PV Solar Efficiency?

As with everything else in our technology-driven world, huge advances in the sphere of PV (Photovoltaic) technology has increased the conversion efficiency of PV solar panels by leaps and bounds, which leaves us with the question; PV solar efficiency?

We obviously want PV solar to be efficient, since it’s one of the greatest hopes for most South Africans, living with a beleaguered electricity grid, to be free from its consistently unstable performance and endless rounds of load shedding, for which there is seldom any warning.

Add to this the exorbitant cost of merely heating water, keeping appliances running and keeping the lights on and we’ve about hit ground zero when it comes to deciding to cut ties with Eskom, at least as much as our budgets will allow!

PV solar efficiency?

Considering that buying a PV solar system isn’t cheap, we naturally want to know that finding the funds to make the investment will be worth it, which goes to the question of the efficiency of PV solar.

Bottom line, PV solar panel efficiency is based on the amount of sunlight that shines onto the panel and is then converted into electricity, a conversion efficiency that has reached an average of pretty well over 20%, according to most experts.

What this means, in essence, is that the power rating considered of a standard size PV solar panel has increased from what used to be 250W, to 370W and more today.

PV solar panel efficiency factors to take into account

There are two main factors to take into account when determining the efficiency of PV solar, which are:

Photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency

The type of silicone used and design of the individual photovoltaic cell contributes to its efficiency, such as whether either a P-type or N-type of silicone is used. The cell efficiency is also determined by the type of substrate used and the actual photovoltaic cell structure, with its efficiency calculated by a very technical term called the fill factor (FF), which gives you what will be the maximum conversion rate of sunlight to electricity.

This is all about calculating the optimum operating voltage and current that can be expected of the cell itself.

PV solar panel efficiency

The efficiency of a complete PV solar panel is determined by the layout and configuration of the photovoltaic cells, as well as by the size of the panel itself.

There is a lot more attached to understanding PV solar efficiency, but the best way to get to grips with questions as complicated as these would be to chat to the solar experts at Renaissance Solar.

This is their bailiwick, and the passion that drives their commitment to excellence and quality solar products, will assure you of a clear understanding of the principles behind PV solar efficiency, before you even get to designing the ideal PV solar system for your home or business.

Choose Renaissance Solar for top PV solar efficiency!

Quality products and workmanship, along with a sheer dedication for meeting the needs of their customers from start to finish, and beyond, is your guarantee from Renaissance Solar of an investment in a PV solar system that works efficiently, and will meet all your solar energy requirements!

Whether you dream of going completely off the grid, plan to buy a Hybrid PV solar system or Grid Tie solar system, if you live in Cape Town, then Renaissance Solar is the team to trust with your foray into the world of solar energy!


PV Solar Definition?

Before we get into definitions, let’s look at a bit of inspiration when it comes to considering PV solar as an alternative energy source, compared to that of the expensive and unstable grid we’ve been forced to come to terms with in South Africa.

What you need in terms of getting the highest efficiency out of PV solar panels is at least 4 hours of peak sunlight, and nothing is easier to achieve than that in our beautiful country, where we average between 4.1 and 6.3 peak sun hours a day!

Of course, you’ll have a little more or a little less depending on where you’re situated in the country, but, nothing takes away from the fact that South Africa’s resources for solar energy is one of the highest in the world.

Nothing is perfect, and yes, your PV solar panels will produce less energy on cloudy days than on sunny, however, based on the reality of the figures above, you’ll have a reliable source of free electricity throughout the year, based purely on the energy of the sun!

By the way, Europe is way ahead of us in terms of reliance on solar energy, yet they experience, in comparison to our annual solar radiation average of 220 W/m2, only 100 W/m2!

Still want the PV solar definition? Well, let’s see how simplified we can get in our approach to this question, so that we leave the real nitty-gritty to the experts at Renaissance Solar!

PV Solar definition?

The term PV stands for photovoltaic, which is a fancy word for what happens when sunlight (photo = light) is converted into electricity (volt). 

A single PV cell is very small, and on its own would only be able to produce a measly 1 or 2 watts of power, however, when many of these single PV cells are connected together in strings or chains, they then become the solar panels we see on the roofs of homes and businesses.

This connecting of strings or chains of the PV cells is what is designed to boost the power output of the PV solar panel.

