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Thread: Stand alone Solar/Pv installations

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    Stand alone Solar/Pv installations

    Solar/Pv use for lighting and power in residential and commercial installations is relatively new and not that much covered in SANS 10142-1 2009, to what extent is compliance for such regulated by the ECBSA or do they fall under normal low voltage installations?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I like this question, solar PV is a ELV DC installation up to the point where it enters the inverter. I've not been involved in an installation in this country, only in the UK. Problem is I think it's still officially illegal to export into the South African supply grid and there's certainly no domestic or small commercial 'feed in tariff' arrangement so why would people be interested in installing such a system unless it's just for back-up with batteries?

    In the UK any company installing PV systems needs to be registered with and accredited by a governing body (MCS) specifically for solar as well as the usual electrical scheme bodies. To be honest I'm not sure of the system here but I'd be very interested to find out if someone knows.
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    Done a bit of Solar installation in the UK as well, quite a while back before it got big and you had to be MCS accredited. Why they are not allowing over here is just beyond me, such a perfect place for it. Eskom can deliver enough power half the time, electricity prices going through teh roof and plenty of hours good daylight. What are they waiting for?????? I Also want to know when they are going to allow grid tied systems.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingsparks View Post
    Why they are not allowing over here is just beyond me.....What are they waiting for??????
    In the UK they've thrown serious money at solar PV over the last few years in the form of the FIT (feed in tariff) scheme which is just subsidies (and which has been pretty much bankrupt now for the last several months). The answer to your question is actually in the the two words 'serious money' which the SA govt doesn't have or doesn't want to allocate to the population that might be able to afford the R100,000 plus outlay for a 4kW installation.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think the OP's question is in regard to stand alone installations, though.

    So if we assume there is no mains supply, the situation would be...?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    So if we assume there is no mains supply, the situation would be...?
    You would still be charged the electricity availability fee and the more people that go off grid the higher the availability fee will be
    That is until you are paying the same as if you were on the grid anyway.

    Or maybe they will penalise off grid (non) consumers with heavy levies?
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CollenD View Post
    ....and not that much covered in SANS 10142-1 2009,
    SANS 10142 would cover the wiring of the premises.

    IEC/TS 62257-7-1:2010 has been adopted in it's entirety by SANS as the PV system installation code of practice for South Africa.
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    With regards to Stand Alone Off Grid Solar/PV SELV and PELV lighting circuits for residences, is CoC a legal requirement or is the installation regarded safe as long as is it has been done by a qualified person?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    That's actually a good question, another question would be does a premises need a COC by law for an electrical installation if it's not connected to the grid? Not sure to be honest but from a common sense point of view I would say yes it would, the legal requirements I don't know off hand. I'm sure one of the resident electricians with more domestic experience will know the answer.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The defintion of an electrical installation requiring a COC is:

    “electrical installation” means any machinery, in or on any premises, used for the transmission of electricity from a point of control to a point of consumption anywhere on the premises, including any article forming part of such an installation irrespective of whether or not it is part of the electrical circuit, but excluding -

    (a) any machinery of the supplier related to the supply of electricity on the premises;

    (b) any machinery which transmits electrical energy in communication, television or radio circuits;

    (c) an electrical installation on a vehicle, vessel, train or aircraft.

    So it seems the power generating portion (the supply) wouldn't need a COC, but the installation it supplies would.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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