Solar FAQ

What is the difference between string and micro inverters?

*Central or String inverters (Fronius) work by linking the solar panels together with ‘’strings’’.  These strings are connected to a single inverter

*Microinverters pair each panel with its individual inverter.

Historically people believed string inverters are much like Christmas tree lights - if one (panel) goes down / is shaded so will the others. With the old inverters, this was true, but with new technology in premium inverters such as Fronius, this is no longer a concern.

Microinverters are expensive to install and with more links in the chain, more can go wrong. It takes a team of two to lift the panel and replace the microinverter, where it takes a single technician to remove a snap Fronius inverter.

Do you need to list my solar system with my insurance?

Yes, this is recommended. To list with your insurance, you will need the COC (Certificate of Compliance) as issued by the installer on the date of installation. you will also need the invoice showing the value of the system.

Can we add our panels to other systems?

Yes we can. Depending on the age of the system and componentry installed, there may be scope to upgrade parts where necessary

Can we supply products overseas?

No, as we need to be the accredited installers for that system in order for the warranties to be valid.

What size are the panels?

There are different kinds of Q Cell Panels ranging between 390-430 watts. Approx size: 1722mm × 1134mm × 30mm (including frame). Weight: 21.2kg

How do you clean solar panels?

Mother nature usually takes care of things but if you are noticing grime all you can do is wipe them and/or use a soft brush and warm water with a mild detergent.

Can I have solar power without battery?

Yes! This is currently the most popular option in New Zealand. The solar panels capture the sunlight and the power is used in the home during the day. To make the most of your free power during the day, schedule your power hungry appliances, pools and spas to heat during the day. You can save even more money with a home battery like a Tesla Powerwall as you can store the days sunlight power for use at night time or in an outage.

Can solar power be stored?

Yes! Simple add on a Tesla Powerwall or Qcells Q.Home Core battery to capture your sun power to save even more money by using it at night, or storing it incase of an outage.

How does solar power work?

Solar panels capture sunlight and send it to the inverter, the inverter converts the power into house power for you to use in the home. Watch our video here.

Will solar power get cheaper?

Solar power has become increasingly affordable thanks to advancements in technology and the expansion of a robust global supply chain. While solar panel prices have reached a more stable point, ongoing progress in battery technology holds the potential to further decrease costs.

Why solar power is good

Solar energy plays a crucial role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change as a renewable power source. Its significance lies in safeguarding humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Additionally, solar energy has the potential to enhance air quality and diminish water consumption associated with energy generation. Along with with - it helps you slash your power bills.

Will My Solar Panels Work During A Power Outage?

If your solar panels are feeding power into the grid, and a linesman is performing the repair work, they might be facing an electrical hazard - sometimes a serious one. For this reason, all grid-tied inverters are required to shut down solar power systems in the event of a power outage. If you have a system with a battery backup, you can have power even when your solar power system has shut down.

How can I optimise the savings on my Solar System?

To make the most of your savings, try doing things that require high amounts of power, such as heating the pool, doing the laundry, and taking showers, during the day when the Solar Panels allow you to produce your own energy. Try to decrease your night time power consumption when you will not be producing your own power. Additional equipment like timers and controllers can assist in reducing night time grid use and shift power use to sunlight hours.

Are Solar Systems effective in winter?

Solar Photovoltaic Systems are not reliant on heat, simply light and ultra-violet rays. Cooler sunny days actually provide higher production from the System. However, we must remember the sunlight hours are less during the winter. When designing a PV System, we take into consideration the change in seasons when estimating the annual energy production.

How effective is a Solar System in terms of value for money?

Sunlight is a natural, clean energy resource, and with New Zealand’s three major cities, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, all receiving more than 2,000 hours of sunlight each year, there’s a lot of free, sustainable energy on which to capitalise. Once you have paid for the initial instalment of your Solar Power System, the energy that is generated is absolutely free.

What is a grid-connected Solar Panel System?

With a grid-connected Solar Panel System, Panels are wired to an inverter or inverters that convert the DC power generated by the Panels to 230V AC household power, which it is then used to run any electrical appliance. Any power that the Panels produce that you don’t use is sent back to the electricity grid. A smart meter measures how much electricity is drawn from or fed back to the grid, allowing you to be paid for any energy you feed back.