These Photovoltaic cells are constructed of a variety of very thin semiconductor materials, with silicone being the most commonly used type of material.

On their own, these cells would never be able to withstand all that mother nature has to throw at them year in and year out, especially when you consider that a quality PV solar panel has a lifespan of upwards of 25 years, which is why they are kept safe in a sandwich of either glass or plastic, or a combination of both.

Once you’ve installed more than one PV solar panel, you’ll have the beginnings of a PV solar panel array, and depending on what you want out of your PV solar system, the more you have, the more solar energy you’ll be able to rely on.

In terms of designing a PV solar system that can meet with any level of electricity requirement, whether large or small, the sky is the limit, but, PV solar panels are simply one part of what will form a complete PV solar system.

Make PV solar simple with Renaissance Solar!

Let the seasoned team of solar experts at Renaissance Solar in Cape Town simplify your solar experience with their knowledge, which has come from supplying and installing quality PV solar systems in Cape Town since 2009.

Contact this team with your questions, hopes, dreams and budget for a future free from high electricity tariffs and a grid that cannot be relied on, and they’ll do all that’s possible to meet it all head on, and with integrity!


PV Solar Cost?

Although attitudes are fast changing towards investing in PV solar systems, in light of ever-increasing electricity tariffs, the knee-jerk response for many, at first, is to ask the question; PV solar cost?

This is totally understandable in an economy that has the average South African tightening belts to a constricting level, leaving little room for saving, and the cutting down on many things that are now considered a luxury.

For instance, a holiday or even a weekend away has become more of a luxury than ever before for many, but that’s something we can all find a way to come to terms with and find ways around, if we have to.

What we can’t come to terms with or find ways around is our reliance on electricity, which at current prices and predicted escalations is on the fast track towards becoming a luxury, no longer a basic human right.

In South Africa we have been forced to live with and accept regular rounds of load shedding and the attendant losses that ultimately affect all of us, whether as a result of having food spoil in freezers, or paying an even higher price at the supermarket due to the increased cost of keeping the power on.

There is only one way to change this scenario and begin to live with a source of energy we can rely on, and that’s to set aside preconceived ideas about the cost of PV solar systems and start looking at the facts.

PV solar cost?

Finding out what a PV solar system will cost you isn’t a thumb suck; it’s very much about looking at the size and type of system that will meet your energy requirements, which will obviously vary from home to home and business to business.

Where to start with collecting the facts about the cost of PV solar systems in Cape Town would be at Renaissance Solar. Why this solar company though? 

Well, they’ve been in the solar industry since 2009, giving them the level of local experience necessary to supply and install quality PV solar systems in the unique climate experienced only in Cape Town.

Renaissance Solar customers rave about them, as you can see for yourself from testimonials, and the passion this team has for service excellence, along with an attention to detail which has made them a trusted name to be relied on in the industry.

PV solar choices from Renaissance Solar

The fundamentals of what a PV solar system will cost you begins with your choice of system, and how the team at Renaissance Solar will work with you to lay the groundwork for an efficient system to accomplish all you want it to, whether it’s just to keep the lights on and freezers going during load shedding, or whether you want the system to be your main source of electricity.

The choices of PV systems at Renaissance Solar range from designing the ideal Hybrid PV solar system to a Grid Tie PV solar system, whichever suits what you require of the system. 

If you’re not ready for a major step, there’s also the option of the Load-shedding PV system, which is the least expensive option to start with, but which comes without a PV panel.

Keeping the costs of PV solar low!

In terms of PV solar costs, you can rely on Renaissance Solar to maintain their commitment to keeping their prices low, working to create PV solar systems that will honour your budget, and still give you room to grow your system in the future.

Set your mind at ease by contacting the friendly team at Renaissance Solar to get a handle on the facts surrounding the type of PV solar system that would suit your requirements, and what kind of costs you may be looking at.

This will give you the solid foundation you need in order to be able to make an informed decision about cutting ties with Eskom and relying on the sun to keep the lights on!

These are people who love what they do and are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience, to make a difference in the lives of those they introduce to the freedom and security that comes from investing in solar energy.


PV in Solar Meaning?

Want to get a grip on the basics of PV in solar meaning? This is generally where most of us go when we get to the point of seriously considering a move to solar energy, and begin facing some of the most common terminology attached to taking that first step.

