PacB Group // Solar Panel Installations Promise an Economical and Eco-Friendly Power Supply


Solar Panel Installations Promise an Economical and Eco-Friendly Power Supply

It is somewhat ironic that, despite the massive fusion engine at the centre of the earth’s year-long, elliptical journey that has made life possible, we have relied for so long on other, more finite sources of energy to sustain us and our activities. In primitive times, it was fire that first provided humans with essential warmth and light. Initially fuelled by burning wood and leaves, we have progressed over the millennia to burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, eventually applying their combustible properties in order to generate electricity. Dwindling reserves of fossil fuels now necessitate more sustainable power solutions; among them, solar panel installations.

The approach to electricity generation is changing. While oil companies have a financial interest in their existing products, they have been forced to acknowledge that their business is unsustainable in the long run and some are now investing in alternatives. The promise of unlimited power from atomic fission carries risks that have become all too clear in recent years and the efforts to duplicate the fusion process that sustains our sun and to deliver power free of such risks have so far not born fruit and are also horrendously expensive. Tidal schemes and wind farms are helping utility companies to boost generated supplies, but still fall well short of meeting the growing demand. However, solar panel installations, where in use, are playing a valuable role by helping to curb some of the demand from both domestic and commercial consumers.

One thing that South Africa has in abundance is sunshine, and the fact that the sun’s rays can be used to generate electricity offers the suppliers and consumers of power an opportunity to do so in an economical and sustainable fashion. It is, therefore, an opportunity that both groups need to give serious consideration. Currently, there are more than 40 stations generating at least 50 megawatts of power from solar radiation in countries that include Spain, India, China and the US with four already online in South Africa. A dozen or so more are under construction, including three in the Northern Cape. No less important are the domestic solar panel installations that are to be seen in growing numbers on the roofs of the nation’s suburban homes and its industrial estates.

Although the technology and the equipment required to produce and distribute the electrical power generated in this fashion is quite complex, the principle behind its production is relatively simple and has been known for some time. Essentially, when photons strike certain materials, such as a negatively charged silicon wafer, it dislodges excess electrons from its atoms. The released negatively charged electrons then travel along a wire to a positively charged wafer beneath, producing a flow of current which can be intercepted and either used to perform work or stored in a battery. The process is carried out by numerous interconnected solar cells which, together, form a flat, rectangular panel ideal for rooftop installation.

Positioning the array and making the necessary connections is not a task for the DIY enthusiast, however, especially as this will normally involve installing an inverter to convert the DC output to AC and feeding it into the mains distribution system so that it can be metered to reduce dependence upon the mains supply during periods when the array is generating power. Connected in is this fashion, the use of a solar panel installation actively reduces utility bills.

If not a task for the layman, who should you trust to install your units? The obvious choice, of course, would be the supplier, but it is crucial to ensure that the task will be undertaken by a suitably qualified technician with extensive experience of installing this type of equipment. The PacB Group is an expert in sustainable power solutions and the perfect choice to undertake your solar panel installation. As such, should you require more information from the experts, please feel free to contact us. Our team is standing by to assist you in whichever way we can.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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