Frequently Asked Questions.

Solar Installations.

Solar system sizing is arguably the most important aspect of the design process. At DK Electrical Co, we take the time to tailor a system to suit each customers unique situation, ensuring the best financial outcome.

For a more detailed idea of what goes into this process, see our ‘system sizing blog post ‘here’

The federal government incentives (or ‘rebates’) for solar are still very much alive and kicking. For a detailed explanation on how it all works, see our blog post ‘here’

Every solar project has the potential to return differing savings, depending on a range of factors. The size of the solar system being installed, the pitch, angle and efficiency of the panels, the customers electricity consumption habits and the electricity rates available from your retailer.

The good news is, we take all of this into account right from the quoting and design stage. Our solar design software is powerful, so we can give our customers accurate estimates on what your system is expected to return.

Absolutely! We partner with Parker Lane Co, who are highly reputable and competitive Green Loan specialists. If you want to benefit from solar for your home, but don’t want to part with your hard earned money straight away, green loans offer a fantastic solution.

For more information on solar green loans, see our blog post here

There’s a range of different warranties involved in a solar power system. Depending on the manufacturer, you’d expect the following:

  • The solar inverter: 5-10 years
  • Solar Panels: 10-25 years
  • Solar Racking: 5-25 years
  • DK Electrical Co workmanship warranty: 12 Years

 

It’s important to ensure your new solar panels are listed on your home insurance. No manufacturer’s warranty will cover damage from excessive force (ie. hail damage), and solar isn’t often listed on home insurance policies as standard. Just something to keep in mind

The solar export limitation in South East Queensland is set up by the local supply authority to ensure that the grid isn’t overloaded with excess solar energy. It allows up to 5kW worth of solar energy to be exported or ‘sold’ back to the grid at any one time.

It’s a major reason why system sizing at the design stage is so important! For more information on the solar export limitation, see our blog post ‘here’.

Consumption monitoring is an important add on to your system if you’re looking to get the most out of your solar.

Any solar inverter can be fit or retrofit with a ‘smart energy meter’ which monitors your electricity consumption in live time, as well as your solar production. It’s linked to an app on your phone, and allows the end user to monitor their consumption habits.

For more information on consumption monitoring, see our blog post ‘here’.

There are two main ways of turning (or inverting) the power produced by your solar panels into usable AC electricity.

The kind you use in the home. A string inverter is a centralised hub inversion system, and micro inverters are a small singular inverter that’s fit to each individual panel.

There are pro’s and con’s to each system, and we’ll recommended the system that’s best suited to your needs at the quote and design stage. For more information, see our blog post ‘here’

EV Charging.

An EV Charger is basically just like an extension lead you’d find in your home, although able to handle a lot more power! It’s a way of sending AC power from the electricity grid (or your solar) to your vehicles battery to charge it.

All new EV’s come with a standard 10A charger – a ‘type 1’, although they are extremely slow, adding around 10km’s of charge per hour. A ‘type 2’ EV Charger can send 7kW-22kW worth of electricity to your vehicle, adding 40-130km’s of charge in one hour. Much better!

There’s a range of different brands and models offering basic charging, to solar smart charging, to whole of house load management.

The cost of running an electric vehicle is significantly cheaper than its petrol or diesel counterpart. Based on recent prices of electricity vs petrol, you’d expect the same trip to be 5-6 times more expensive in a petrol vehicle, and that’s without a solar power system to help subsidise the rates!

See our blog post ‘here’ for a more detailed break down

You definitely do not need solar to have an EV charger installed at your place. Although solar is a great way of further benefit from the cheaper running costs of an electric vehicle, solar isn’t always practical depending on things like shading issues, available roof space or even just a customers budget.

The rate of charge depends on a few different factors. A standard single phase EV charger outputs approximately 7kW of power, whereas it’s 3 phase counter-part can output up to 22kW. The charge rate may also be slightly slower depending the rate of each individual cars built in inverter capabilities.

As a general rule of thumb, a single phase EV charger will add approximately 40km of charge in 1 hour and a three phase EV charger approximately 130km worth of charge in 1 hour.

90% of houses these days have the capacity to accommodate a high powered electric vehicle charger. In some cases though, a property’s mains cabling (especially houses built before 1980) are too small to handle the load of an EV Charger.

Decades ago, 6mm mains were all that was required to power a house as the loads were much smaller back then (a few lights and power points), and a 32A supply for the whole house is all that was required. A standard single-phase EV Charger draws 32A by itself!

