TECHNICAL

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1.    How do PV solar systems work?

The solar photovoltaic cells that make up the mypower24 solar panels are able to turn sunlight directly into electricity by converting photons (particles of sunlight) into electrons (direct current electricity).

The DC electricity that is generated flows out of the solar panel and into an inverter via electrical cables. There, it is converted to AC (alternating current) electricity, exactly like the power provided by the South African grid. It can then be used to power any electrical equipment, including lights, televisions, computers and kitchen appliances.

2.    How much electricity will my solar PV system generate?

The amount of electricity generated by solar PV systems varies depending on the geographic location, orientation and angle of the solar PV panels. South Africa has excellent potential for solar PV power generation, but some parts of the country have higher irradiance than others.

We use industry-standard simulation software to estimate your production based on 20 years of recorded data. The results are very reliable and will give you an accurate idea of how much power you can expect your system to produce.

3.    Do solar PV systems degrade over time?

Solar PV systems have no moving parts and require very little maintenance. Your basic solar PV array will last over 30 years but, as with all PV systems, its production will degrade marginally over that time. Degradation typically occurs at a rate of around 0.3% of the installed capacity year-on-year, on a straight-line basis.

4.    Do you guarantee the amount of electricity to be generated?

While we makes every effort to accurately estimate the amount of electricity your system will generate, the precise output does vary and we cannot make any guarantees. Your system may generate slightly more or slightly less power than predicted based on climatic conditions experienced in your area.

5.    How much roof space do I need for a solar PV system?

For a residential solar PV system of 6kWp, you would need about 40m² of space on your roof. A system of this size would generate approximately 800kWh per month, although this will vary based on time of year, location, roof orientation and tilt. We will ensure your system is optimally installed for maximum output and sized appropriately for your needs.

6.    How much does the solar power system weigh?

The average residential solar PV system of 6kWp weights about 700kg, including all the racking and fastenings. This is well within the load-bearing capacity of most roof types, but we will confirm this prior to installation during a structural suitability assessment.

7.    What happens if part (or all) of my system is in the shade during the day?

Shading will result in a loss of production. To minimise this, we will assist you in optimising the layout of your solar PV array and modelling production to account for any shading that may occur.

8.    Does the system still generate electricity when there is cloud cover?

Yes. Production is reduced when there is cloud cover, but the system is still able to generate power.

9.    Do I need to clean my solar PV panels?

No. Normal dust build-up is removed during periods of rainfall, and any remaining residue will be cleaned off during our maintenance visits.

10.    Can I feed surplus power generated by my system back to the grid?

mypower24 products are typically not configured to be capable of feeding power back to the grid. This is necessary to ensure compliance with current regulations and bylaws, as well as meeting grid-compliance requirements. However, you can choose to have your system capable of feeding power back to the grid.

11.    Can I go “off-grid” with mypower24?

Yes. Using the mypower24 combination of solar PV and lithium-ion battery bank, it is certainly possible to go completely “off-grid”. However: where grid power is available, off-grid solar PV systems are unlikely to be the most cost-effective solution, as they will need to be over-sized in order to provide 24-hour, year-round power.

12.    What is the useable life span of a mypower24 solar PV system?

The solar PV system will reliably generate electricity for 30 years and longer.

13.    Are solar PV systems a fire hazard?

The solar PV system itself is a low risk fire hazard, even less so than common household electrical appliances. In the event of a fire on your premises by other causes, the system will auto shut-off to prevent electrocution of fire-fighting personnel.

14.    Is there a risk of electrocution from my solar PV system?

There is no increased risk of electrocution from the solar PV system compared to other domestic and industrial electrical systems. We follow industry best practice during installation to minimise the risk of electrocution resulting from faulty installation.

15.    Is there a risk of hail and/or lightning damage to the solar PV system?

Our solar PV system are rated to withstand hail and lightning strikes.

16.    How does lithium-ion compare to other battery technologies?

Lithium-ion batteries are smaller, more efficient and longer lasting than other battery types, and are also far more environmentally friendly.

17.    How does the mypower24 battery system compare to a generator?

Unlike a generator, the mypower24 battery system is silent, emission-free, maintenance-free, and requires no refuelling.

18.    How many hours load shedding protection will I get from my system?

This depends on the size of the battery system you install and your electrical load, in other words how much electricity you are consuming.

19.    Is there a risk of fire to the battery system?

No. We use only the most reliable lithium-ion battery systems with integrated safety protection. We also house the batteries in a fire-resistant container for additional protection and peace of mind.

