Solar Power

Achieving Energy Independence

To be ‘energy independent’ refers to the situation whereby a home is no longer reliant on an external power source, such as a power company, for its electricity. An energy independent home produces, stores and consumes its own energy, creating a variety of benefits for home owners as well as the wider community.

In this article we take a look at energy independence for homes in Australia; what it is, where it has come from, and how to approach and achieve it.

The advantages of energy independence

Energy Independence Essentials

To become completely ‘energy independent’, a home requires an independent supply of power (such as solar power) and a means to store collected electricity (a battery).

Energy Independence Vs Electrification

Energy Independence and Electrification are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different terms. Electrification refers to the process of using electrical appliances, machines and transportation that are powered by clean, renewable energy.

Energy independence, meanwhile, means not having to rely on anyone for energy, because you can collect and store your own. Energy independence is a state, whereas electrification is a process. These terms are often used together, because Energy Independence and Electrification overlap in many ways.

Energy Independence Technology

The technology used to create energy independence is evolving at a rapid pace, making it increasingly more accessible, more efficient and safer for everyday homeowners. This technology includes solar cells and inverters, energy management hardware and software, battery storage, EVs and EV charging capability. The advances of this technology are driven by parallel technology research and development, particularly in electric vehicle design.

Noosa Electric Co. Solar Design

Benefits of Energy Independence

Energy independence has benefits for the home as well as the wider community:

Benefits for the Home

  • No longer reliant on fossil-fuelled power
  • Free from energy price swings
  • Detailed awareness of carbon footprint
  • Cleaner internal air (no gas / combustion)
Enphase: Solar Efficiency & Performance

Benefits for the Community

The ability of Australia to achieve its goals of net zero emissions requires an ever-increasing uptake of Electrification and Energy Independence in coming years. Without having to rely on fossil-fuelled power for energy needs, energy-independent homes (and businesses) will help contribute to less emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.

Learn More About Energy Independence

If you’re interested in learning more about energy independence, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

Energy Management Solutions

To make sure your home or business is Energy Efficient, it is essential to have the capability of monitoring your energy usage. Whereas in the not-too-distant past we needed to rely on quarterly reports from energy providers, there is now a wide range of technology available to help consumers understand how they are using energy and how that usage can be optimised. This can be done in real time, enabling adjustments through the day to optimise outcomes.

How to Monitor Energy at Home

Energy usage can be monitored by the installation of monitoring technology between your incoming power source and your appliances. This is especially important for solar installations, since generating your own energy only makes sense if you are optimising the usage of the energy you are collecting.

*Note – all of our solar solutions come with an energy monitoring app so you can track and manage your energy. Learn more about our solar solutions here.

To give you an idea, here are some screenshots that come from our Enphase solar installation at Noosa Electric Co HQ at Noosaville:

Diagram #1

Overcast Day Reading

Diagram #1 Notes: This was an overcast day. This day began with the necessity to draw power from the grid [a] before the solar collection picked up [b]. Working with solar power means an increased awareness of weather and solar collection to optimise your power configuration in real-time. Towards the end of the day, solar collection reduced again and a combination of grid and solar power was utilised.

Diagram #2

Sunny & Overcast Day Reading

Diagram #2 Notes: This day also began with overcast weather. However, grid power was rapidly overtaken by solar power. The uneven shape of this graph indicates solar power was coming and going through the day, due to overcast conditions. However, sufficient solar power was collected through most of the day to power our office and export some back to the grid as well. 

Diagram #3

Rainy then Sunny Day Reading

Diagram #3 Notes: This day began with rain. After the weather cleared, the rest of the day is in a perfect “football” shape, indicating great solar collection and export to the grid. You can see where our EV was charged later in the day, an event totally covered by solar power. It’s important to ensure this type of major event is covered by solar power.

Diagram #4

Sunny Day Reading

Diagram #4 Notes: This is a perfect day of solar energy collection. We did need to use grid energy at the beginning of the day, but that’s because we started work before the sun came  up. After this period we enjoyed great solar collection with EV charging being undertaken through most of the day. 

Diagram #5

Sunny Day Reading

Diagram #4 Notes: This is a perfect day of solar collection. This was a Sunday, so we weren’t using any energy today (apart from the bare minimum to keep things ticking along). Most of this energy was exported back to the grid. 

In Conclusion

Solar energy is a fabulous way to collect energy independently, especially on the Sunshine Coast where we have an abundance of sunlight all year round. Making the most of solar energy requires a solar solution and energy management and optimisation. For assistance with your solar solution, please contact our team – we are here to assist.

