What is a PV Solar system?

A Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to capture the sun rays and convert that energy into electricity.

How does a typical photovoltaic system work?

Photovoltaic panels are often mounted on a roof and wired into a building via an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current (DC) energy generated through the solar panels into alternating current (AC)
PV modules produce direct current from sunlight

image001 (1)
Can I feed electricity back into the grid and earn money from it?

Apart from some areas under the Cape Town Municipality and some other exceptions, this is still illegal in South Africa to feed back into the grid

Payback on KWh tariffs is still in negotiating stage by NERSA, ESKOM & MUNICIPALITIES and will hopefully be implemented before Nov 2015.

What size photovoltaic system do I need?

It is difficult to estimate the exact power usage.

First one has to determine the power usage .This can be done by means of:

  • using your electricity bill, This is a total guessing game
  • a data logger the gives proper data over a time period

Use of a Data Logger


From this report we can see the power peaks at 12.77 kw at 8 h41 to 2,7kw at 00h00 and an average daily usage of 5,75 kW. A different quotation would be offered by just using a 12kW peak as the parameters vs 5.75 kW average. By using a data logger we can see that proper data is needed to determine electricity use correctly.

GC Solar Solutions offer a service to log your power usage data on site to enables us giving you an accurate quotation accordingly.

GC Solar Solutions offer a standard call out to consult on site (Residential) of R700/h and a traveling rate including traveling time cost of R6/km.

This requires 2 hours on site (Fitment and retrieval) and 1 additional hour to download the data.

The traveling cost to and from site i.e. fitment and retrieval is estimated at an average of 100km.

Therefore R700 x 3 = R2,100+ R600 = R2, 700-00 + VAT

GC Solar Solutions also offer a service to do an energy usage audit to help identify Energy Management Opportunities (EMO). This will indicate the energy saving opportunities and possible solution. Quotations can be given.

Types of Solar Systems

There are different variations and below are some examples. Solar systems have to be designed according to needs.

Off Grid System /Stand Alone

Where Grid power is not available, or the client wishes to become completely independent off the grid, the power is generated by the solar panels; a battery bank stores the power for use at night or when the sun is not shining.


Hybrid System

A hybrid system has the advantages over a (PV) stand alone and (PV) grid-tied systems, namely battery backup for with island systems, batteries will not be used when grid power is available, thereby maximising battery lifetimes.

Also, unlike with grid-tied systems the Hybrid system switches to island operation in cases of grid power failure, which means that your green power will be available even during power outages. The batteries are sized to maintain all the essential appliances in case of grid power failure.

Mobile Backup System with PV Solar Panel option

Mobile power backup system can be powered by solar panels.

Integrated Backup System

An inverter-charger and battery bank provides backup power when the mains fail. No solar element is involved in this particular configuration, although this can be added on at a later stage.