FAQ

What is a PV Solar system?

A Photo Voltaic (PV) Solar system consists of : a solar array (panels), a solar panel combiner, a solar regulator, an inverter and a storage battery bank (if the system is not a grid tie system, a grid tie system is normally installed without backup or battery banks). The system can convert solar rays into AC power 230V/ 50Hz.

How does a typical photovoltaic system work?

Photovoltaic panels are often mounted on a roof and wired into a building via an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current (DC) energy generated through the solar panels into alternating current (AC)
PV modules produce direct current from sunlight

What type of battery must I use in a solar system?

Preferably a deep cycle, high cycle AGM gel battery e.g. Omnipower OPS and the Hoppecke OPzs solar series available from Sinetech. A deep cycle gel battery must be used in this application as it has a much higher cycle life than standard backup batteries and these batteries are therefore normally more expensive than standby batteries. Standard batteries can be use but have a much shorter cycle life.

What size photovoltaic system do I need?

It is difficult to estimate the exact power usage.

First one has to determine the power usage .This can be done by means of:

  • using your electricity bill, This is a total guessing game
  • a data logger the gives proper data over a time period

Use of a Data Logger

 

From this report we can see the power peaks at 12.77 kw at 8 h41 to 2,7kw at 00h00 and an average daily usage of 5,75 kW. A different quotation would be offered by just using a 12kW peak as the parameters vs 5.75 kW average. By using a data logger we can see that proper data is needed to determine electricity use correctly.

GC Solar Solutions offer a service to log your power usage data on site to enables us giving you an accurate quotation accordingly.

GC Solar Solutions offer a standard call out to consult on site (Residential) of R700/h and a traveling rate including traveling time cost of R6/km.

This requires 2 hours on site (Fitment and retrieval) and 1 additional hour to download the data.

The traveling cost to and from site i.e. fitment and retrieval is estimated at an average of 100km.

Therefore R700 x 3 = R2,100+ R600 = R2, 700-00 + VAT

GC Solar Solutions also offer a service to do an energy usage audit to help identify Energy Management Opportunities (EMO). This will indicate the energy saving opportunities and possible solution. Quotations can be given.

Types of Solar Systems

There are different variations and below are some examples. Solar systems have to be designed according to needs.

Off Grid System /Stand Alone

Where Grid power is not available, or the client wishes to become completely independent off the grid, the power is generated by the solar panels; a battery bank stores the power for use at night or when the sun is not shining.

Hybrid System

A hybrid system has the advantages over a (PV) stand alone and (PV) grid-tied systems, namely battery backup for with island systems, batteries will not be used when grid power is available, thereby maximising battery lifetimes.

Also, unlike with grid-tied systems the Hybrid system switches to island operation in cases of grid power failure, which means that your green power will be available even during power outages. The batteries are sized to maintain all the essential appliances in case of grid power failure.

Mobile Backup System with PV Solar Panel option

Mobile power backup system can be powered by solar panels.

Integrated Backup System

An inverter-charger and battery bank provides backup power when the mains fail. No solar element is involved in this particular configuration, although this can be added on at a later stage.