With two major types of solar technology dominating the scene, mainly that of photovoltaic (PV) and of solar thermal technology, it is mainly photovoltaic solar technology that makes up what you see on rooftops today, powering both homes and businesses.

PV in solar meaning

At its most basic, solar photovoltaic is a perfectly designed technology that allows for electricity to be produced directly from the sun, without the use of any moving parts.

The origin of the term photovoltaics is from the Greek word ‘phōs’, which means light, and the word volt, named by physicist Alessandro Volta, who invented the first electric battery in the mid-1700’s.

We’ve come a long way since then, no doubt, and with the advent of photovoltaic solar technology, the world of energy production from the sun has catapulted mankind into choosing solar energy as the best source of free energy available today.

The makeup of a PV solar panel

Single Photovoltaic cells are very small and on their own wouldn’t be much use, however, when these small cells are connected (or strung) together, they become the very efficient PV solar panels we see on rooftops today.

PV cells are most commonly made of silicone because of its semiconducting properties, and when the sun shines directly on these cells in the solar panel, an electric field is created, from which you’re able to receive a reliable, stable source of electricity for your home.

Although a strong sun is the ideal in terms of getting the most out of PV solar panels, they are still able to produce sufficient electricity even in cloudy weather.

Technically speaking, strings of the small solar cells are created under glass in order to form photovoltaic modules, which is simply what a PV solar panel is in its complete form.

Mounted on existing rooftops, these PV solar panels are designed to last up to and beyond 25 to 30 years, making them one of the best investments in terms of assuring yourself of a guaranteed, phenomenal ROI.

Maintenance-free PV solar panels

If you’re ready to seriously consider investing in a PV solar system, then it’s time to speak to the passionate experts at Renaissance Solar in Cape Town.

With local professionals like this on your side, you can count on quality PV solar panels that will not require any maintenance, other than giving them a clean every now and then, which is seldom necessary in a high rainfall area like Cape Town.

The team at Renaissance Solar will always be available to you, before, during and after the installation of your PV solar system, ready to assist you with keeping your system operating at maximum efficiency.

Ultimately, like most of us who simply want to be rid of our reliance on an extremely expensive, unstable and unreliable power grid that often plunges us into darkness, all we want is to know that the move to solar energy will keep the lights on and the water hot.

In this case, the technicalities of what PV in solar means loses its importance, especially when you get to deal with a down-to-earth, people and quality-oriented team at Renaissance Solar.

Trust, quality and affordable PV solar systems are the basis of the success enjoyed by Renaissance Solar, so expect the best when you contact this team with any questions about moving to solar energy!


What Are the Negatives of Solar Energy?

Truth be told, if you’re currently stuck in the middle of the current load shedding schedule, which has been going on for months now, it’s hard to find any negatives about solar energy, however, people are still prone to asking the question; what are the negatives of solar energy?

The fact is, that even if all you’ve done is to invest in a Load-Shedding PV system from Renaissance Solar, you already know what it’s like to enjoy getting through hours of load shedding, without it having an impact on your household.

This is a great start, if you want to explore what it will mean when you one day decide to go all the way by investing in a solar PV system, which will be designed by the experienced team at Renaissance Solar in Cape Town, to meet all your energy requirements perfectly.

What are the negatives of solar energy?

There is an upside and a downside to everything in this world, but when it comes to looking at the negatives of solar energy in comparison with the positives, the benefits far outweigh the few disadvantages.

Let’s look at the fundamental negatives of solar energy here:

The upfront cost

The upfront cost of a solar PV system has always been the number one stumbling block for those looking to move to solar energy, however, solar PV systems have become more affordable in recent years, with the payback periods becoming shorter too.

Renaissance Solar is driven by an honesty and integrity that has gone to great lengths to work with high quality local solar products, which has allowed this team to offer customers solar PV systems at affordable prices.

They’ve also gone to bat to see to it that they have financial offerings available for customers, especially those who have reached the end of their tether with high electricity tariffs and load shedding!


If your solar PV system has been designed to store accumulated energy from the solar panels during the day, you’ll have energy through the night and even on cloudy days, due to UV light. 

Although solar panels don’t operate optimally on rainy days, you need to take into account that South Africa has one of the highest peak sun hours per day and the lowest rainfall rates in the world, which means you’ll still come out on the winning side when load shedding hits!

Want to know more about solar energy in Cape Town?

