What does PV mean?
PV stands for Photovoltaic, which in simple terms means the conversion of light to electricity.
How exactly does a solar PV panel work?
Solar PV panels work by the photons, particles of light from the sun’s rays, colliding with atoms within the solar panel, knocking electrons free within the atom creating a flow of electricity.
How do I insure the system?
Insuring your new system is very easy. Simply add the value of the system on top of your building/household insurance. Please note, we will walk you through every step of the way as part of our value added service.
How do I go about financing the system?
We understand that a lot of people don’t have the money sitting around for a home solar installation, so we can offer extremely good rates in financing the system. This also comes as one of our value added services where we will assist every step of the way.
How much does it cost?
A beginners home/business solar installation can start from around R40 000, which includes installation, delivery, warranties and configuration.
How do I know which system is best suited for my home?
If you have read through the multiple systems on our informative website and you are still confused as to what you would like, please do not hesitate to contact us via the online form on the contact us page. We will receive your e-mail and be in touch so that we may assist.
What is the difference between the solar panels used for generating electricity to those used to heat water, such as solar geysers?
There is a huge difference between these two panels. Commonly confused with one another, the solar panel used to generate electricity for your home or business is called a PV solar panel, this panel converts light into electricity; whereas the panel used for solar geysers etc. is simply called a solar collector which are used to absorb the heat from the sunrays and environment.
How exactly does solar heating work?
Solar water heating is achieved when the suns rays fall on the solar collector panel, the water from the geyser / pool is then pumped through a water cylinder / water pipes located behind the panel – the panel would have “collected” heat which in turn heats up the passing water.
Solar Hot Water or Heat Pump?
This is a question that often comes up. It is definitely dependent on your area – due to the variances of ambient temperatures you have. In warmer climates heat pumps do work well as they basically operate like an air conditioner but in the opposite way. They bring in the ambient air, expel the cold air and use the heat through the heat exchanger and compressor to heat up water. If you are in a cold climate then your heat pump will work very hard and therefore become inefficient. Heat pumps require annual servicing and have been known to have problems depending on the brand you choose – Grid Freedom Group only offers the highest quality brands, proven to have long service life. Solar hot water however just needs sun every day, uses no electricity to heat water, unlike the heat pump, and the only servicing required is going to clean the surface of the solar panel. Heat pumps come with a 2-5 year warranty and solar thermal panels come with a 5-10 year warranty.
What happens if there is a hailstorm that damages my panels?
Our solar panels are made out of extremely tough and resistant high tempered glass, the possibility of them being damaged in a hailstorm are very low. If however there is a severe storm and a few of the panels are damaged, it would be insured with the building and therefore would be covered - insurance will pay for your replacement panels.
How long does a Solar PV system last?
A good quality system without batteries will last you around 15-20 years, before having to do a major service on the inverter. Solar panels have been on satellites circulating the earth for many decades, and have been tested for as long as the 25 year performance warranty suggests. When talking batteries, there are plenty of different types of batteries in the market such as: Lithium Ion, Lithium Phosphate, Lead Acid- AGM, Gel, Tubular Cell etc. In our experience, Lead Acid Tubular Cell is definitely the way to go with regards to price and longevity. When it comes to batteries, it all comes down to Depth of Discharge (DOD) - this is the percentage you allow the batteries to be discharged to. If you discharge your batteries to 100% everyday they wont last longer than 12 months, however if you design the system to 30% DOD then you can get around 8-12 years out of them.
Is installing a Solar System legal?
Right now there is no law against it and eThekweni does give us the thumbs up to go ahead. They have begun implementing regulations which state that NRS097 must be implemented on every installation which is something that Grid Freedom Group complies with. Cape Town municipality has taken the initiative and allows their residents to feedback excess power generated by their Solar PV System and receive up to 70% of what they pay to bring in electricity credited from their bill.