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One, Two, Three: Get to Know your Solar Power Systems

Every type of solar power system has one thing in common; they are all designed to harness clean renewable energy, effectively reducing environmental damage and lowering electricity expenses for those who invest in them. However, these systems are also diverse in their size, structure and suitability; it’s important to know which type of solar power application would be the most appropriate for your property, and why. It may sound like a complex decision, but the first step is simple; know what solar power systems are available, and how they would affect your home and office.

Essentially, solar power systems fall into three main categories, and each of these are suitable for different working and living environments.

1. Off-Grid/ Stand-Alone System

The off-grid solar power system is one that works completely independently of Eskom’s power grid; this makes it the ideal system for rural living in areas where there is no access to the grid. This includes remote holiday retreats and campsites.

Stand-alone systems range from basic kits to high-level solar power systems, which can be tied to a generator for a large-scale solar solution (picture a luxury game reserve surrounded by beautiful African wilderness, supplying all the modern conveniences of electricity and hot water with virtually no impact on the environment).

2. Grid-Tied System

A solar power system that is described as “grid-tied” is one that harnesses solar energy while still being reliant on the national power grid. This makes it a useful solar energy solution for those in residential and commercial buildings in urban or suburban areas and looking to decrease their carbon footprint. The downside to this system, however, is the fact that it offers no backup should there be an unexpected power cut.

If your home or office is located in an area prone to power outages, we recommend you look to the third solar power system category:

3. Grid-Tied System with Battery Backup

A solar power system with battery backup is the perfect solution for green homes and offices; with the reassurance of battery backup you can go about your work or household activities with the peace of mind that you are harnessing renewable energy while safeguarding yourself (as well as your family or your staff) against the inconvenience of sudden power outages. A grid-tied solar power system with battery backup is highly recommended for those in energy-conscious urban and suburban buildings.

Remember, no matter which solar power system you choose, be sure to practice energy-efficient habits in your day-to-day living and working situations. This ensures you will get the most out of your investment in a solar power system, which will reflect in reduced energy bills and a greener lifestyle that minimises the damage done to our beloved planet. Visit the online shop to see our full range of specialised solar equipment, solar panels and full solar power system solutions.

6 thoughts on “One, Two, Three: Get to Know your Solar Power Systems”

  • Michiel Brand

    Seeing that your business is located in Cape Town,kindly give me the following answer.Solar (SUN ONLY ) cannot work alone in winter.One will have to suplement with additional wind charger.
    Or else proof me wrong.I would love to cut down Eskom power usage.I am interested in a small system that will provide me with power for two lights for the duration of at least the length of a winter night.the one light in front ( Street side) must illuminate at least a 100 Square Meters.
    What advice could you provide me with,feasable or not.Cost if feasable?

  • Zeke


    There are a number of contributing factors that can determine whether adding wind to the equation is viable. Siting is very important and alhough the Cape has overall good average wind in alot of instances micro wind does not prove efficient. The solar array and possible battery(if installed) would need to be suffciently sized to accommodate inclement weather.

    However, in your case where you are looking for solar lighting you could consider one of our complete solar lights. Please view the range here.

  • Mark Becker

    Hi Zeke,

    How does one get a 'smart meter' in Cape Town?

    • Zeke

      Hi Mark

      This would need to be done with the electrical suppliers selling pre-paid meters, the models allowing bi-directional supply would have to be on the councils list of approved units. This is where the buck stops and unless the new home builder specifically requests for a disk meter, which may or may not eb agreed upon, a standard meter would be installed. With the new feed-in program being introduced in Cape Town I believe "smart meters" would be approved to allow grid feed system to work.

  • Vernon

    I have purchased one of your 5kw bi directional inverters. I now intend buying 10 x 220w solar panels. What type of cabling, 4mm or 6mm @ 60m and how many connector packs plus branch type do I need, if connecting in series is more benificial than connecting in paralel?

    Bear in mind the panels are only half the number I require, as previousely advised by you in a previouse e mail.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Johan


    Do you have any knowledge of grid-tied possibility in Pretoria?



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