Are Solar Diverters Worth It?

Generally, solar panels produce more energy than is needed around the house. Whenever there is an excess, it is sent to the National Grid. You will be charged nearly three times as much if you buy this energy back from a supplier, so it makes sense to hold onto and use as much of your free solar energy as possible.

The excess energy generated by your solar panels can be used in a variety of different ways, depending on your needs. This article examines solar diverters and whether they are worthwhile.

What Is a Solar Diverter?

The purpose of a solar diverter is to divert excess electricity from your solar panel to your hot water cylinder (equal to the amount of electricity exported to the grid).

The system measures the flow of electricity entering and leaving your home, including the excess electricity generated by your solar system. Whenever surplus solar generation is detected, it diverts the excess electricity to your hot water cylinder rather than exporting it to the grid. As a result, your water heating will no longer be dependent on grid-supplied electricity, but instead will be powered by excess solar energy.

A temperature probe is also included which attaches to the hot water cylinder. When the cylinder temperature falls below the minimum allowable temperature, this device draws electricity from the grid to maintain the temperature of your water.

If there is no solar diverter, the system will provide electricity for home appliances as required at the time, while the excess electricity will be exported directly to the power grid.

It is well known that batteries are the most efficient way to store excess electricity generated by solar energy systems. For customers who are seeking a more cost-effective option, the investment in batteries can present a barrier. Having a solar diverter is definitely a wise addition for homeowners with standard hot water cylinders and solar power systems or for those considering installing one.

For more information about installing a solar diverter, feel free to get in touch with the team at Renaissance Solar today. 


Why Is CSP More Expensive than PV?

The CSP method of converting the sun’s heat into electricity was once dominant; however, after photovoltaic (PV) solar prices plummeted, the CSP process faded. Even with batteries, PV, unlike CSP, does not provide long-term, dispatchable generation required by high-renewable energy systems.


CSP: How It Works

The concept of concentrated solar power (CSP) involves the use of mirrors to generate electricity. Using mirrors, sunlight is reflected, concentrated, and focused on a specific area, which is then converted into heat. This heat is then used to create steam that drives a turbine, generating electrical power. As CSP technology can store the heat produced, it can be repeated continuously. Therefore, it can be used on days where there is no sun, as well as before sunrise and after sunset.


One of the most obvious advantages of CSP is that it is renewable. It can be used continuously and will never run out, making it a sustainable energy source. In addition to reducing carbon footprint, CSP uses the earth’s natural resources instead of fossil fuels which emit carbon dioxide when burned, improving air quality and reducing the rate of climate change.


In contrast to solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind power, which provide intermittent supplies of electricity, CSP provides a relatively continuous source of electricity. The electricity generated by CSP plants is predictable and reliable because solar energy can be stored in the form of molten salts.

How Do Photovoltaics and Concentrated Solar Power Differ?

CSP systems convert the sun’s energy using mirrors to drive a heat engine and produce electricity. PV systems convert the sun’s energy using panels to produce electricity.


CSP has many benefits, but it also has some disadvantages, especially in populated areas, where it is not economically feasible to operate CSP plants. It is costly to operate CSP plants, and it is difficult to find materials that can withstand high temperatures. Concentrated solar power uses a large amount of water to drive steam turbines and cool thermochemical reactors. 


Looking for an affordable solar power solution for your home or business? Renaissance Solar can assist. Contact us today for a free quote. 


Which Type of Solar Panel Is Best?

Due to the growing demand for renewable energy sources, the solar industry has grown by almost 50% over the past decade.


To convert solar energy into electricity, solar panels are constructed from individual solar cells made up of silicon, boron, and phosphorus layers, each of which collects solar energy from the sun. Silicon wafers act as a semiconductor and provide the positive charge, the negative charge, and the phosphorus layer. 


A solar panel generates usable electricity when the sun’s photons strike the surface of the panel. The photons knock electrons out of the silicon “sandwich” and into the electric field generated by the solar cells.


Types of Solar Panels


  • Monocrystalline solar panels. They are made from a single crystal of pure silicon that is cut into several thin wafers. In addition, since they are crafted of pure silicon, their dark black colour makes them easy to identify.
  • Polycrystalline solar panels. The silicon fragments are melted and poured into square moulds, instead of being made from one silicon crystal.
  • Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) panels. The PERC solar panel improves upon the traditional monocrystalline solar cell by adding a passivation layer to the rear surface of the cell.


Which Type of Solar Panel Is Best?

