Frequently Asked Questions
How does solar power really work?
Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight to direct current (DC) electricity. The inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) electricity. The electrical panel sends power to your lights and appliances.
Sunlight striking earth’s surface in just one hour delivers enough energy to power the world economy for an entire year.
What are the advantages of moving to solar energy?
Solar power is arguably the cleanest, most reliable form of renewable energy available, and it can be used in several forms to help power your home or business. With Solar power, you take control of your electricity supply, and electricity from Solar is cheaper than what you can get from the grid.
Can Solar power all my household appliances (at the same time?)
It all depends on your current electricity needs, but this is where we come in, making sure that the solution we recommend is optimal for your electricity needs i.e. it can support your current consumption profile and it does generate more power than you need. Also, through our Intelligent Energy Management platform, we make sure you maximise your investment.
Can Solar really power my business for the entire 8hr day (Do I have to worry about my daily usage?)
Solar generation normally peaks around mid-day when the sun is at its highest, and our value engineering process will make sure we get as close as possible to supplying all of your power during the day. With our Intelligent Energy Management platform, we will assist you in bringing your consumption profile in line with the solar generation profile. Storage (Batteries) will also help us to achieve this goal.
Does solar power work when the weather is overcast (and no visible sun?)
Solar normally doesn’t produce when it is overcast and that is why we always implement grid tied solutions, where you will use the grid when Solar can’t produce. The systems we implement will always first use solar power before grid. In cases where grid is not available, we will implement a hybrid solution where we will connect your plant to a diesel generator; also for back-up purpose. Storage (Batteries) also plays an important role in ensuring we supply constant electricity.
Will I have power at night, after the sun goes down (and for how long?)
If we implement storage (batteries), you will have power at night. How long all depends on the size of the storage solution we implement. All our solutions are value engineered around your consumption profile and linked to how independent you want to be. We can make you 100% independent – therefore, move you off grid.
Are batteries and inverters a standard for solar installations?
Inverters are standard, but storage (batteries) is only used if you want to self-consume outside the Solar Sun Hours, or you want to move off grid. The business case for storage is getting stronger and we do see more and more business cases where storage makes financial sense to implement from day one.
Do solar installations interfere with my current power lines/switches?
No, there is no interference and we make sure that, at the end of the installation, we give you a Certificate of Compliance (CoC). This is, however, dependent upon your having a CoC before we start the work.
Do the installations have visible cabling, and where does it sit?
All cabling is secured in trunking and will not affect the aesthetics of your building.
How much will I really save from changing over to Solar, and how?
This all depends on your consumption profile and available space for the solar panel installation. In general, the cost of solar per kWh has reached parity, where electricity generated from solar is less than the grid power you get from your utility. We’ve seen savings from 5% to 50% in the portfolio of projects we have done thus far.
How will installing solar affect productivity in my business?
It will have no effect on the productivity, as the solar is only an alternative source of energy against your current supply of electricity, may it be grid or generator. We will, however, try our best to make sure you maximise the use of solar electricity due to its cost savings.
Do I need batteries for a business (I imagine these would be many)?
This all depends on your current supply of electricity and how independent you want to be from the grid. The business case for storage (Batteries) is getting stronger and we do see, especially in Africa, that storage becomes part of all our implementations. The technology advances for storage is really very aggressive and it is becoming cost effective.
How reliable is Solar really (production output)?
Solar generation is very reliable and in most of our implementations, we do see a better generation than predicted. During our value engineering phase (design), we use various tools to ensure we forecast the generation correctly. Once the site is implemented, we use complex monitoring systems to pro-actively monitor the generation against the proposed numbers. Should the generation be out of line, our monitoring system will automatically generate alerts for our operational team. Solar is so reliable, that we are even committing equity into the plants we finance i.e. we put our money where our mouth is.
We also partner with the leading Re Insurance house in the market, where they will cover you for any loss of generation impact during the contract period.
Solar is truly becoming a Zero Risk decision.