Having a quality installation company is so important in this scenario, in order to carry out an inspection of your homes supply, and either upgrade the mains to suit the additional load, or limit the output of the charger to suit.

Failure to do so can result in nuisance tripping, or worst case fire. The good news is, we really know our stuff! Contact us today for more information

General Electrical.

A safety switch is the best innovation the electrical industry has seen in terms of electrical safety.

It’s a device installed in your switchboard that’s able to detect an imbalance between the active and neutral conductors, which automatically switches itself off when a fault to earth is present.

This means if a member of your family comes into contact with a live electrical component, they’re safe. The circuit will switch itself off in under a third of a second.

Since safety switches were brought into commission in the late 1990’s, new legislation has been released, requiring all circuits in a home to be protected by a safety switch.

If you’re unsure whether your home is protected, it’s important you call your qualified electrician to carry out a safety inspection.

It’s important to test your safety switches every three months to ensure they’re still operating correctly.

The good news is you can do this yourself by operating the integral test button on the front of the safety switch. If it trips when testing, the switch is doing its job.

A more thorough safety audit will provide complete piece of mind though, as the safety switch will fail to operate if the circuit’s earth wire isn’t present or is faulty in the field.

An electrical safety audit is recommended once every 2 years for piece of mind.

Over the years, safer and more efficient devices have come into play in the electrical industry.

What was best practice many years ago might be considered unsafe by today’s standards. New electrical legislation mirrors this idea, with minimum safety standards set out by the electrical safety office in AS3000.

It’s a good idea to have a safety inspection carried out by a qualified electrician to ensure your switchboard meets todays legislation/minimum safety standards.

It’s strongly recommended that old wiring is replaced.

Older electrical cables were sometimes made of a sheath that has proven to break down over time, which can cause a short circuit.

Short circuited cabling is one of the leading cause of house fires in Australia, so it’s a serious risk. Contact us today if you’re concerned about your old wiring.

All circumstances are different, although this general rule of thumb can give a good guide to what size air conditioner you’d need –

  • A room 10-20m2 = 2.6kW,
  • A room 20-30m2 = 3.5kW,
  • A room 30-45m2 = 5-6kW,
  • A room 45m2 – 65m2 = 7-8kW.

There’s a lot of other varying factors to take into account too.

Is the ceiling height extra tall? Does the room run hot anyway due to direct sunlight or insulated walls? A tin shed for instance would be a lot hotter naturally than a brick and tile home.

If you’re unsure, we always recommend going a size above what you think you’ll need.

Tariffs are a way of helping Energex balance bigger electrical loads (such as hot water systems) to come on at times when there’s less demand on the electrical grid. They incentivise home owners with a cheaper rate of electricity to use these tariffs, helping you out at bill time.

The two main tariffs available are tariff 31 and tariff 33. Tariff 31 is available for at least 8 hours per day, whereas tariff 33 is available for at least 18 hours per day.

There’s a number of reasons why your light bulbs might be blowing frequently.

Cheaper bulbs have a tendency to do this, loose connections might be the reason, or higher than normal voltages.

LED bulbs tend to outlast the older incandescent bulbs as they’re not as subject to vibration. If you’ve installed good quality LED bulbs and you believe there still may be an issue.

Be sure to call DK Electrical Co today

LED lighting is one of the best innovations in the electrical industry over the past 20 years.

On average, LED’s are 5-6 times more efficient than their incandescent counterparts, offering up to $350 in saved electricity per year for the average household

A DC ceiling fan has a built-in inverter which converter the AC electricity to a lower voltage DC power source, and the advantages are awesome.

DC ceiling fans are far more efficient, using up to 70% less electricity. They’re significantly quieter than an AC fan, and tend to have more available speeds, as well as the reverse function which can be controlled by the remote. They’re also quicker to start and stop.

Contact DK Electrical Co today to discuss your options

DIY electrical projects are an accident waiting to happen. There’s a lot more involved from a safety aspect than most people think.

Although a quick YouTube tutorial might teach you the basics, what isn’t explained or understood is the multitude of safety check which must be carried out to ensure the new circuit is earthed correctly, the polarity is checked, the insulation is tested for short circuit faults, the safety switch operates within a safe timeframe, the fault loop impedance is at a safe level and so on.

Any one of these tests fails and the consequences with electricity are dire. Always use a licensed electrician. Electricity shouldn’t be played with or treated as a hobby.

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