As far as solar panel types are concerned, crystalline panels provide the highest level of efficiency. Monocrystalline panels have an efficiency rating of over 20%, while PERC panels perform at an even higher level of efficiency due to their passivation layer.


If you decide to install solar panels for your home or business, be sure to do your homework before choosing the right one. Solar panels are designed for long-term installation, which can last up to 25 years. If you need assistance finding the most suitable solar solution for your home or business, feel free to contact Renaissance Solar.


Is Wind Turbine More Efficient than Solar?

The comparison of different green energy sources is never simple. This is because there are so many factors and variables that must be taken into consideration. It is never as simple as choosing one over the other. It is relatively straightforward to compare solar and wind power on a global scale, but trying to decide between them can cause a lot of headaches. We have compiled some helpful advice on choosing what is best for your needs based on our thoughts on the two green energy sources.


There is no question that wind energy is a more efficient source of energy than solar. Wind turbines emit less carbon dioxide than solar panels (in terms of how much CO2 is released) and can produce more than forty-eight thousand times more energy per kWh than solar panels. 


While solar panels can produce energy for a limited period, wind energy is becoming increasingly important as an alternative to fossil fuels in many countries.


Even though wind power is arguably the most efficient source of energy, it is not a clear favourite in areas with a high population density. They are generally regarded as an eye sore, are often very noisy, and disturb nature and wildlife in several ways. 


It is generally assumed that wind turbines are capable of working in windy areas, but that is rarely the case. Solar panels are much less noticeable and require considerably less space than wind turbines, and they do not make any noise. Wind turbines require a constant flow of strong winds to function, which is not possible in a residential area due to trees, houses, cars, etc. 


Since solar panels are more predictable, require less maintenance, and do not contribute to already high levels of sound pollution, they are a better choice for most homeowners. Solar panels can be easily installed in most homes, but wind turbines are not suitable for everyone. 


Are you looking for an effective solar solution for your home or business? Look no further. The team at Renaissance Solar can help. Get in touch to find out how.


Solar Power 101: What Are the 3 Types of Solar Panels?

To generate electricity from solar energy, solar panels are constructed by combining layers of silicon, boron, and phosphorus, each of which is made from silicon, boron, and phosphorus. A silicon wafer functions as a semiconductor, providing a positive charge, a negative charge, and a negative charge on the boron layer. 


Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The single-crystal panels are made from a single crystal of silicon, which is divided into several wafers and is visible as a dark black colour because of its pure silicon content.


Polycrystalline Solar Panels

In contrast to single silicon crystals, these come from different silicon crystals instead. By melting and pouring silicon fragments into a square mould, polycrystalline cells are highly affordable since there is little wastage, and their square shape gives them their distinctive appearance.


PERC Solar Panels

PERC solar panels offer an improvement over monocrystalline cells by adding a passivation layer to the rear surface of the cell. They are a relatively new technology that adds a passivation layer to the rear surface of the cell to improve its efficiency.

Cost and Lifespan of Solar Panels

A common question people ask regarding solar panels is typically how much they cost. After which they want to know how long the solar panels will last. Unfortunately, there isn’t one straight answer. It all depends on the system you choose and the quality of the product. The lifespan of polycrystalline silicon and monocrystalline silicon solar panels exceeds their 25-year warranties. 


Due to its complex and inefficient manufacturing process with only a 50% yield for silicon crystals, monocrystalline panels are expensive. Because polycrystalline modules utilize leftover crystal fragments from monocrystalline production, which reduces the manufacturing process and the cost of production, polycrystalline modules are cheaper.


One thing remains true, however, installing solar panels on your property will always be a good investment. Here’s why:


  1. It will lower your monthly electricity bill
  2. It will allow you to reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
  3. You can even store energy for colder, less sunny months
  4. It will get you through that darn inconvenience of load-shedding.


Solar panels are an investment but will pay for themselves in just a few years. With the lifespan being a decade or even two, the prospect of saving money is even better when going solar. If free renewable energy is what you’re after, solar panels are the way to go. 


Everyone is trying to find ways to lower their monthly financial burden and with electricity rates increasing rapidly, you might want to consider installing solar panels. Renaissance Solar offers high-quality SABS-approved solar products with strong manufacturer warranties at affordable prices to the South African market. 


For more information or if you’d like to get started with the installation of your solar panels, get in touch with the friendly team at Renaissance Solar today!


What Is PV Voltage? Everything You Need to Know About Photovoltaic Systems

PV voltage, or photovoltaic voltage, is the energy produced by a single PV cell. Photovoltaic (PV) systems also known as solar power systems, is a system designed to supply suitable power by utilizing sunlight and photovoltaics. It’s a way of generating electricity that can actually be used by consumers.


