Process to install PV on your roof
Before you commit to purchasing and installing a rooftop PV system, be sure to check with your local electricity distribution authority (municipality or Eskom) for what is permitted, and if there are any specific legal requirements you need to fulfil or adhere to.
Using an installer from the PV GreenCard database allows you the comfort of knowing that the installer is well aware of these requirements.
- As a PV GreenCard customer, you can use the database and google-maps empowered search engine (LINK/directory) to find a service provider near you that is SAPVIA endorsed. These installers on the database have registered their companies, successfully completed a skills assessment and have committed to abide by all applicable regulations, technical and safety standards.
- A good service provider will be able to advise you accordingly and design, supply, install and commission your PV system. Any installer worth their salt would also advise their customers to first become energy efficient before applying a renewable energy solution, in order to decrease the cost and size of the PV system you would require.
- Ensure that your service provider has adequate experience in the field. The installers on the database have been vetted for your protection. Cross-check any subcontractors’ details with those provided.
- After selecting the installer of your choice from the PV GreenCard database, the installer will guide you through the installation process and will make sure that your system conforms to technical standards and safety. It is important to note that you as the customer have the ability to authorize the PV GreenCard via a simple web interface.
- If you wish to install a grid-tied system, you will need to register and request approval from your distribution authority. Most municipalities that allow this have the necessary documentation on their website. Building plans should be attached if the panels exceed a height threshold of 1.5m at any point or 600mm from the highest point on the roof. If the panels are mounted on the ground and exceed 2.1.m, then the building plans should be submitted. You should not proceed with the installation until you receive written approval.
- After approval and contracting a service provider from the PV GreenCard database; engineering, procurement and construction of the PV system can begin. The whole procurement process including all relevant installation steps as well as important information on equipment used (such as PV module and inverter specifications) are documented in the PV GreenCard document. The installer will guide you through the installation process and will make sure that your system adheres to technical standards and safety. You as the customer authorize the PV GreenCard via a simple web interface.
- A structural assessment may also need to be conducted by a structural engineer to guarantee that your roof can support and withstand the wind loads in the area and weigh load of the solar panels.
- Regarding the quality of your components for the system, make sure your panels and inverter are of a good quality and are certified by international standards. If you choose to have a storage system, ensure that batteries are stored safely, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
- Manage the health and safety of the contractors on site and ensure the correct supervision is carried out.
- Check that the installer requested through the database is the installer on site from the installation. They will ensure the placement of your PV panels are done correctly, and that the DC circuit breakers used are suitable.
- The PV GreenCard form will be completed partially on site and submitted online by the chosen installer.
- It is still mandatory that a professional engineer/technologist does the necessary checks and signs off the system with a CoC when complete.
- Check your PV GreenCard via the mobile app/link provided via text/email. It will cover all relevant installation steps and important information on the equipment used such as PV modules and PV inverters. It serves as a lifelong companion for your PV system and will capture all future maintenance activities in your personal PV GreenCard.
- Ensure that all manufacturer warranties are attached and provided with the hand over pack.
- Request your original CoC to safeguard against any damage or casualties, and any guarantees, warrantees or manuals for the system.
- Monitor your roof and make sure that no roof leaks have occurred as a result of the installation.
- If you are not happy with the installation, you can request an inspection from an independent consultant by RedCard-ing the Installation.