Photovoltaics vs. Load Shedding

Photovoltaics vs. Load Shedding

At Thokozani Lodge in White River, we are using a new PV system with solar pannels and battery storage system to avoid power loss during load shedding. Our system has been installed by our solar partner in White River, Power & Energy Solutions.

In a nutshell, home battery storage, or a solar battery, allows you to store electricity for use at a later time. Only few SA homes have solar PV panels which generate electricity during daylight. By adding a battery to the system, you can now use this energy in the evenings.

Photovoltaics as a success story

The development of photovoltaics often serves as an example for the anticipated development of the storage market: PV started as cost intensive technology in niche markets and is today, without doubt, in many cases competitive with conventional generation. Particularly, residential systems were and still are one of the pillars for the sustainable growth of PV. The transformation of power systems towards decentralized, renewable-based and sustainable models needs suitable instruments to face the volatile nature of several renewable sources. Therefore, storage seems to be a “natural” complement to decentralized PV systems. Residential privately owned storage systems could be a success story, especially as private purchasers' decisions often follow their own principles, despite political or other obstacles.

The more PV-produced energy used in a household, the better the economic viability of the system. Even though the gap between the electricity price and PV-generation costs is not big enough to finance the storage system, the expected increase in electricity prices in future and distrust towards utilities seems to help promoting storage.

In addition, the storage system acts as energy manager – if the PV supply is higher than the actual demand, the charging of the battery takes place. If it is lower, the battery provides the energy to supply demand. The integration of storage in PV systems gives the customer the feeling of self-dependency. Surely it will take some time to reach economic viability, but several factors such as declining system costs and increasing electricity costs already help.

Written by : Holger