What is PV Power?

When the PV panel absorbs sunlight, the solar energy loosens electrons from their atoms, allowing them to produce electricity by passing through the material. The PV (photovoltaic) effect is where the conversion of light (photons) to electricity (voltage) happens.


3 Major Components of PV Systems

PV Panel

As we’ve mentioned previously, solar panels work by allowing particles of light (photons) to knock electrons free from their atoms, thus producing a surge of electricity.


At Renaissance Solar, we only use A-grade, tier-1 photovoltaic panels. And since they come with a 25-year, 80% performance warranty, it means that even after 25 years of use, your solar panels will still be working at 80% capacity. 


An inverter converts DC (Direct Current)  power to AC (Alternating Current)  power. The appliances we use in our homes, as well as the grid, require AC power and since solar panels produce DC power and batteries also store DC power, an inverter is needed. 


At Renaissance Solar, we only use the best inverters on the market: the Phocos andSunsynk  These inverters can easily handle a flow of more than their stated capacity. Entirely programmable,  they also offer efficient protection of the batteries. 

Batteries (Lithium)

At the risk of stating the obvious, batteries store excess electricity for future use. It acts as a backup should there be a power outage to allow uninterrupted operation of appliances. With an expected lifespan of 10 – 15 years, it will still continue to work but you’ll notice a reduction in standby time.


Renaissance Solar Offers High-Quality, Affordable PV Systems to South Africans


There are many solar power companies in South Africa but one name stands out from the rest: Renaissance Solar. That’s because we have extensive experience and a long list of satisfied customers to show for it.


Don’t get left behind. Invest in solar power to start seeing massive savings on your monthly energy bill. Get in touch with Renaissance Solar today!


Benefits of Solar and Why Solar Is Bad?

When the sun’s radiation is captured and converted into heat or electricity, solar power is generated. As a result of technological advances, we have this source of energy at our disposal and will continue to have it for a very long time to come. This is the greatest advantage of solar power.


The cost of solar power (or the lack thereof) might be the biggest advantage but it surely isn’t the only one. Below are three other benefits of using solar power. 

Slow down Global Warming (Aka Climate Change)

Global warming is not a gimmick and poses a real threat to the survival of humanity. Scientists have spent decades doing research and finding alternative solutions to create electricity without creating air pollution. They’ve concluded that solar power is the best weapon for the fight against global warming. 

Reliable Source of Energy

If there’s one thing everyone knows for sure, it’s that the sun will rise and set every day. Cloud coverage might be a little more unpredictable but there are relatively accurate forecasts available to determine how much sunlight can be expected in various locations all over the world. 

Increase the Value of Your Property

Homes with solar systems installed sell for more, according to statistics. Additionally, you’ll obtain clean, renewable energy from the sun while reducing your use of fossil fuels. Thus, if you install solar panels, you will significantly reduce your energy bills, or even eliminate them. 

Why Solar Is Bad

Despite solar technology’s environmental benefits, it is found to contain many of the same hazardous materials found in electronic waste. As solar technology becomes more popular, disposing of hazardous waste becomes more difficult. That being said, solar technology is evolving at a very fast pace and solutions to this problem are already being researched.


We have no doubt that solar power will ensure a better future. The costs of solar power are expected to decrease in the near future to make it easier to move away from traditional power sources and our dependence on fossil fuels. 


If you have been looking for a solar power solution for your home or business in Cape Town, look no further. Renaissance Solar can help you reduce your carbon footprint by installing solar panels in your home. Get in touch with the team at Renaissance Solar for a free quotation today!


Are Photovoltaic Cells Efficient?

Many South African households have been compelled to opt for renewable energy to power their homes due to consistent load shedding. Over the past few decades, solar panels have become more affordable and more efficient. Researchers are working to improve the efficiency rate of photovoltaics in order to maximize the use of solar energy.  

The efficiency of solar panels ranges from 15% to 22%, depending upon factors such as location, orientation, weather conditions, and similar factors. A solar panel’s efficiency is determined by the amount of sunlight it is able to convert into electricity. Performance is the amount of sunlight a solar panel is able to convert into electricity.

Standard Test Conditions (STC) are used to determine the efficiency of solar panels. STC specifies a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and an irradiance of 1,000 watts per square meter. This is what would occur on a sunny day with incident light hitting a 37-degree tilted surface facing the sun. A solar panel with a surface area of 1 m2 and 15% efficiency would produce 150 watts under these test conditions.