Will Solar Panels make my home look bad?

Harrisons Solar Systems are always individually designed and engineered to complement any architectural style. In addition to being stylish, Solar will also increase the value of your home.

Is it possible to increase the size of a Solar System in the future?

Increasing the size of your Solar System depends on two factors: available space on your roof and additional capacity in your inverter. If there is sufficient space free for both, then you can increase the size of your System. If the capacity of your inverter has been reached, you could consider adding a second System to your roof.

Will I make money by sending power to the grid?

Exclusive buy-back rate will buy back your extra solar generation at 18c per unit (excluding gst and discounts). This is the highest rate offered by any retailer with a  (based on the fixed retail buy-back rates available to NZ consumers as published by Canstar Blue, March 2023). You'll get 18 cents per kWh buy-back for up to 500 units permonth, this rate is fixed for the duration of your 2 year contract. If you end up exporting more than 500 units back to the grid, you'll switch to our standard buy-back rate of 8.5 cents per kWh for the remainder of the month

Will Solar work in NZ?

Absolutely! New Zealand is abundant with sunshine and generates between

1700 and 2100 sunshine hours annually. Some areas, like Nelson and Gisborne, receive as much as 2400. Solar Panels don’t require sunshine to function; they require daylight, so Solar Panels work year-round, even in the lower South Island.

Is my roof suitable for Solar Panels?

Thanks to advances in Solar Panel technology and tilt mounting, most roofs can now benefit from a Solar power system with excellent results.

Roof orientation

Roofs facing north, northwest or northeast have the best exposure as they will get most sunlight throughout the day, but your roof would still be suitable for Solar Panels if it faces east or west.

Roof pitch

The optimum roof pitch angle will depend on the latitude where you live. The best tilt angles in New Zealand are between 23 and 36˚ in summer and 51 to 61˚ in winter. If your roof angle doesn't lend itself to those numbers, Solar Panels can be mounted on Tilt to raise them to the best position.

Roof size

Ideally, you would want to have up to 24 m2 available – which is the equivalent of a parking space, but if you don't, you could use more efficient Solar Panels to compensate - this is something your Harrisons Solar expert will advise you on.

Shading on roof

Modern Solar Panels can cope with some level of shading, but to get good Solar energy production, they should be free of shade for most of the day. Trees, tall buildings and chimneys can all cast shadows and decrease the efficiency of your

Solar panel system

If you get any shade on your roof, the only way to ascertain how much of a problem it will be is to ask your local Harrisons Solar expert to do a shade analysis.

Roof Structure

The average-sized Solar System, including Solar Panels and mounting frames, can weigh about 275Kg. During the site inspection, it should be checked to determine

whether additional roof support is needed.

Roofs will also be drilled to secure mounting Solar Panels, so it is vital to ensure that their structural integrity won't be compromised.

Is Solar right for me?

When installing a Solar System in your home, there are several factors to consider. In most scenarios, the numerous benefits of solar power make it a highly favorable choice and a great way to slash your power bill and save the planet.

What is a grid-connected Solar Panel System?

With a grid-connected Solar Panel System, Panels are wired to an inverter or inverters that convert the DC power generated by the panels to 230V AC household power, which is then used to run any electrical appliance. Any power that the Panels produce that you don’t use is sent back to the electricity grid. A smart meter measures how much electricity is drawn from or fed back to the grid, allowing you to be paid for any energy you feed back.

Do solar panels work in cloudy or rainy weather?

Solar panels do work in the rain but with reduced output. Output depends on the effective irradiance, i.e. sunlight level. Light rain will block less sunlight, and heavy rain, which tends to fall from darker rain clouds.

What makes up a Solar System?

The main components of your Solar System are the panels, the inverter, and, sometimes, the battery. Each component must work together without compromising the performance, safety or life expectancy.

How does a Solar System work?

The solar panels absorb the sunlight and convert it into Direct Current (DC) electricity. Then it goes to an inverter, which converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity to make it the same that you are using from the grid.

Watch this video for a simple explanation.

What fees do I get charged when I apply?

When your application is approved, an annual account fee applies. For more information about Q Mastercard Fees, click here. For more information about Gem Visa Fees, click here.

