Q. We are getting solar installed on our home in Townsville, North Queensland. I read on your site that it may be beneficial to have some of the panels installed on the southern side of our roof due to being north of the Tropic of Capricorn and in the summer (when we use most electricity) the sun being over the southern side of our house. I really want to maximise our energy production in the summer when we need it most. We have been advised that we will have to sign a "solar production waiver form". Can you please tell me a little about this?
A. Here are the production graphs for a 6kW system in Townsville facing both North and South - so you can see the difference in kWh per day produced throughout the year, and decide if South facing works better for you:
Things to note: Production is a little better in Nov, Dec and Jan with the South Facing system, but is much worse in winter.
South facing produces 81% of the energy that the north facing will over a year.
Why do they want you to sign a waiver?
There is nothing I can find in the Australian Standard or Clean Energy Council Guidelines that explicitly say you can't install on a south facing roof.
But the solar designer does have to have the customers' best interest in mind when they design the system. Many designers are very dismissive of south facing arrays - and they just want to cover their backsides if the system is audited or a fellow installer drives past and sees a south facing array and questions it.