What You Need To Know Before Buying

PV (PHOTOVOLTAIC) SOLAR SYSTEM

Grid-Tied PV Solar Systems

Perfect for adding solar to your home

Hybrid Systems

Otherwise known as a Grid-Hybrid System

Off-Grid (Island) Systems

Great for easily connecting to the grid

WHY CONSIDER PV SOLAR

 

A Solar PV (Photovoltaic) system uses the sun to generate electricity during daylight hours and therefore have no continual costs involved once the system is installed. Currently, solar energy delivers between 18% to 25% return on investment per year based on electricity savings, outperforming any other financial investment you make. Investing in a solar energy system to save on your electricity bill is the best investment you can make right now for your business or home over the next 20-25 year period.

WHERE MOST PEOPLE START

 

The rooftop PV (Photovoltaic) solar system has its electricity-generating solar panels mounted on the rooftop of a building. These solar panels are exposed to sunlight (solar radiation) thus generating electricity, which is commonly referred to as a photovoltaic effect. Solar power flows via cable to a device (an Inverter) that converts the DC (Direct Current) that is produced from the panels to AC (Alternating Current). The Inverters synchronize the solar power between your PV Solar system and electricity supplied by the Eskom grid.

Solar power can then be fed directly into your IEN (Internal Electrical Network) and save you electricity. Every kWh unit generated by the solar system is a kWh unit not used from Eskom.

PLANNING FOR YOUR FIRST PV SOLAR SYSTEM

 

The planning part requires us to analyse your existing electricity use so that we can implement efficient energy saving measures.

A thorough examination of your electricity needs helps you to determine the following:

  • The size and cost of the system you will need.
  • Fluctuations in your energy usage during the day, night and months to manage peak demands.
  • Energy saving measures you can implement to reduce your electricity use before installing PV so that you save on the costs of a bigger system simply by being more efficient.

Once you have decided which system to operate, being either an entirely off grid or a hybrid/grid-connected system, we can select the technologies that will meet your objectives.

As your system is going to be operating for over 20 years, you also want to be assured that you are working with a service supplier that has the network, financial stability, product quality and warranties in place to maximise your investment.

It is crucial that your service provider has the market-reputation, credibility and technical expertise in the renewable energy industry to give you the maximum benefit from your PV Solar investment.

THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPLEMENTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
MEASURES BEFORE BUYING A PV SOLAR SYSTEM

The main reason is that by implementing energy efficient measures, it will reduce your electricity consumption, allowing you to invest in a smaller and less expensive PV system. For instance: converting your geysers (usually the biggest electricity users) to use a solar or a heat pump source, installing low energy LED lighting and cooking with gas are just a few examples of what can be done.

When we conduct a load analysis, we will record the wattage and average daily use of all the electrical devices that are plugged into your central power source, such as refrigerators, lights, televisions, machinery and computer equipment. Some loads, like your refrigerator or electric fencing, use electricity all the time, while others use electricity intermittently (also called selectable loads).

Unfortunately electricity bills cannot reveal day and night usage, selective loads or peak demands, which need to be factored into your PV solution. A thorough load analysis is essential and that’s why we visit your premises and set-up loggers on your electricity distribution board for at least a week or two. We also provide you with a comprehensive view of where your electricity usage is going, what steps are to be taken to reduce usage and save you money, depending on what size system and the solutions we specify for you, to give you an accurate picture on your investment.

THREE TYPES OF PV CONNECTIONS

 

A solar PV system typically comes in three configurations:

I. GRID TIED SYSTEM

No batteries required. This grid connected system supplements your grid energy usage and is a very good option for reducing your electricity usage from the grid.

In the event of a blackout or power outage, your solar system is forced to shut down. While Eskom’s outages are not the issue, but cost savings most certainly are. That is why this highly practical solution dramatically reduces your electricity bill while producing all your daytime energy requirements, free from the sun, avoiding the additional expenses of having a battery system.

A Grid tie system is highly cost-effective and has a much shorter payback period. A popular choice for starting out with your first solar energy solution. This system starts paying for itself immediately.

Advantages

• Most cost effective solution – offers best savings
• No energy storage losses
• Easily monitored system performance
• Extremely high conversion efficiencies
• Simple installation

Disadvantages

• Does not provide backup

Advantages

• Most cost effective solution – offers best savings
• No energy storage losses
• Easily monitored system performance
• Extremely high conversion efficiencies
• Simple installation

Disadvantages

• Does not provide backup

II. HYBRID SYSTEM

Grid connection and batteries are commonly referred to as a hybrid system and, with the correct installation, will act as a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) in the event of a power outage. The PV system will first charge up the batteries and then the excess production will supplement your household/ business energy needs.

Many of our clients start with system 1, with a plan to build up to a system 2 and then add battery back-up at a later stage as their budget allows to build up to a system 2 configuration. The great benefit of solar PV is that it’s entirely scalable and you can add to it as your needs grow. Clients typically opt for this when power outages are an ongoing issue.

Advantages

• Can operate independent of the Grid
• Available in various configurations
• Reliable supply of power when using with a generator
• Fast switch over in case of power black-out
• Supplies power even if no grid is available

Disadvantages

• Battery daily cycles could shorten battery life
• Batteries need to carry 3 days autonomy
• Quality batteries are expensive
• Batteries lifespan is less than that of Inverter and PV Modules

III. ISLAND SYSTEM

A batteries’ only solution , no grid connection, useful for areas where no grid exists – such as farms or rural areas. Energy produced will charge up the batteries which should allow for three days’ worth of energy needs, feeding the power requirements of the property.

 

Advantages

• Can operate independent of the Grid
• Available in various configurations
• Reliable supply of power when using with a generator
• Supplies power even if no grid is available

Disadvantages

• Battery daily cycles could shorten battery life
• Once batteries are fully charged the PV power is dissipated
• Batteries needs to carry 3 days autonomy
• Quality batteries are expensive
• Batteries lifespan is less than that of Inverter and PV Modules

PANEL INSTALLAITIONS

BY SYNERGY ENERGY SOLUTIONS (PTY) LTD