About Renewable Energy
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable Energy is created by natural resources which do not diminish when used to create electricity. The most common resources include wind, water and solar energy. These renewable sources are unlimited and do not produce greenhouse gases during the generation process. A clean alternative to fossil fuels currently being used at major utility-scale power stations across Australia. New developments in technologies has enabled small scale installations to be commercially viable when incorporated into residential and commercial premises.
The most common renewable energy generation technology used in the small to medium scale market is the Solar Photo-Voltaic Panel which creates electricity from sunlight. Solar Panels create DC electricity which is turned into AC electricity by an Inverter to make it suitable for use for all common power requirements.
Renewable vs. Non-renewable Sources
Energy or fuel sources are considered to be non-renewable when their consumption exceeds the rate at which the source is replenished. Fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are the perfect example of this. They are produced from carbon based organic materials that take millions of years to form. The rate at which these fuel sources are being mined to produce electricity far exceeds their rate of replenishment. In additional to this they produce greenhouse gases when used to create electricity, further polluting the environment. For these reasons, fossil fuel sources are not considered sustainable for the environment.
Renewable energy sources are not carbon based materials, they do not produce harmful greenhouse gases in the generation process and they are constantly replenished by nature.
Most renewable systems are unable to provide energy at certain times because of insufficient sunlight, wind or water flow. To fill the gaps, electricity can be supplied from storage batteries and/or generators in Stand-Alone Power Systems or from the electricity grid in grid connected systems.
Grid Connected Systems
Grid connected systems interact with the electricity supply grid where there is a reliable electricity network. The main components of both solar and wind systems are the renewable energy source (i.e. solar and/or wind) and a grid interactive inverter.
The inverter converts the DC voltage generated by the renewable system to the normal 240V AC household supply. It also monitors the operation of the system to control how much electricity is drawn from or fed to the grid.
If the household uses more energy than the renewable sources can supply, the shortfall is supplied by the grid, so power is always available.
Stand-Alone Power Systems
Stand-Alone Power Systems or off-grid systems are used when the cost of connection to the electricity network is expensive or not available. Some people install them to be independent from the mains supply or to have reliable power in areas where blackouts are common. These systems are more complex and expensive than grid connected systems because they need to be able to meet the total energy requirements of the household. The main components of a Stand-Alone System are:
There are countless educational websites available for information regarding Renewable Energy technologies, products and rebates. OTG Energy recommend sourcing information direct from Government controlled websites or the Clean Energy Council. Below is a quick summary of how Solar Systems can be applied to your home or business and information on the current rebates available to make your new installation more affordable.
Sunlight to Electricity: How It Works
Photovoltaics (PV) is the term used to describe the conversion of solar radiation (‘photo’) into electricity (‘voltaics’). Solar cells are small PV units able to generate electricity when sunlight hits them. These solar cells are used collectively to form the PV modules comprising a PV system.
Solar modules generate DC electricity which is not safe or compatible for use in residential and commercial electrical wiring networks. An inverter is installed in the PV system to convert the DC electricity to AC electricity at the correct voltage and current for safe integration with your home/business electrical circuits. Inverters can also direct excess electricity produced to on-site battery storage or fed back in to the electricity supply network.
Government subsidies are currently available for compliant solar PV installations. These financial incentives are offered in the form of tradable certificates, which act as an electronic form of currency. Certificates, which are comprised of large-scale generation certificates, and small-scale technology certificates, are calculated on the amount of renewable energy which is generated or displaced from a system or power station. For example, one certificate can be created for each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated.
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Address 40 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060
Phone (02) 84159902