Information on Rooftop Solar PV
A PV system can be ground mounted or freestanding, fitted on a residential or commercially owned roof, or even used as an alternative to traditional building materials (for e.g. roof tiles, paving on roads, etc.).
In South Africa, there has been an increasing customer interest for rooftop PV installations, even in the absence of specific policies or standards for the promotion of this technology. The generated electricity from a rooftop installation can be used to supplement the building’s own electrical requirements or can be directed back into the grid in certain instances where permitted, and a NERSA approved tariff is specified.
The most common way to differentiate a solar rooftop installation is via the connection to the electrical load/grid.
The property is connected to the national grid in order to receive electricity, but any surplus electricity generated by the system is prevented from being directed back into the grid.
Electricity generated can be used at the property and any surplus can be directed back into the grid. In some cases, this feed-back is compensated for.
The PV system generates electricity for use on-site, and operates completely independent of the national grid. In this case, it necessary to have additional components such as a charge controller and battery storage.
The Solar PV industry has developed significantly over the last 5 years despite some of the challenges faced in the sector. The PV GreenCard Programme was developed to address many key challenges including education, training skills development, quality, lack of standards etc. Some of the challenges are defined below.