Why Solar Energy?

Q & A

Green and
renewable

What is Solar Energy?
Solar Energy is the technology used to exploit the sun’s energy and make it useable. The so- called photovoltaic cells, also well known as solar panels, are the key ingredient to generate solar energy. When the sunlight hits the cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. The electricity gets generated as the electrons flow through the cell. 

Benefits of solar energy
It is a good investment, with an annual average of almost a 1000 sun hours in KwaZulu-Natal, solar energy is a very good option to reduce your electricity bills. With a solar panel system, you will generate free and green energy all year round. How much you exactly save on your bill, will be dependent on the type of solar system and your usage profil. 

Green and renewable energy source
Solar Energy has a lot of benefits, but the most important thing is that it is a truly renewable energy source. It can be generated worldwide and is available every day. Unlike most other sources of energy, we cannot run out of solar energy. It is also a non-polluting energy source and it does not emission any greenhouse gases while producing electricity. 

Low maintenance costs
If you keep the solar system clean, it generally does not require a lot of maintenance.
Only the inverter and the cables are usually the parts that need to be changed in five till ten years because they are continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity and/or heat. So after covering the initial costs of the solar system, you can expect little opening on maintenance and repair work. And still if it happens, we will be there to help you. 

Residential | Commercial

We are offering residential Solar
System Finance in KwaZulu- Natal
with the best service possible.

systems installed by NuRa Energy.

Q & A

What is Wp or kWp?
Watt peak or kilowatt peak refers to the rated maximum power output of a Solar PV module. A 300Wp module would therefore produce 300 Watts of electrical power at the optimal conditions.

What is meant by an “off-grid” system?
This is an electrical system that operates independently from the utility grid. It generates and distributes its own power from Solar PV or other sources for use within the proximity of the system. The most common examples are remote rural farms where no electrical grid is available. Some urban installations also consider and use off-grid systems to be independent from the electrical grid to avoid unscheduled outages.

What is meant by an “on-grid” or “grid-tied” system?
In this instance the utility (national of municipal) grid installation for a specific property remains intact. The Solar PV system is used to generate power that gets fed into the property’s electrical reticulation. The more power that is generated by the PV system, the less the reliance is on the grid, and vice versa. In this instance the utility grid is relied upon for security of supply.

What is an Inverter?
A power inverter, or inverter, is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The input voltage, output voltage and frequency, and overall power handling depend on the design of the specific device or circuitry.

What is the difference between a Grid Tied and Grid Interactive solution?
In essence you are looking at a solution with or without batteries. A Grid Tied solution needs the electricity grid or a generator to provide power before it will work. In the event of loadshedding and no generator to provide a reference point, your Grid Tied solution will not deliver any power. A Grid Interactive solution has batteries incorporated into the solution and can deliver power in the event of load shedding. This is not an inexhaustible supply of energy and effective management of consumption is recommended to ensure maximum benefit.

What happens when it rains for days on end?
In cloudy and rainy conditions Solar PV panels generate less power. Your reliance on the utility grid or storage (like batteries) would be greater during these times. Should you have a battery bank, the grid could be used to “top-up” the batteries during the period of inclement weather.

What does it cost?
The cost is relative to the value being created. When NuRa Energy designs a solution, we look to achieve a pay-back that is in line with the customers’ requirements. Electricity is a cost that will endure as long as the business is operational. We look to offer customers an option where they can build an asset without incurring any additional cost over and above the current electrical expense. The main benefit is that the customer will continue to enjoy a further 20 years of savings after the solution has been paid for!

Will a solar PV solution reduce my risk?
A Grid Interactive solution will reduce risk. The solution is designed with batteries that will provide an electrical supply when the grid fails (load shedding). The size of the battery bank determines the support available. A Grid Tied solution will not reduce risk. We propose that a generator is put in place that has the capability of delivering the total required load. Our technology enables the Grid Tied solution to integrate with the generator and this will reduce the operating cost of the generator.

Why is a Grid Interactive solution so much more expensive than a Grid Tied solution?
The two solutions make use of different components. A Grid Tie inverter is significantly less costly than a Grid Interactive inverter. In addition to the increased cost of the inverter, the Grid Interactive solution requires batteries that add a significant cost burden and need to be replaced at a future date.

Is there a difference between a residential solution and a commercial solution?
Yes, commercial solutions are focused on saving customers money whilst a residential solution is more focused on reducing risk and increasing comfort in the event of load shedding. Commercial solutions are typically Grid Tied solutions with no battery back-up and residential solutions need to store electricity generated during the day for evening and early morning consumption when the sun is not delivering sufficient power for the home. Commercial systems have additional tax benefits such as accelerated depreciation which makes it more financially attractive.

Can my Grid Tied solution feed back into the Eskom grid?
This is a very contentious issue and the current position is that no feed-back to the Eskom grid is allowed unless a specific process is followed to get approval. There are municipalities who do allow feedback onto the grid, but we recommend that you speak to a specialist on the matter to advice on your specific position. Please check the advice received in the market with us to ensure accuracy!

What factors will influence the feasibility of a solar PV solution?
Designing your solution to ensure that over-generation does not take place is a key factor in the engineering design phase and is crucial to ensure economic feasibility. Other key factors include quality of equipment, available roof space, roof orientation and gradient, shading challenges, geographical location and the current electricity tariff being paid.

Would a solar solution add value to my property?
Yes. 

Can I increase the size of the solution after the initial installation?
Yes, PV solutions are extremely modular and can be increased in size at any point. Battery based Grid Interactive solutions do have a slight challenge in terms of modularity. Introducing a new battery bank to an existing battery bank will reduce the efficiency of the new bank. The new bank will operate at the efficiency level of the old bank and this is not advisable. As an engineering company we strive to build the most efficient solutions and propose that a predetermined growth strategy is put in place in line with available cash flow.

What equipment can I power from the system?
Any equipment that uses electricity to operate can be powered from a Solar PV system. The design of the system would however vary according to the type of equipment that needs to be powered. As an example an off-grid system with a highly inductive load would require a larger system than an on-grid system with no inductive loads. Design remains the key to have an efficient system.

What is the life expectancy of these systems?
Solar PV systems has a design life in excess of 25 years and do last for as long as 35 years.

What size roof space is required?
In generally 10m2 is required per kWp.

Can Solar PV produce 3 phase power?
Yes. It is however dependent on the design of the systems which makes it important to use qualified electrical engineers like those in our service to design your system.