As a system, the efficiency of solar panels (modules) does not necessarily translate into the efficiency of individual solar cells. While the efficiency of solar panels is generally between 15-20%, it is possible for solar cells to achieve 42% in some cases. 

Solar Panel Selection: 4 Key Attributes

  • The cost per square meter of your solar panels.
  • A solar panel’s overall efficiency.
  • Individual solar cell life expectancy.
  • Your solar panel’s aesthetics and style.

A solar panel’s capacity to store electricity during the day may also need to be considered.

By installing a solar battery storage system in South African homes with solar panels, you will be able to use this electricity in the evening. This will reduce your dependence on the power grid. To help you find the most suitable solar panels for your specific home, speak to a solar expert like Renaissance Solar today. 


How Do PV Solar Panels Work? Are They Right for You?

Solar energy was invented in 1839, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that we decided to power satellites in outer space. From there, solar technology advanced into what we know and use today. It’s no secret that solar power is the cleanest form of renewable energy. 

How Do Solar Water Heating Panels Work?

PV panels (photovoltaic panels) are used to convert the rays of the sun into electricity. This is achieved when electrons move into silicon cells using photons of light whenever the sun is shining. 

Solar power can be used to power your entire home or business or even just part of it. It’s the most reliable source of energy available today thanks to solar battery banks. That’s right, you can store solar energy for use at night or when it’s overcast for a few days in a row. 

What is the Lifespan of Solar Panels?

The two primary types of solar heating panels are evacuated tube systems and flat plate systems. These products are expected to last anything from 25 – 30 years. Solar panels might indeed lose some efficiency in later years, but degradation rates are minor. Most solar panels work at 90% of their capacity after ten years. 

Are Solar Batteries Worth the Investment?

Solar batteries allow you to store the additional energy produced by your solar panels instead of sending it back into the electricity grid. This way, you can maximise your solar energy usage daily. Whenever you require more electricity than your solar panels are producing, for example on a cloudy day or at night, you can easily use stored electricity.

How do Solar Batteries Work?

A solar battery is charged with the energy generated by your solar panels. In the average scenario, most power is used in the morning and evening. Since the sun generates the most energy when you’re not home during the day, all that energy feeds into the electricity grid   feeds into the batteries— the energy you can use to power your home. 


If you install solar batteries, you can store the excess energy generated by your solar panels for use any time you need them. Studies have shown that most people receive a minimum of 15% That sounds too low ROI by adding a solar battery to their solar energy system. 


By closely monitoring your solar panels and usage, you can predict exactly how much energy your panels will generate and when to store it in your solar battery to cut electricity costs. 


You can expect your lithium ion solar battery to last between 10 – 15  years, after which it will continue to work, just not at full capacity, and standby time will reduce gradually.


For more information about solar energy and how to successfully store it, get in touch with the team at Renaissance Solar. With extensive experience in the solar industry and many successful solar solutions installed, we have the skills and expertise needed to offer you the best solar solution available. Give us a call for a free consultation today!


Is There Oil in Solar Panels?

Solar energy is becoming more and more popular as a source of renewable energy. However, many people are unaware that using chemicals derived from fossil fuels is necessary to harness the power of the sun.

Almost all solar panels are built using the same principle, converting sunlight into energy. A photovoltaic component, which converts sunlight into energy, is usually sandwiched between layers of copolymers. In many copolymers, ethylene – derived from oil and natural gas – serves as one of the petrochemical building blocks.


Mistakes To Avoid When Investing In Solar Power

Solar power is a wonderful thing. Creating energy for free from the rays of the sun is genius and available to every human being. But before you go ahead and invest in a solar energy solution for your home or office, read below so you can avoid making these common mistakes related to solar power.


Not Doing Any Research

While there are many professionals out there that can answer the many questions you might have, it’s vital to do at least some research of your own. By doing this, you eliminate the risk of receiving false information from a ‘not-so-professional’ contractor who only cares about the profit he/she is going to make. It’s a great idea to have some idea of what type of system you want to invest in.


Making a Decision Based on Price

Not every solar heating system is created equal. More often than not, the cheapest product isn’t the best option. And when you invest your money in this type of system, you’ll want to make sure it’s a high-quality product. What you want is the best value for money. 


Not Hiring a Professional for Your Installation

You can DIY many things, but a solar system isn’t one of them. If you want a system that will last for many years to come, you need a professional like Renaissance Solar to source quality products and manage the installation for you. 


For more information, give us a call today!