Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Learn about Solar & How it all works

Simply put, Solar panels use photons to knock electrons from atoms in the cells of a solar panel to create movement of electricity. Photovoltaic is a meaning used to describe the conversion that takes place from sunlight to electricity. We call a Potovoltaic system that is installed one's roof and PV is the shorten saying described largely in the industry for Phtotovoltaic.

The factors that are considered when installing a rooftop PV solar system are:

  •                                        Solar installers put racking system into place. Courtesy: Convert Solar.
  • Angle
  • Surface 
  • Roof strength 
  • Shading

Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Useful solar sales tips

What I'm about to explain to you is what any successful solar residential or commercial people own and separates great professionals from the merely average.

In order to uncover the buying motivation behind a client we can frame solar to best suit their needs and that is the ability to listen and answer the clients’ questions.

1) Ask questions and listen to prospects answers like a Doctor does. We know they ask open-ended questions. You are the Doctor and your prospect is your patient that you have to uncover and posses. Diagnose what ails your patient, you have to draw him out so you can diagnose what he wants and needs. The benefit of this is going beyond answers like 'Yes" and "No" which go beyond simple answers. If you ask him the right way and then listen to the prospect, he will tell you he's buying motivation straight away. This will demonstrate how solar can meet the prospects needs so the answer can come.

Examples of Open-Ended questions

1) What goals do you want to accomplish by going solar?

2) How long have you been thinking of going solar?

3) What prevented you from doing this earlier?

4) What do you know of the cost of owning a system?

5) What kind of return do you think solar can provide for you?


For more advice first subscribe, comment and email me at miko@solarstar.co.za 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Eskoms problems Faced

When the cost of that renewable energy was weighed against the sum Eskom would have spent on coal and diesel to deliver the same number of terawatt-hours (TWh) and the costs associated with load shedding avoided thanks to renewable s.
On the other hand, the incident announced for the first time how reliant we already are on renewable s - a reliance that is set to grow exponentially in future. The problem, for now, is not too much renewable energy in the mix, but too little.
Numerous possibilities presented themselves - from Eskom leasing renewable energy solutions to customers who couldn’t finance them on their own, to limiting its role to maintaining and operating the grid while charging independent power producers for the service of wheeling electricity to their customers, to supplying only subsidised power to poorer households while private customers paid an energy tax to pay for the subsidy. We have to adapt
Whatever business model was chosen for Eskom, it would be better if it were managed as a national programme guided by the state, instead of it happening on its own. We would accelerate it if you had a national rollout programme like the solar water heating systems rather than if every time someone could afford it they bought it.
But also, we lose the opportunity of having tax incentives and cross-subsidisation mechanisms and the state and Eskom just start to lose customers and there’s nothing they can do about it. That might lead to the end of Eskom, which is OK, but it could also lead to the end of the state, because the poor would end up having no energy.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Whether to go solar yet

Solar power to the rescue

Overall, South Africa has good weather. Apart from making it a great country for sport, braais, and going to the beach, it offers an excellent environment for solar power.
The price of solar power has plummeted in recent years. Tobias Bischof-Niemz, energy engineer at the CSIR, said that five years ago a photovoltaic system cost R5 per kWh, compared to Eskom’s R0.50 per kWh.
Today a photovoltaic system produces power at less than R1 per kWh, while Eskom charges much more than that.
The wider availability and lower costs of photovoltaic systems means that many people are using solar energy to either supplement Eskom power (grid-tied system), or go completely off the grid.
This raises the question as to what the costs are to produce enough electricity to become completely Eskom free.
It still provides only a sliver of the world’s energy, and even by 2020 it will make up just 2% of global electricity supply. But the pace of change is remarkable, with more solar capacity installed since 2010 than in the previous four decadesResidential solar power rooftop installations are skyrocketing internationally, but South Africa is still behind the curve due to a lack of innovative financing.
Apart from extending a home loan or taking a personal loan, South Africans have limited financing options available at the moment.
Despite Eskom’s woes, the South African government might not be that quick to encourage residential households to start producing their own power.
Electricity tariffs present a huge revenue spinner for municipalities and, if more households leave the grid, it would mean a smaller income for both the state power utility and cash-strapped municipalities.
That means South Africans will have to purchase and finance their own solar systems, with all the switchgear and equipment needed to produce off-the-grid power.
Although Eskom offered a rebate to switch to a solar water geyser a few years back, its current financial situation is unlikely to see that happening again anytime soon.
Analysts’ calculations have shown that it makes economic sense for homes to have photovoltaic solar panels on their roofs.
Earlier this year, research body the CSIR calculated in a report that residential-sized photovoltaic systems were already a cost-competitive alternative to other new-build options, even with finance fees included.
The cost of rooftop solar power – including financing at an interest rate of 9% – came in at 81 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Power from Medupi and Kusile, which are still under construction, will be sold at 80 cents per kWh, but Eskom’s pricing is also likely to become more expensive.
How other countries finance the residential solar revolution
Internationally, governments and financial institutions are increasingly presenting innovative schemes that are encouraging households to make the switch.
No figures are available for how many home solar systems exist in South Africa, but the CSIR estimates that the country’s total peak capacity is only about 10 MW. This is opposed to the estimate of 1 GW installed in the UK’s residential homes.
The website Cleantech reported that more than 125 000 homes in the UK installed solar photovoltaic systems on their roofs last year, driven in part by the country’s feed-in tariff.
In Bangladesh, the government is installing more than 80 000 solar home systems every month with the help of a World Bank loan.
In India, the government is considering a tax incentive to encourage households to purchase rooftop solar panels. The Indian government is in discussions with banks to provide easy loans for renewable energy schemes, such as rooftop solar installations.
Americans are also reaping the rewards of pioneering grants and financing.
Time magazine reported that this year’s first quarter broke records in the US, with 66 440 new solar systems being installed in the first three months of the year. That brings the total number of American households with solar to about 700 000.
In the US, homeowners who buy their own systems can receive a federal investment tax credit worth 30% of the cost of their system.
But about two-thirds of Americans don’t actually buy their solar systems but opt for solar leases or power-purchase agreements. Such schemes are also popular in the UK. With these agreements, a third party installs and owns the equipment and customers are only charged for the kilowatt-hours of solar power they use.
There is no such agreement yet available in South Africa.
What are the options?
One of the few dedicated South African green financiers is a company called GreenFin, but their rates at first glance do not seem that competitive.
On the company’s website, the monthly instalment is calculated at an 18% interest rate.
How much it will cost you to say “Goodbye Eskom”

