Given the increase and prevalence of load shedding in South Africa it’s not surprising that the demand for alternative energy solutions is increasing. The two most prominent alternative energy solutions are Uninterruptable Power Supply or UPS (Read more about that here: (Uninterruptable Power Supply: All you need | Connected House) and Solar Power. In today’s article we will be discussing Solar Power and things you will need to understand and consider before committing to implementing solar power.
Understand Your Current Energy Consumption And Energy Needs
Before committing to a Solar Power switch, it’s important for you to understand how much energy you’re actually using on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You need to know this along with how much power you want your solar system to produce. There’s no use paying for a small solar system when you want your entire house to be powered and there’s no point spending on a large system when you only want to run your TV with solar power. Knowing your energy needs is the best way to not waste your money. But how do you figure your energy consumption out? You can do it yourself or you can hire someone do it for you. To do it yourself you’ll need an at home Watt Meter, to get a reading on energy usage you’ll have to connect it to the energy point you want to get a reading for. Remember to connect it to individual appliances because you want to understand the consumption of the individual appliances you wish to power with solar. If that sounds like too much work then why not get in touch with us and we can handle it for you: Contact Us | Connected House | Connected House
Installing a fully operational Solar System admittedly requires you to go through some hoops. The system must first be installed by a qualified electrician registered with the departments of energy and labor.
Then a professional electrical engineer must sign off on the work done.
Your system must also be registered with the municipality or local authority, which you can do by yourself, provided you know your way around the paperwork, (the paperwork is difficult to do by yourself if you aren’t an electrical engineer) or with the installer’s help.
The exact requirements for approval might vary from one municipality to the next. For example, the City of Cape Town has a specified list of approved inverters. Having a legally cleared system ensures that your investment is covered by insurance if it suffers damage from a surge, fire, or storm and other accidental damage.
Where Are Your Panels Going?
Solar panels most frequently go on roofs therefore putting them in the right position is essential in maximizing your power output. In the Southern hemisphere, it is best to face the solar panels North, because that is where they will receive the most direct light throughout the day. In the Northern hemisphere, the reverse is true: the panels should face south.
You should also make sure your roof’s tiles can support the weight of your solar panels. Solar panels generally weigh around 20KGs.
What Type Of Solar Panel Do You Want?
There are different kinds of solar panels that each have different strengths and weaknesses, in short you can opt for cheaper solar panels that produce less power or more expensive panels that produce more power.
Read this article of ours for more in depth knowledge on solar panel types: Which type of Solar Panel is Better? Connected House
Start Up Costs
Solar panels will ultimately save you money in the long run, and the longer you stick with the renewable energy source, the more you will end up saving. But here are quite a few costs that need to be considered.
There will be the initial cost of the panels, which can be quite expensive. The installation process itself will likely require the hiring of a contractor. including any modifications needed around your home to accommodate the solar panels. Permits may also come with a once off fee.
Those are some things you should consider before you start your solar power journey.
If you’re interested in making the move to Solar Power we would love to help you!
Get in touch with us today: Contact Us | Connected House | Connected House