Design & Calculations

Before investing in a solar energy system, to power your home, office, or factory, or to enable backup power, it is wise to ascertain its viability and potential ROI.

This is one of the key entry points focused on. How much power does your establishment require, what all, exactly, are you wanting to run or power up, and then design the system into this exact objective.

Designing a Solar PV system correctly entails several inputs to obtain a realistic size for PV production. It is of course not possible to replace all consumption from the main supplier Eskom with a PV based solution. The sun simply doesn’t shine 24 hours a day so one has to start with the premise that a fraction of all consumption can be PV supplied. How much is the key question. Firstly we want to know the following:

a. What is your annual consumption in kWh. This will provide us with a guideline target for PV production

b. Where is your location to establish irradiation levels

c. What area is available for PV module location and how large

d. What azimuth will the PV panels face

Taking these into consideration one can work out how much PV production is possible by entering these details into the modelling software and have an output similar to the example below.

It is then possible to work out how close the energy yield will be to the total consumption and is it a realistic figure to achieve. As a rule of thumb anything above 60% will be moving to optimistic and could result in unused production if this is implemented without some consumption behaviour changes.

Calculated energy yield from solar system

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