Solar installations, an introduction

All you need to know about solar installations

If you would like to save on electricity costs, avoid load-shedding and enable your business or household to enjoy independence with a long-term energy solution, you are one of many. The solar revolution is sweeping across Africa, as people seek clean, healthy and reliable sources of energy. Becoming energy efficient with solar power contributes to creating a safer environment. Additionally, solar installations will save you money.
New Southern Energy uses only top-quality solar panels, inverters and parts that will enable you to enjoy a reliable long-term solar solution. Moreover, you will benefit from our expertise in solar installations. As we aim to help you gain the most value out of your solar power solution, it is essential to understand the greater process.

Solar installations – part of a bigger process

Before a solar plant can be installed, one must do thorough research and planning and investigative work to determine the feasibility and the most appropriate solar solution for your site. New Southern Energy’s expertise covers all aspects of this stage, that is referred to as the development process.

Development work includes a thorough assessment of the land or roof, an assessment of the existing electricity infrastructure to which the system will need to be connected, the identification of regulatory requirements and the management of various potential stakeholders. Additionally, the the viability of the project itself is determined at this stage.

Factors impacting feasibility include daytime energy base load, how many days per week the site uses power, the price currently paid for electricity, the space available and whether there is good solar irradiation. One these aspects are considered, and a positive feasibility score reached the groundwork regarding construction and solar installations can commence.

Solar installations

Solar installations – considerations

New Southern Energy holds over a decade of experience building bespoke solar solutions across various industries across Africa. Our solar installations are constructed to the highest standards so that they can operate effectively and achieve the modelled yield over the project lifecycle.
Our solar systems are built with a long-term perspective to reach the maximum efficiency and longevity of the system. Accordingly, we place great consideration on the maintenance of the plant during construction. Solar systems must be easy to access, manage and service to ensure long term performance.
Depending on the nature of the property, various aesthetic factors may need to be provided for, or worked around so that the site retains its original character. We are well placed to incorporate these requirements into our solar installations.

Solar installations – where?

Solar installations can take place in various places. This is largely determined by the space available on your property and the size of the solar plant that is needed.
The ideal orientation of solar systems in South Africa is facing north at 30 degrees. Alternately, panels on south facing roofs need to be tilted to point north, failing which they will produce less energy. The positioning of the inverters used in the system is also essential to ensure that they function optimally. Ideally, they should be placed in cool rooms, although this is often not possible at many sites. Roof-style protection can be built to provide for this.
Typically, solar installations take the form of one of two options: rooftop or ground mounted. However, New Southern Energy has also built a solar plant that floats on water, which functions highly effectively. Solar installations involve a complex process as each solar power system installation is unique and comes with its unique advantages and considerations.

Solar installations – maintenance

Most solar installations are mounted on roof tops as, particularly in urban areas, this provides for an excellent use of existing space that is generally not being used for anything else. These systems must be built in such a way that they can be accessed for repairs and maintenance, such as with spaces between the panels and ladders to reach the roof.
Ground mounted systems can be installed on large areas of open land that are currently unproductive.
With ground mounted solar systems, maintenance and repairs are generally simpler and more cost-effective due to easier access to the array. However, there is sometimes an additional investment required for security for the system, and to protect both humans and animals in the vicinity.