Home owners and businesses in Southern Africa face power shortages and ever-increasing energy costs. At the same time, Southern Africa is ideally placed in a higher than average irradiance in the world! Solar solutions are thus ultimately suited to supply the best return on investment in terms of the Rand spend per kW/h generated vs. the kW/h saved from the national grid and your energy bill.
By installing a correctly engineered PV solar system for your specific requirements and with future growth in mind, the investment will definitely hedge your future electricity bills for the next 15 – 20 years.
What is a Photovoltaic Solar System
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology generates renewable solar energy in the form of electrical direct current (DC) when sunlight shines onto the PV solar panels. This direct current is passed through a PV solar inverter to create alternating current (AC) at the required supply voltage. The output of the PV solar inverter essentially becomes a second point of electricity supply in addition to the existing supply from the utility company. The energy supplied by the PV system no longer needs to be purchased from the utility company. The more sunlight you have shining on the PV panel, the higher the production of electricity.
Investing in a PV system has great advantages for different applications. There are mainly three different solutions available namely grid tied, hybrid and island systems. Storage is still a challenge and the cost of running a conventional middle class home on a stand-alone off-grid PV solar system using a battery bank as storage, is expensive. However, due to the unreliability of our South Africa current electricity supply, more and more clients invest additional capital to ensure they have a backup system in place.
Types of Systems
- Grid tie solar systems prioritise the use of electricity from the PV solar system but supplements the existing demand has become more and more economically feasible.
- A Hybrid System integrates battery storage or a diesel generator in combination with a grid connected system. The smaller Hybrid Systems function as a backup storage unit to supply essential loads when power outages occur to insure energy security. However, when the batteries are fully charged the system supplements the current load in the same way as with a grid tied system.
- An Island system is used either when there is no grid connection available or alternatively isolating some of your essential loads in your dwelling. This system operates as completely stand alone and will not be affected by the utility status. Where the utility is available the PV solar inverter can use this as a secondary backup after the battery storage. PV solar Inverters also have the functionality to start a generator as a third backup system. In this case the inverter will use excess power from the generator to charge the battery storage, all this is managed by the PV solar inverter with no interruption in your power supply.
Financial Benefits of Investing in a Photovoltaic Solar Energy System
Installing solar PV systems requires large capital investments. When choosing your solar PV partner, the product quality, pv solar design, installation experience and after-sales service are critical for your long term investment.
Let’s consider a commercial property that consumes on average 11750kWh/month. Their operating hours are between 08h00 to 17h00 and pay R1.45/kWh for their electricity. The annual increase from the local utility is approximately 10%.
Investing in a 15kW system will result in 32% internal rate of return with an accumulated saving of R2.5million during 25 years. With limited maintenance needed, the system will pay for itself in less than 6 years.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.