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General Solar Power FAQs - 7

What happens on cloudy days?
 In a grid connect system, as you are still tied to the mains power supply, any deficit will come from the mains grid.

How reliable will my system be?
 As the Mildura Sunray Solar systems are designed to Australian Standards, the reliability of components and consistency of power supply will be more than adequate for the loads specified.

Carbon dioxide emissions and climate change

What about the energy it takes to produce a solar power system?
 Although solar electricity is pollution-free, PV systems require a certain amount of energy, which must be 'reimbursed' before they can be considered as renewable and clean. This is known as "embodied energy". An assessment from the International Energy Agency concluded in mid 2006 that roof-top solar PV systems recover their energy content (from manufacturing and recycling) within 1.6 to 1.8 years in Australia.
 Once they have reimbursed their initial energy input, roof-top PV systems can avoid the emission of 40 tonnes of CO2, depending on their location and on the local electricity mix available. Roof-top PV systems in Australia during their 30 year lifespan are expected to produce around 17 times the amount of energy needed for manufacture, installation and dismantling.

How much of a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will I achieve?
 Using a comparison to a car, the average vehicle in Australia travels 20 000 km per annum, which is equivalent to 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide discharge annually. A 2kw grid connected system will prevent 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide being generated through coal fired power generation - so it's the equivalent of taking a car off the road each year.

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