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Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Hybrid Systems
08 November

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Hybrid Systems

Solar PV Hybrid systems have a lot of variables that can impact the performance, price and life-span of the system. Every solution has multiple components, each with its own features. While there is a lot of information online about going Solar generally, we put together a list of questions we are often asked about our systems in particular. Browse through the questions below and feel free to get in touch if there are any questions we have not answered.

General Questions

  1. Can the system be installed outside?
    • Yes, but it depends. Our Inverters are all IP65 rated, which means they can withstand both water and dirt, but, the inverter is not 100% waterproof and it needs to be installed underneath a small overhang. For systems requiring battery installations outdoors we can supply water-proof battery cabinets.
  2. Can I buy the system from Blue Sun and install the system myself?
    • We don’t not recommend, nor warrant, DIY Solar installations.
    • Battery backup systems can be sold for installation by your electrician.
  3. Will the system require maintenance? What level of servicing is required?
    • Solar PV systems require very little maintenance. For most systems we recommend cleaning the panels once or twice a year together with an annual inspection.
  4. Do I need to register my system with the Municipality?
    • Yes, but it depends where your property is. SSEG registration is a legal requirement for all systems installed on the City of Cape Town’s electricity network. Clients in Eskom supplied areas do not yet need to register their installations.  Compliancy is the law.
  5. Will Blue Sun register my system?
    • Yes, we will handle the entire registration process on your behalf.
  6. Are there tax incentives for ‘going solar’ in South Africa?
    • Yes, Section 12B of the Income Tax Act allows for a 100% accelerated depreciation in the first year. This incentive only applies to commercial customers.

SOLAR PV

  1. What are the best Solar PV Panels? Are Canadian Solar Panels the best?
    • The best solar panels come with a minimum 25 Year performance warranty and offer efficiencies of 18.5% to 22%
    • Tier 1 refers only to the top 10 best-selling panel brands in the world, not necessarily the best performing panels. – A-Grade panels are of the same quality
  2. What is the difference between Poly and Mono Panels?
    • The main difference is that Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than Polycrystalline panels and perform better in low light conditions.
    • The difference comes from the cells that are used in the panels. Monocrystalline solar cells are more efficient because they are cut from a single source of silicon. Polycrystalline solar cells are blended from multiple silicon sources and are slightly less efficient.
  3. Do I need to install optimisers?
    • Most of the time, no. Optimisers are only required when shading from trees and building objects is a consistent issue.

LITHIUM BATTERIES

  • What can I backup with my battery?
    • Battery backup power is for essential loads and is not intended to backup an entire building.
    • Our electrician will determine with you which are the essential circuits in your home, the focus is typically on: lighting (LEDs), low-energy appliances, media and entertainment devices, security and alarm systems and building management systems.
    • The amount of backup time is determined by the size of the battery and the size of the loads you want to backup. A 5kWh Lithium battery will backup a 1kW load for up to 5 hours.
  • What kind of batteries do you use?
    • We only work with Lithium batteries. For most projects we work with Revov 2nd Life, or SolarMD lithium batteries.
  • What is a Revov 2nd Life battery?
    • 2nd Life Batteries are refurbished electric vehicle batteries that have been rebuilt for stationary storage, i.e. solar installations.
    • As explained by the director of Revov, “Most 2nd life batteries were originally designed to have a life expectancy of between 600 and 7000 cycles in an automotive primary power source application. They are used as 2nd Life batteries once they have reached about 1500 to 2000 cycles in a vehicle and have, therefore, a remaining life expectancy of between 4000 and 5000 cycles when used in the same conditions as a vehicle. Stationary storage significantly reduces stress on battery cells and thus, the lifespan of 6000 to 7000 is easily met.”

INVERTERS

  1. Can I feedback excess power back to the grid?
    • Our Sunsynk inverters are enabled to reverse feed and under certain conditions we can register to system to sell back to the grid.
    • Feeding back to the Grid requires an extra R60 monthly meter reading charge, plus a bidirectional meter, supplied by the City at approximately R10 000.
    • Feeding back is viable in buildings with low occupancy or those which only operate on weekdays.
Canadian Solar Sunsynk Longi Solar SolarMD Revov 2nd Life