20.    Is there a risk of electrocution from the battery system?

No. Our batteries are fully sealed in a tamper-proof container and require no maintenance or user interaction whatsoever.

INSTALLATION

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1.    I would like to order a mypower24 Solar energy solution with Lithium-Ion battery– what do I need to do?

In order to give you an initial estimate, we’ll need the following information:

  • Your street address
  • Your estimated average monthly electricity consumption in summer
  • Your estimated average monthly electricity consumption in winter

The more accurate the information you can supply, the better we’ll be able to optimise the size of your system to suit your needs. You can fill in your details here to request a cost estimate online.

Once we have your details, we’ll simulate the solar yield at your location and assess your solar PV and battery back-up requirements based on your current usage. From this, we’ll be able to provide a cost estimate to give you a basic idea of price.

Once we have your go-ahead based on this estimate, we’ll visit your property to assess your roof structure and electrical wiring, take detailed measurements, and generate a final design and quotation.

Upon your acceptance of the final quotation and payment of a deposit, we’ll schedule your installation and get your system up and running as quickly as possible.

2.    What is the installation process?

First, our installation team installs all your solar panels, power electronics and Lithium-Ion battery storage modules in their selected and approved locations on your roof and in your home. Next, they connect all the solar and battery components with the necessary cabling. Lastly, the system is integrated into your current electrical circuits via your distribution board. This ensures the absolute minimum possible downtime and disruption.

3.    How long does the Solar installation take?

Our highly skilled installation teams are able to complete an average residential installation within one full day. More complex installations may, however, require a second day.

4.    How long will my power supply be off during the solar installation?

Your electrical supply will only need to be disconnected for a few hours during the commissioning of the mypower24 solar system. Our team will make every effort to minimise this downtime.

5.    How is the solar PV system fixed to my roof?

PV Solar  panels are fixed on top of your existing roof tiles or other roofing materials using roof anchors, lightweight aluminium mounting rails, and clamps. (All installation components are made of either aluminium or stainless steel.)

The type of roof anchor used will depend on your roofing material as well as the height and spacing of the roof battens.

  • Roofs with thick/ridged tiles: roof anchors may be fixed to the rafters by lifting (and then replacing) the existing tiles.
  • Slate-tiled roofs: roof anchors may be fixed by drilling through the slate to the rafters.

Our installation teams are highly trained to ensure no tiles are cracked and all holes are properly sealed to prevent water penetration. Bolts are secured without over-tightening to prevent stressing the panels and tiles, and reduce the risk of future cracks occurring.

6.    Is there a risk of leaking or other damage to my roof?

No. We use high quality, purpose-made products to seal any roof penetrations made during the installation of the solar PV system. These products are able to withstand well beyond the normal movement and temperatures to which they will be exposed, and will maintain a fully weather-tight seal.

7.    Are there specific requirements for positioning my Lithium-Ion battery and inverter?

No. Our Lithium-Ion batteries are wall mounted and does not require a lot of space.

USAGE AND MAINTENANCE

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1.    How do I operate the system?

mypower24 systems are fully automated. All you need to do is switch your system on and let it do its thing.

2.    Is the system safe and simple for anybody to operate?

Yes. It really is “switch on and forget”

3.    What maintenance is required on the system and who performs this work?

Periodic inspection and preventative maintenance of your installation is recommended but not required. At your election, we will perform these inspections annually.

4.    I have heard about inverter failure and battery degradation. What should I expect from my mypower24 system?

Although inverter failures are rare, they do happen. If they occur within the warranty period we will replace the inverter at no cost. Outside of the warrant period, the replacement will be at your expense.

The batteries will degrade faster than the solar PV system – in other words, the solar PV system has a longer useful life than the batteries. Under “normal” usage, we suggest that you will get 6-10 years of useful life from your battery, after which it will need to be replaced. By that time, batteries will be considerably cheaper in real terms than today.

5.    What warranties are provided on the mypower24 system?

We offer a standard 5 year warranty on all our components.

6.    How do I make a warranty claim?

We will handle all warranty claims on your behalf. Simply contact us and we’ll get in touch with the right people to have your claim settled as soon as possible.

7.    What insurance must I take out to cover my system?

The system can be insured, and should be specified, under your household cover.

To find out more about how Solar MD can help your home or business avoid load shedding interruptions and reduce the financial impact of rising electricity costs, give us a call on 021 555 2181 or request an obligation-free quote online.