On 16th March, Safe and Legal Installations of Rooftop Photovoltaic systems were the main topic at the Energy Efficiency Forum held at the Old Mutual Head Office.
Over the years many solar systems have been installed but unfortunately certain rooftop PV systems have been poorly installed while others are being connected to the electricity grid illegally.
This can cause a great safety concern as the household safety will be compromised by exposing to the risk of electricl fires and electrical shock. Furthermore the power quality of the electrical grid will be compromised by illegal connections that use the wrong equipment.
Executive Mayor from the City of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille also joined the discussion. As a first step towards legal regulations and the improvement of safety, the City of Cape Town presented guidelines on what to consider when installing a solar PV system. The brochure can be downloaded on the maxx website.
While there are compulsory wiring standards for general electrical installations, there is no dedicated national standard for PV installations yet. Therefore we herewith give you some pointers when having your first Photovoltaic system installed:
- Most important would be to use a well known and verified PV service provider. It is good to check if the business has had substantial prior experience and can provide you with contactable references.
- Secondly we would recommend that you check if the service provider employs or subcontracts qualified staff to design and install systems. While doing that it would also be good to find out if the company responsible for your installation is registered with the South African Photovoltaic Association (SAPVIA) and with the Electrical Contractors Board (ECB).
- Post-installation we also recommend you request an original electrical certificate of compliance (CoC). This document checks that the electrician who performed the installation has complied with the rules and regulations set out by the CoC.
In a nutshell you will find that it is crucial to go with a company which is reliable, uses quality products and stands above the rest. Having a PV system installed is usually a once in a lifetime investment which should be done properly from the beginning in order to safe you hassle in the years to come.
If you are not sure whether a company is reliable or if you are looking for one, please contact us. We work together with many PV installation companies in all of Southern Africa and will be able to recommend you one that complies with our own high standards of quality.