of solar radiation per year, than we actually consume.

This makes Australia the perfect country for solar energy - and households have caught on!

Solar power systems have become incredibly popular among Australian households, with nearly 2 million rooftop systems already installed across Australia.

If your home already has solar panels, or you’ve recently moved to a home that’s solar-ready, you can put the sun to work and even get paid for the energy your home produces.

  • There are two main types of solar energy technologies; solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV). Solar thermal is where solar radiation is converted into thermal energy (heat).
  • This form of solar energy is typically used in households’ hot water systems. The solar PV system instead converts solar radiation into electricity. This technology utilises solar panels typically installed on rooftops.
  • Households (without battery storage or battery banks) can only consume the energy they produce, in real time. So if you don’t use all the energy your solar panels produce, any excess electricity will be fed back into the grid.
  • Solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, make up a solar panel when they are an integrated group. This device converts light from the sun directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, a physical and chemical phenomenon.

This is where amaysim energy comes in. We offer market-leading feed-in tariffs so that you can get the best price for your excess solar energy and receive a more affordable energy bill.

how does solar energy work?

sun

sunlight is collected by the solar panel system

Your home’s solar panels will create direct current (DC) electricity from the sunshine.

DC electricity

DC electricity is converted into AC electricity

That stands for alternating current electricity. Simply put, it’s the energy source we can use to power our homes.

house has solar energy

your home gets powered up

Solar-generated AC electricity is used throughout your home in the same way as any other power source. Amazing, right?

recycling energy

not using all your energy?

Solar panels can’t store unused power, so what’s left over will be fed back to the electricity grid. Other households can use your excess electricity, and you can get paid for it.

how do solar panels work?

One thing that people might not be aware of is that solar panels rely on light from the sun, not heat. In extremely hot conditions most panels become less efficient.

Light hits the photovoltaic cell, sending electrons flowing through the panel and string, making their way into the solar inverter. The inverter converts DC power from the panels into AC electricity, for your home to use. It will also send excess energy to a battery to store if you have a battery bank or puts the leftover energy into the power grid.

advantages of solar energy

it’s better for the environment

Solar is an awesome source of renewable energy. It reduces your carbon footprint, creates cleaner air and doesn’t waste any water in its production - unlike traditional forms of electricity.

Be kind to the earth, and it’ll be kind back – to you and your wallet.

save money with solar

Despite the upfront costs of installing solar panels, using solar power over time can be a very cost-effective energy solution for your home.

Utilising solar energy in your home will provide you with protection from continually rising energy prices and reduce your electricity bills. Plus, having solar panels installed can potentially increase the overall value of your home.

earn extra cash for unused solar power

Excess power generated from your solar panels can’t always be stored. Instead, it can be fed back to the power grid for other homes to consume.

If this happens, suppliers (like us) will pay feed-in tariffs to compensate you for the power you provide, this can result in significant financial returns.

solar energy facts

Is solar energy renewable?

Solar energy is a renewable, free source of energy which is sustainable and totally infinite, unlike fossil fuels.

It doesn’t emit any pollution or greenhouse gases when producing electricity.

What size solar system do I need?

The solar-powered system required for your home, will be largely based on where you live (how much sunlight you receive) and your current household usage.

Your solar panel installer will be able to help determine the size of the solar system you need to supply your home’s electricity needs.

Even if you only purchase an entry-level package which won’t meet all your electricity needs, it can still reduce your power bills considerably.

Off grid solar system price?

In order for you to not rely on the grid for electricity, you’ll need to install an off grid home solar system. These can be quite pricey as not only do you need a system that’s big enough to serve your home, you need to invest in a battery bank which can store any unused electricity you don’t use during the day for you to access at night.

What happens on cloudy days?

Your home solar power system will continue to produce electricity even when sunlight is restricted, such as during cloudy days, however, production will be less than the days when the sun is out in full force.

What’s the difference between grid-connected & off-grid solar power systems?

A grid-connected system uses an inverter that converts the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into 240V AC electricity, which the household can then consume. When this type of system is producing excess power, the surplus is then pushed back into the power grid. This is where you will receive a rebate on your bill, thanks to our market leading feed-in tariffs.

Off-grid solar panel systems, also known as stand-alone solar systems, provide energy to household where the system is set up. This system is used when grid power is either unavailable or when the grid power in that area is expensive or unreliable. Modern off-grid systems can be monitored and controlled online and are fully automated and easy to maintain.

why amaysim?

Understanding energy can be tricky. We’re here to make it simple for Aussie households to find amazing value and hassle-free solar energy plans. Here's what you can count on amaysim for:

competitive energy rates and tariffs

Solar panels already installed? Make the most of them with our competitive solar rebates and market-leading feed-in tariffs

no confusing discounts

With amaysim, customers don’t have to worry about trying to work out confusing discount periods. We simply let our great-value rates do the talking

we'll do the hard work

Switching energy providers shouldn’t be hard work. Sign up online to amaysim with no paperwork and no disruption to your home’s power.

ready to put the sun to work?

We don’t sell solar panels at amaysim, but we can help you get the most out of them with our market-leading feed-in tariffs.