We haven’t gone into the advantages of solar energy here because they far outweigh the negatives, but if you’d like to know more about solar energy in Cape Town, why not speak to the local solar experts at Renaissance Solar?

This down-to-earth-team is passionate about solar energy, which means that if you want honest-to-goodness advice about how to move into a future that means free electricity from the sun, this is where you’ll get the best of it all!

Whether you start with a solar hot water system, Load-Shedding PV System, Hybrid Solar PV system or Grid Tie PV system, Renaissance Solar is the team to trust with your dreams and your budget!

How Many Hours of Sunlight Do Solar Panels Need?

There isn’t a single South African that has remained untouched by months of surviving and planning a life around Eskom load shedding, which is obviously leading to more people investing in solar power, which leads to the next question; how many hours of sunlight do solar panels need?

The disruption of life at home and work isn’t all that is affected by these endless rounds of load shedding. Our budgets are also being decimated by the continual increases unashamedly brought to bear on electricity tariffs, which has simply made solar PV systems more attractive by the day.

Plunging towns and cities into darkness for hours at a time has also led to an increase in crime, placing an even greater burden on our lives and adding a new level of fear to daily life. Besides the inconvenience of not being able to cook when wanted or watch TV or use WiFi.

When this is all added together, it makes sense that solar power is definitely the best energy alternative facing us, and one that should be taken seriously, not merely as a sales pitch.

How many hours of sunlight do solar panels need?

When we look at the question of how many hours of sunlight solar panels need, we need to rejoice in the fact that South Africa is considered one of the best places in the whole world for the development and use of solar power!

It’s not called ‘Sunny South Africa’ for nothing! In fact, according to Climatebiz.com, “The entire sub-Saharan Africa, with no exception for South Africa, has great potential for solar power implementation. 

South Africa sees on average between 1543 – 2264 kWh/m2 a year. Simplified, this translates to 4.1 – 6.3 peak sun hours a day, with the Northern Cape experiencing the higher end of that spectrum and Kwazulu-Natal seeing the lower end.”

The best news is that with these averages in peak sun hours a day, you’ll be getting, at the very least, 4 hours of peak sunlight per day, which is exactly how many hours of sunlight solar panels need to operate optimally!

More good news, according to Gov.za, is that our country only has an annual rainfall of 464mm, which, when compared to the world average of 806mm, means we have a far higher rate of peak sun hours with which to power solar panels!

This means that with the right guidance and the right solar PV system, you stand a far greater chance of reclaiming a normal life, as far as keeping the lights on and saving a lot of money. It also means that before too long, you’ll be able to rely on the sun as your source of electricity, free of charge!

Renaissance Solar PV Systems in Cape Town

Renaissance Solar is made up of a team of solar experts who have been designing, supplying and installing high quality solar PV systems in Cape Town since 2009, and their passion is to supply customers with the ideal solar system to meet their power requirements, and their budget.

Whether it’s a Hybrid PV solar system or Grid Tie PV system or a Load-Shedder, you’ll have a team on your side that will offer you the highest quality in solar products, while maintaining their absolute commitment to keeping their prices low, brought about by a passion for wanting to change lives for the better, with solar power.

Renaissance Solar also offers the option of the Load-Shedding PV system, which will give you sufficient power to get through load shedding comfortably.

If you’d like to start on a smaller scale, installing a solar hot water system is already going to shave up to 40% off your electricity bill, just by heating your water with the power of the sun!

No matter where you’d like to start, contact Renaissance Solar today to chat to this friendly team of professionals who really care about their customers, so much so that they’ll also be more than happy to discuss the various financial offerings available, to make changing to solar power easier on the budget.

Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

Wondering about the question; do solar panels work at night? Well, this could seem like a strange question to ask, since we all know that solar panels need sunlight in order to be able to generate power. 

However, before heading for a straight answer to this question, let’s look at how to make the most of your solar panels at night, because that is possible.

Understanding about peak sunlight hours and how many hours your solar panels need in order to function at optimal levels, is also something to understand when you enter the world of solar panels.

Understanding these questions will help you learn how a solar system can and does work during the night, as well as during cloudy, rainy days, helping you to get the greatest benefit out of your system, without worrying about what happens when the sun goes down.

