Did you know that South Africa is a dumping ground for old solar technology? The importers of solar panels will continue to sell ‘glass on plastic’ solar panels for as long as the installers ask for it. Installers choose glass on plastic solar panels because they are cheaper and that means they will increase their probability of winning deals and possibly even making bigger margins. They’re making a quick buck now, but ignoring what will happen to old solar technology 3 years down the line.

I foresee many of the many ‘solar’ companies that have emerged over the past 2 years closing due to lawsuits against them. Focus on mitigating risk, think about tomorrow.

South Africa is a dumping ground for old solar technology

So what is the best choice of technology when deciding on a solar power system?

  1. Inverters that do not rely on fans to cool themselves, rather pick an inverter with heat sync technology. A fan is a moving part. Moving parts break.
  2. Low-voltage batteries are inefficient and simply old technology, rather opt for a High-voltage battery solution. You’ll note how thin high voltage cables are compared to low volt….. this is due to efficiency. One has to spend 40% more electricity to charge a low voltage battery.
  3. Ensure the battery warranty offers a minimum of 6000 cycles at 90% depth of discharge. Not 10 years with confusing terms.
  4. Solar Panels with Glass on both sides. It makes sense that a solar panel with glass on both sides will last longer than that with plastic underneath. In your car, what lasts longer, the windscreen or the dashboard? The moment the plastic heats up, it changes shape. When it changes shape moisture gets in and destroys the panel.
  5. Installers with good customer reviews.

It is interesting to note, that none of the solar manufacturers, at any of the international energy conventions, this year, displayed any Solar panels with plastic underneath. They ALL only displayed Solar panels with glass on both sides.