FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?


When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against increasing annual energy charges. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.




How do I find out how much I pay for electricity?


The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your electricity bill- your rate is calculated as a Rand per kWh. One unit consumed equates to 1kWh.




How does solar impact my property values?


Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. With increasing electricity demand and decreasing energy supply in South Africa- any home with a solar energy system in place will increase the value of the property.




What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?


Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulphur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.




How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?


Solar panels absorb the sun's energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or use it to charge your batteries.




Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?


The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.




Can I go off grid with solar panels?


When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage, the size of your battery bank is dependent on your load. We would recommend adding a generator for all off-grid installations.




Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?


Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your municipality. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.




Difference between a Grid-Tie and Hybrid System?


Grid-Tie system: produces power during daytime hours by means of a solar array and inverter- it requires a power reference to be operational (generator or grid) If the grid fails- the system will not continue to work- unless you have a generator in place.

Hybrid System: produces power during daytime hours by means of a solar array and inverter – and using the battery bank for when the grid fails or in the evenings.




How much will solar panel maintenance cost?


Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties.




What is my battery backup time?


Battery backup time is calculated by the size of your load requiring backup (generally essential items only) and the size of your battery bank.

For example: Your backup load is 2kW, and your battery bank is 7kWh – your backup time will be 7kWh / 2kW = 3.5 hours.




Will my solar panels be damaged by storms?


In general, most solar panels can withstand up to 225 km per hour winds, which is around 2,400 pascals (the unit in which solar panel wind resistance is measured).

With regards to hail storms, manufacturers actually test their solar panels to ensure that hail storms won't be an issue. Generally, solar panels can endure hailstones up to 25mm in size at a falling speed of 80km per hour.




How do I know if the products I have been quoted is quality products?


Before purchasing any system- request the warranty periods on the products you have been quoted. A quality inverter would have a standard warranty of 3 Years, solar panels 25 years, and a quality lithium ion battery 7-10 Years. It is important to know who your supplier is, and know if they have a solid technical support infrastructure for the products in question.