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Thread: Back to Solar....

  1. #1
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    Back to Solar....

    So a Company has asked me to do the AC side of solar installations. They are a well established company and have done a lot of solar installations in Cape town as well as Gauteng.

    I know the SANS 10142 doesn't cover embedded generators but as far as I understand from guideline published so far electrical equipment installed in and around an embedded generator should comply with the wiring code (see quote below from interim guidelines until proper standards are published).

    http://pqrs.co.za/wp-content/uploads...th-Africa-.pdf

    I have done a lot of solar installs in the UK and basically the grid tie system there went from a circuit breaker in the board, through an isolator (breaking all poles) through metering equipment (showing power generated from solar system) before the cable run up to another isolator near the inverter.

    Opinions of issuing a COC on this part of the installation. I would just see the inverter as a fixed appliance essentially.

    Agree/disagree/opinions.

    The solar revolution is coming to SA- would prefer to be part of it.


    'By way of a note, the South African National Standard, SANS 0142-1, [Code of Practice for] The Wiring of
    Premises, specifically excludes embedded generators in the ambit of applicability, i.e. where such
    embedded generators will be operated in parallel with a utility distribution grid.
    Electrical equipment installed in and around an embedded generator (e.g. grid-tie inverter with certain
    peripheral equipment), should comply to the wiring code, in order that a Certificate of Compliance (CoC)
    may be issued.'

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    This is worth noting from the interim guidelines document you link to -

    Regulatory requirements

    Connection of embedded generators is only allowed with the written approval of the supply utility.

    Embedded generation installations shall comply with the requirements of SANS 10142-1 to the full extent of applicability, the NRS 097 series, as well as the proposed SANS 10142 Parts 3 and 5, as and when approved.

    Wherever provisions of this guideline may appear to contradict any provisions of the documents listed in the preceding paragraph, the provisions of the latter shall take precedence over this guideline.


    I should expect the supply authority is going to be pretty careful about what they'll allow in the way of grid-tie.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Eskom would have to get a lot of ducks in rows before their network could handle any large scale roll out of grid tie solar. I don't see any feed in tariff structure similar to the UK being politically popular here, it would be seen as a handout to the white middle classes or at least discriminatory against the large majority that can't afford a PV installation. I'd guess that the only PV revolution here would be an off-grid one and many of the people that can afford it already spent a fortune on one as a knee jerk reaction to the rolling blackouts AKA load shedding a few years ago.

    I think there's a lot of scope to set up as a PV designer/installer especially with the security industry for powering cameras and LED lighting, I just don't think we'll see the residential boom on anything like the scale of UK of Europe..
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    But what do think on the installation of the AC side and a C.O.C. for it Andy.

    The company who want me to do the work takes care of all installation beyond the inverter and understand that that part is outside of SANS 10142.

    They are sorting all the Eskom side of things and I have seen they have done quite a few installs in Johannesburg.

    The Grid tie solar thing, I'm surprised it even started. I could never justify the cost of the batteries. R.O.I. was crazy. Grid tie - I can justify.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    The CoC side of things with a solar installation is impossible at present, as you say embedded generation systems within an installation are specifically excluded from the wiring regs. You could issue a CoC for the installation but you'd exclude the embedded generation system and effectively I don't see how you could certify a solar PV system.

    I honestly don't know why the SANS don't just adopt the appropriate ISO regs for PV installations or tailor them to fit with the existing 10142.
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