How long does it take to get a decision on my application?

Once you've completed your application and submitted it response (approved, declined) usually is provided within 60 seconds. If more information is required, you will get an email to let you know, plus give you a call to follow up a few days later.

How to apply for finance?

The fastest and easiest way is to apply online. You need to have your ID, e.g. NZ Driver Licence or NZ passport, or another nationality passport with a valid NZ Residency Visa.

Can I afford to go Solar?

We strive to make going solar affordable and accessible. So there are some finance options available for you.

Can the Battery be retrofitted to my Solar System?

Yes, it could be possible to add Battery Energy Storage to your existing Solar System, but there are a few things you need to check first with your Harrisons Solar Expert.

Can one Battery power my whole home?

For most homeowners, electricity from a single battery will not fully power your whole home. Many NZ homes have high energy consumption appliances (such as a dishwasher, dryer, A/C or heat pump) that would require more electricity than is provided by one Battery. When installing a Battery, we will map your Battery to your critical loads - your most needed lights and appliances.

How does Solar Battery Storage work?

Your Solar Panel System can often produce more power than you need, especially on sunny days when no one is home. If you have Solar Battery Storage – any excess energy from your Solar Panels will be used to charge your Battery.

At night, during low Solar production or power outages – your Solar Battery will power your home, which reduces your reliance upon the grid for electricity.

Should I restart my inverter after a power outage?

Usually this is not required.

The system has built in functionality which regulate the inverter to switch back on automatically.

If it is off, there is usually something wrong like a tripped circuit or mains issue.

What if something breaks a solar panel, like a tree limb?

Solar Panels are rigid and built to last. They’re covered with tempered glass, which is incredibly durable. Today’s Solar Panels can withstand the force of hurricane winds and large hail. However, accidents happen. If one solar panel breaks, your solar system may still generate some solar power. If you notice an issue, contact us immediately. Do not try to fix a broken solar panel yourself, as it will void your warranty.

Will my Home Solar System need regular maintenance or inspections?

Solar Panels are incredibly durable and built to withstand the elements. While Solar Panels don’t typically need regular maintenance, it’s always good to keep an eye out. You know your Home Solar System the best because you see it daily. We recommend you do a regular visual inspection of your Solar Panels from the ground. Look for weeds, wasps, and anything else that seems out of place. It’s also essential to keep the area around your solar system free and clear. It would be best if you regularly trim trees or shrubs that grow near your solar panels. As new foliage grows around your Solar Panels, new shade may negatively impact your solar production. You may sometimes need to clean your solar panels. If you suspect an issue that may need a repair, please get in touch with us.

Do I have to clean my Solar Panels?

Sometimes. Cleaning your Solar Panels is easy. Rain does a great job of cleaning your Solar Panels for you. Otherwise, in times of heavy dust or other regional weather issues, you may have to rinse your Solar Panels to clear the dust and debris.

If you decide to clean your Solar Panels, we have a few recommendations:

1. Spray your boards with a hose from the ground – do not get on your roof.

2. Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals that could damage the panels.

3. You should not clean your Solar Panels during the hottest part of the day because the extreme temperature difference between the water and the Solar Panels may cause the glass to crack.

What is Harrisons Price Promise?

Harrisons Best Price Guarantee means you can buy with confidence knowing you have purchased the best quality product from world-leading brands at a great price. If you find the same product elsewhere in the area at a lower price we will gladly refund the difference.

Where can I find you?

We have locally owned mobile Solar experts across the country. It means we will visit you when you want and tailor a highly efficient, delivering maximum Solar production year-round solution.

How Harrisons Solar work?

At Harrisons Solar we keep it easy as 1-2-3. Our expert team knows how to make your transition to Solar smooth and seamless. Contact us now, and our friendly team will make a booking for a FREE on-site measure and quote at a time that suits you, and we can also give you a proposal on the spot.

Read more about our process here.

Book a Free Quote Today!

Book a FREE on-site measure and quote at a time that suits you, and we can also give you a proposal on the spot.

Harrisons  on-site measure to a customer

Book an Appointment Today!

Book a FREE on-site measure and quote at a time that suits you, and we can also give you a proposal on the spot.