Sometimes all the solar energy solutions available out there get a bit confusing. If you cut through all the quagmire and the marketing, there are three basic systems that Genergy offer.
Having said that, every single system is unique, as is every single customer. There are no plug-and-play solutions, and every system caters for each client’s unique needs.
Here are the three basic solutions:
Off The Grid
Basically, this is a system that is completely independent of the grid. Either for clients who do not have access to the gris due to their geographic location – rural or extremely isolated – or for clients who are totally over Eskom and don’t want to be reliant on the national grid for any reason.
Going off the grid is fairly costly to set up, due to the fact that a fairly massive battery bank is required to store enough electricity. Also, because there batteries are in constant use, there is a need for a fairly regular recycling of batteries, every five years or so.
This system consists of solar panels, and an inverter. The solar panels create electricity, which is then used by the client, in an effort to reduce spend on electricity. When there is an excess of electricity this is fed back into the grid. This solution is popular in places like Europe, where there is not much in the way of power interruptions, but electricity is fairly expensive and people want to reduce their monthly spend.
The Hybrid System
This is the system that is most popular in South Africa. It is a system that provides electricity for use via solar panels, therefore reducing monthly spend. This system, however, also has a battery bank for electricity storage for use during periods of loadshedding or power outtages. This system is not too expensive to install, and starts paying for itself fairly quickly via the solar panels. The battery bank is not that big, and therefore not that costly, merely providing enough electricity for a few hours of downtime, utilizing a critical load – only the most necessary outlets to keep going during times when there is no electricity available.
Now that summer is here, and the sun is beating down, it is the perfect time to install solar panels, either for a grid-tied system or a hybrid system. It may seem like there is not that much need for a hybrid system due to the fact that there is very little loadshedding at the moment, but this, from all accounts, is a brief respite, and regular loadshedding could commence at any moment.