Types Of PV Installations

  • This is a normal grid tied photo-voltaic installation with no battery back up. The system is grid tied because ultimately you are still getting some power from the grid. This type of installation is recommended if one would like to reduce their electricity consumption and in essence the costs associated with electricity bills. It is also recommended for very large installations (Factories, hotels etc) where battery back up solutions will not be feasible.

  • While standard PV installations do suffice for most of the time, there are only in operation if there is sunlight. Once the skies darken or are overcast the power generating capacity of the modules is greatly curtailed or even cut off entirely. This is where battery back up systems come into their own. Any excess energy not used for self consumption that is generated during the day is stored in batteries. These batteries are then able to power the main loads of a house during black outs (load shedding) or at night when there is insufficient sunlight.

  • For most people, PV systems with a battery back up tend to be quite cost intensive. For some, it makes sense to install a basic battery back up system that kicks in during black outs (load shedding) to cover power demand when the grid is down. We design our systems in such a way that we are able to add a fully functioning PV system at a later stage.

  • This type of PV installation has no dependency on the electricity grid whatsoever. Although not a necessity a battery back up is recommended with this type of installation.

Sum Of The Parts

  • PV Modules / Solar Panels are used to “catch” the rays of the sun and convert light energy (photons) into electrical energy (electrons). The current produced by the PV panels is a direct type of current.

  • Normal household appliances run on electricity in the form of an alternating current. PV inverters convert the direct current generated by the PV modules into an alternating current which can then be fed into the household.

  • Batteries are devices that store electrical energy. Whenever this energy is released from a battery it is in the form of a direct current. A battery inverter is used to convert the direct current into alternating current which can then be used by a household. In cases where there is only a battery back up installed with no PV, energy stored is generated from the grid. This energy is in the form of an alternating current and needs to be converted into a direct current in order to be stored in the batteries.

Types Of Batteries We Use

  • These type of batteries are prevalent on the market and in a lot of PV installations due to their relative low cost. However, they are not as long lasting as other types of batteries and require service and maintenance during their life cycle. When coupled to battery inverters with intelligent software the battery life can be extended. 

  • These are the best batteries currently on market. They are largely maintenance free and can last for thousands of cycles. They are thus suitable for situations where the grid (or electricity supply) is unreliable and the batteries are constantly being charged and discharged.They are also quite compact and single units can have a large storage capacity.