Learn More About Energy Management Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about energy management solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

On-Grid, Off-Grid & Hybrid Solar

Solar Panels on Roof

Noosa Electric Co installs On-Grid and Hybrid AC Solar Solutions in Noosa and surrounding suburbs. On this page, we clarify the difference between On-Grid, Off-Grid and Hybrid Solar solutions.

Relationship to the Grid

Solar installations can be configured to work in different ways with the public electricity grid. Generally, they fall into one of the following three categories:

  • On-Grid
  • Off-Grid
  • Hybrid

These distinctions explain how the solar energy is used. Explanations follow:


These systems do not use batteries and are connected to the public electricity grid. Any excess solar power that you generate can be exported to the electricity grid. (SRC: We install on-grid solar systems.


An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires battery storage. (SRC: We do not install off-grid solar systems.


Hybrid systems are connected to the grid and to battery storage. Depending on energy collection and usage needs, the grid and the battery work to provide an optimal system for the home. (SRC: We install hybrid solar systems.

Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

How AC Solar Works

How AC Solar Works

Solar solutions come in a range of different configurations. One important distinction to be aware of is the difference between AC solar and DC solar. We install both versions, and in our solar design process we help you to understand the benefits of these solutions for your own energy requirements. In this article, we take a look at the difference between these two approaches to solar.

Solar – A Broad Overview

In a typical residential solar installation, solar panels convert the sun’s energy into DC (Direct Current) electricity. However, before this electricity can be used in the home, it needs to be converted to AC (Alternating Current). It is the different way that this conversion process is approached that defines the difference between AC and DC solar systems.

How AC Solar Works

DC solar is arranged in a ‘series’ circuit – connected panel to panel, this circuit leads electricity as DC to a single inverter inside the home, where it is transformed into AC power.

AC Solar works in a different way. Each solar cell has a microinverter which converts DC to AC at the solar cell. This significant distinction opens up a wide range of benefits in safety and capability:

Benefits of AC Solar Solutions

1. Avoiding High Voltages on the Rooftop

In a DC Solar system, the series circuit can lead to high DC voltages on the rooftop. This is due to the fact that the solar cells are linked together in series. This can result in DC voltages of up to 600 (Residential) – 1000 (Commercial) Volts DC on the roof.

In the event of the circuit being compromised due to any number of reasons (rodents, environmental wear and tear, water ingress, etc) this can result in high voltages of DC current arcing which can cause injury and fire.

An AC solar system doesn’t need high DC voltages – its DC voltages never exceed 80 volts. This makes for a safer solution.

3. No Need for a DC Isolator Switch

The DC Isolator switch is one of the most common points of failure in a DC Solar system. The purpose of this switch is to separate the DC circuit from the rest of the house. Although the intention is to make the system safer, over time the failure of these switches and subsequent exposure to the environment is a leading cause of failure in DC solar systems.

In an AC solar solution, there is no need for a DC isolator switch because there is no high-voltage DC circuit. Microinverters transform DC to AC at each panel, and the AC voltage on the rooftop is much lower because it is operating on a per-panel basis, as opposed to the combined effect in a DC Solar series circuit.

4. Performance in Partial Shading

In a DC solar installation the performance of the whole system depends on the performance of each individual cell. If a cell is shaded, this impacts the performance of the entire array, reducing the output. In an AC solar system, cells work separately from each other. Any shading only impacts the individual cell, not the entire system.

4. Centralised VS Decentralised Inversion

Another important distinction between AC and DC solar is the impact of a single vs multiple inversion points. In a DC solar system, the whole system relies on a single inverter to transform DC to AC. If this inverter fails, the whole system goes down. This single point of failure doesn’t exist in an AC solar solution. Here, the inversion happens at the panel with a microinverter. If it should fail, only a single panel is impacted – the rest of the system won’t be affected. This creates a more robust system that isn’t dependent on a single inverter.

5. Scalability

Scalability (the ability to change the size) of your solar installation is an important consideration. The installation that works for you now may not work for you in 5 years time. A case in point is electric vehicles. If you transition to an electric vehicle, the need to charge your car would change the profile of your energy usage requirement.

AC Solar Scalability

DC solar installations are inherently less scalable than AC solar installations. Adding additional solar panels is only possible as long as the single inverter can handle the additions. It may be necessary to upgrade your inverter to accommodate extra panels. In comparison, AC solar can be scaled as needed. Panels can be added, or removed, as required without compromising the rest of the process. This is achieved by microinverters transforming DC to AC at the cell rather than at a single inversion point.

Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.