How does solar power work?
In brief: solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity during the day. An inverter converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity to power your lights and appliances.
Additionally, completely self-contained off-grid systems will require one or more batteries to store excess power for use at night and during the winter months.
Most residential systems are grid-tied, however. That means power is drawn from the national power grid once you've depleted your daily solar supply.
Is solar power more expensive than traditional options?
There is an initial outlay for the system, of course, but you could see a return on your investment in a little as five to ten years. And we'll work to your budget – the system can be scaled up as your needs increase and more funds become available. Regardless, you should see an immediate reduction in your monthly power bills – up to 60% on average, depending on your location, requirements, and system set-up.
How will I know if my property is suitable for solar panels?
For best results, the roof on your freestanding property should be a good size, north facing, and have a slope angle of around 30 – 45 degrees. Flat roof? Let's take a look at it. If your roof is soundly constructed and can carry the extra weight, an angled frame could possibly be used to raise the panels to the required angle. If there's a solution, we'll find it.
We pride ourselves on being able to come up with a solid, sustainable, solution for most problems, but rest assured that we won't try and sell you a system if we don't believe your home is suitable, or if the costs outweigh any potential benefits.
How long does the average installation take?
Once we've agreed on the requirements, measured up, and obtained the necessary components, the average residential installation can typically be undertaken in a couple of days. Of course, as every installation is customised to our customers' individual requirements, some may take a little longer than others.
What if I live in a particularly cloudy or wet area of the country?
Naturally, location plays a significant part in determining whether solar is right for you – regions that experience high rainfall and cloudy conditions for lengthy periods will not enjoy the same results as their sunnier counterparts.
But even a less-than-ideal location could still benefit from a solar power system. Get in touch, and we'll assess your location and requirements, and advise you on your options. We certainly won't tempt you to consider a purchase unless we're convinced that you could see some real benefit.
Are there any limitations to what I can use it for?
Depending on your set-up, your solar system can be used to cover all your daily requirements: your lights and major appliances, air-conditioning units and pool pumps – for as long as you are drawing energy from the sun.
How will I know how much power I'm using?
We include a stand-alone monitoring unit with all our installations to give you an at-a-glance overview of just how much power your individual appliances and lights are drawing, as you use them.
Am I covered by any guarantees?
All our solar panels and inverters are covered by flexible performance and durability guarantees ranging from 25 years and up, and require little-to-no ongoing maintenance. For added peace of mind, the installation itself is covered by a free, one-year workmanship guarantee.
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong, please call us. That's what we're here for.
Can I feed surplus power back to the grid?
In theory, yes – and this is common practice in many countries. However, South African legislation regarding the supply of power back into the grid hasn't been completely finalised, and for the time being, restrictions apply. A solution is currently being developed and we've been led to believe that the issue will be resolved within the next year or two. In the meantime, we would be happy to advise on the various regional options currently available to you, whilst keeping any future developments in mind.
I have more questions. Who can I contact?
That's us! Please make use of the form at the bottom of the page, and we'll contact you. Alternatively, give us a call on 0861 777 877 or email us on one of the addresses listed below. We look forward to hearing from you.