Do solar panels work at night?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, without sunlight your solar panels aren’t going to work. This is mainly due to the fact that the PV (Photovoltaic) cells need sunlight in order to function properly. Once sunlight hits the cells, electrons are released, which is the process that generates electricity.

The good news, however, is that despite the fact that solar panels are not able to operate without sunlight, using peak sun hours allows you to store the energy the panels have been able to generate during these hours through the incorporation of batteries.

Solar power detractors from yester-year

In the first years since the birth of solar power, its obvious drawback was the fact that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day, which put a lot of homeowners off.

Their greatest fear, when it came to investing in solar systems, was that they would be left without power on rainy, cloudy days and at night, but a lot has changed since then to make solar panels work for you at night.

Those who have a clear understanding of solar technology understood that the only way to change this problem would be to find a way to store the energy generated during sunlight hours, and use this to overcome the problem of storing this accumulated energy.

The advent of solar batteries

The huge advances made in solar storage technology has meant that being able to store accumulated solar power has come a long way, which has had a major impact on the way that people view the real benefits of solar power today, night and day!

There are a variety of batteries available on the market today, however, this is one of the most important components in your system, and the choice of battery you make will have a major impact on how far the stored power from the solar panels will last through the night.

As with any other solar component involved in a solar PV system, you need to work with a team of solar experts who have your best interests at heart, who will listen to your requirements and make sure you have quality components that’ll give you a system that benefits you in every way.

This is where Renaissance Solar steps up to the plate to deliver quality in every sense of the word, from discussing your power requirements, to respecting your budget.

This team of professionals has a reputation well worth exploring, with awesome customer testimonials that assure you that you’ll be choosing one of the most trusted solar companies in Cape Town.

Contact Renaissance Solar today, to find out more about what this team can do to introduce you to quality products and service excellence that goes far beyond the final installation!

Can a House Run On Solar Power Alone?

Due to high electricity bills and load shedding that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, after months of inconvenience and loss for many, solar power has become a top choice for homeowners looking to escape these major problems with Eskom.

One of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners is; can a house run on solar power alone? However, in addition to this question, there are others that relate to how many solar panels would be needed, what kind of backup power would be required, among others, that also need to be looked at.

Every home is different, which means that there has to be a different solution for each, leading to the reality that we need trusted people like the team at Renaissance Solar, to guide us to an understanding of what it would really take to run a house on solar power alone, and whether it would be worth it.

Can a house run on solar power alone?

If you install enough PV solar panels and batteries, it’s entirely possible to run a house on solar power alone, as is done in many homes in remote areas that don’t have access to the grid.

However, there are factors to take into account if you want to consider running your home on solar power alone, and the first is that it will come at a substantial cost.

Its these factors that make it well worth consulting the team at Renaissance Solar in Cape Town, with their local experience in supplying and installing solar PV systems since 2009 with great success.

Some of the factors you’ll need to take into account include:

The size of your roof

Solar panels do their best work when installed on the roof, and, your roof needs to be able to support the amount of solar panels you’re going to need. In addition to this, the team at Renaissance Solar will look at whether your roof is in a good enough condition to support the panels for as many years as it will have to, considering that solar panels have a lifespan of at least 25 years.

Location of your property

The location of your property is going to have a major impact on the feasibility of your solar power capacity, because although South Africa benefits from a phenomenal amount of sun exposure, if your roof is in the shade because of buildings or trees, it may not be possible to use solar panels on the roof, although there are alternatives that can be found elsewhere on your property to place the solar panels, where they could receive direct sunlight.

How many solar panels can run a house on solar power alone?

As mentioned above, different homes will require different solar solutions to run the house on solar power alone, however, if we work on a rough estimate that an average household consumes 8 400kWh per year and you install 455-watt solar panels, you could be looking at having to install between 15 solar panels to run the house on solar power alone. However, this may not even cover some peaks in usage so actually Eskom currently is your cheapest back-up.

This will give you a very rough idea of the space you’ll need on the roof when it comes to how many solar panels you’ll need to achieve your goal.

Consider starting small?

Considering the high cost and the physical factors involved in running your house on solar power alone, why not contact the friendly team at Renaissance Solar today to find out more about how to start on a smaller scale and still reduce your electricity bill.

You’ll find that starting with what your budget can handle, and building up your scalable solar PV system as and when you can, is going to be a much better way to start your journey to moving off the grid at a later stage!