It’s a costly fact that South Africans will be contending with load shedding for the foreseeable future. With so many hours of energy downtime costing billions of rands, businesses, industry, and even individuals are looking to solar energy for protection against rolling blackouts. But solar PV panels and an inverter alone can’t shield you when the grid goes down. In this article, we’ll talk about the ins and outs of solar PV systems in a time of load shedding.
Grid-tied inverters: No protection against load shedding by themselves
Many of Decentral Energy’s solar systems use grid-tied inverters. These are a simple and cost-effective means of switching to a cheaper and greener source of energy for your building.
But it’s crucial to realise that grid-tied inverters will not protect you from load shedding, because they turn off when the grid loses power. This means that, even if the sun is shining, you won’t have electricity.
Why would someone choose this option, you may ask? The most significant advantage of such a system is to provide significant cost savings and cleaner energy: a real necessity as Eskom and municipal tariffs keep increasing!
Energy security with solar: Back-up options
If you’re looking for true energy security, you will need to add battery storage or a supplementary generator to your system. Whereas a grid-tied system turns off during load shedding, a hybrid system (solar PV + battery or solar PV + generator) will remain on, powering the loads you need it to.
A battery-tied system allows you to store energy generated by your solar PV panels in the daytime for later use. You can add batteries to such a system in a modular fashion.
The alternative to batteries is a diesel generator. Adding one of these would provide a backup form of energy generation to the system. These can be fully integrated with your solar system, meaning that when your generator is running, the solar system will act in tandem in fuel-savings mode, pushing the generator load down to a minimum.
Decentral Energy offers a range of load shedding-proof solutions
If protection from load shedding and greater independence from the grid are what you’re after, Decentral Energy has a variety of solutions for you. We offer battery lease and diesel generator add-on options to our low-risk power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most importantly, we will tailor a solution to suit your needs.
If you’re interested in pursuing a solar PV roof rental or power purchase agreement, get in touch with us today. We’ll assess your needs and the suitability of your property for solar energy generation and put a proposal together so that you can start benefitting as soon as possible from the financial and environmental savings that solar power provides.