GreenFin pays an approved installer directly and homeowners only start repaying the calculated monthly instalment once the installation is completed and functioning well.
South African banks believe they can do better.
Nedbank’s Dirk Visser said financing was working well in the business sector. Nedbank offered financing for renewable energy to business-banking clients.
Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said there had been a number of initiatives across industries around the financing of green energy.
“Standard Bank does have multiple products to assist customers with financing green and alternative power solutions.
“It is, however, important for the customer to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to ensure they are making the correct decision using the optimal financing vehicle,” he said.
Apart from dealing with power outages, South Africans can also expect big electricity price increases in the coming years and solar equipment is reducing every year.

Will there be load shedding this summer?

Yes and no. We can continue with no load shedding if the public and businesses assist Eskom. They will be undergoing major maintenance work in the coming months, but have proved that despite this, they can still do it!  Public enterprise minister said, while the energy supply situation was improving, “it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods”, and Eskom should be given space to do the necessary maintenance. There is still going to be "crashing" and planned maintenance with back up power, but this cannot be reliable enough generated by open gas turbines. Eskom needs load shedding. Why? So they can makes plans and put structures in place to rectify the grid problem and provide South Africa with lights on. Which is slightly ironic in my views. They should not make it the consumers problem because it is not our problem and we pay tariffs to keep our lights on.   
Load shedding is very expensive for South Africa. It is the reason economists are saying the economy is growing slowly. Whatever happens, we’ll find the money to fund the maintenance programme.

Eskom’s strategy is based on several factors: 7 000MW will be off the grid in planned maintenance at any given time over the next year to catch up on backlogs many of South Africa’s ageing power generation plants require, securing new supplies through, for example, independent power provider contracts and managing demand. Energy supplies will be tight until September 14 and again from May to August next year.

Meanwhile, the massive coal-power generators at Medupi and Kusile to bring 9 600MW to the grid, alongside the Ingula pumped-storage scheme’s contribution of 1 332MW, are behind schedule – and, in the case of the coal power stations, over budget.
Medupi and Kusile are four years behind schedule and expected to be fully online by 2019. Costs for Medupi stand at R105 billion, up from the initial R69bn price tag, and costs at Kusile are R118bn, up from R80bn, according to an Eskom presentation to the parliamentary public enterprises committee in April.
There’d been “insufficient planning” and if Medupi had been built on time, SA would have averted the situation (of load shedding) or made it less.

Check the status up on Eskoms loadshedding website for more updates 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

WHY No load shedding?

We aren't having load shedding because tens of thousands of people are installing embedded generation.
Embedded generation means generation at the point of use, or generation that is embedded inside the grid, rather than Eskom power stations which are at the source generation points on the grid.
Embedded generation including:
  • solar-electric photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • wind turbine systems
  • generators: petrol, diesel
  • gas-engines (gas generators)
Even without load shedding, electricity prices are incredibly high in South Africa, and the threat of load shedding looms for at least the next 3 years, according to Eskom, and many more years according to me and the Intergrated resource plan

Monday, 5 October 2015

Why Solar?

Solar is the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the U.S. today. Accounting for 50 percent of new generation capacity in 2014 in the U.S., the sleeping giant of solar energy is most decidedly waking. The solar industry currently employs nearly 174,000 Americans and contributes almost $15 billion to the U.S. economy.
The solar success story is not confined to the US. Solar has the potential to become the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050 if policy makers provide an appropriate amount of support, per the International Energy Agency. The world’s cleanest, most available energy source, solar is a win-win for the planet and the global economy.