Solar energy from the sun is free and can be harnessed to produce electricity. Why not plug into the sun for energy? By choosing to go solar, you will be saving money each month and helping to preserve our planet for future generations.
HOW DO PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SOLAR PANELS CONVERT SOLAR ENERGY INTO ELECTRICITY?
Watch this short video for a quick explanation of how it all works!
In short, solar panels convert “light” energy from the sun into electricity. They capture photons and convert them to direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter (an essential component of all solar PV systems) then converts the DC electricity from your solar PV panels into alternating current (AC). This electricity will be delivered at the same voltage (230V for single phase in South Africa) as your municipal power. Depending on the required application, either a single-phase or three-phase inverter can be fitted.
For a layman’s description of the “photovoltaic effect,” when sunshine hits the PV cell, the photons of light excite the electrons in the cell, causing them to flow and generate electricity. At night or on cloudy days, when your system is not producing more than your home’s needs, you will either need to be connected to the grid so that you can consume electricity from the grid or y l.
HOW MUCH MONEY COULD I SAVE EACH MONTH FROM MY OWN SOLAR PV SYSTEM?
The amount of money you could save each month is dependant on how much electricity you can supplement with electricity produced by your own solar PV system. Consider the following example of a family home that consumes R 2 000.00 (approximately 1 000 kWh) of electricity each month.
Children are home in the afternoon, washing and ironing is done throughout the day and there may be a swimming pool pump running as well. In this instance there is potential for a monthly saving of R 800.00 provided all the electricity generated by the solar each day is consumed during the day, i.e. while the sun is shining.
WHAT WILL IT COST FOR ME TO BEGIN INVESTING MY ENERGY?
Actually, it doesn’t need to cost you at all! With Standard Bank asset finance you can borrow the capital required and pay it back over five years and most of your installment will be covered by your monthly savings!
HOW LONG WILL MY SOLAR SYSTEM LAST?
Solar PV panels are generally covered by a guarantee that stipulates that performance of the panels will still be at 80% after 25 years. This means that even after 25 years you can still reap up to 80% of the benefit of your investment in solar energy. Other hardware like the inverter is supplied with a five to ten-year warranty with the option to purchase an extension on the warranty of an additional ten years.
IS MAINTENANCE NEEDED TO KEEP MY SOLAR SYSTEM WORKING?
Your solar PV panels will need to be cleaned four or five times a year in order to maintain optimal output.