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Metrowatt Solar 101

February 20, 2024
  1. Maximising your solar production

MAXIMIZING SOLAR PRODUCTION The decision to install solar in your home should not only be a short term solution to the problem of loadshedding but should also be considered as a long term investment with the ability to reduce your electricity costs over time. Maximising your solar production with the following tips will help you achieve the greatest savings. 

CHOOSE A HYBRID INVERTER WITH BATTERY BACKUP: Investing in a hybrid inverter with a battery backup is your first step toward savings. With this system in place, your home can draw power from solar panels while staying connected to the grid. Essential appliances like your geyser, ovens, air conditioners, and pool pump can run on solar energy. During load shedding, your inverter seamlessly switches to solar power or battery backup, ensuring you're never left in the dark or without power. 

OPTIMAL PANEL PLACEMENT: The direction and placement of your solar panels matter. Our installation teams will install you panels in the most suitable direction to provide best results. Once installed you should keep an eye of nearby trees and foliage and prune accordingly if you notice shadows being cast over your panels. 

BATTERY OPTIMIZATION: While it's comforting to have a fully charged battery ready for load shedding, it may not be the most cost-efficient approach. Analyse your average consumption during outages and adjust your battery retention accordingly. By analysing your average consumption during loadshedding and setting your battery retention to meet only that demand, any excess stored power can be used to power your home instead of using the grid. 

 TIME YOUR APPLIANCE USE: Solar panels generate power when there's demand during daylight hours. To maximize savings, schedule high-energy-consuming appliances like geysers and pool pumps to run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when solar production is at its peak. Using Wi-Fi timers can help manage this effectively, ensuring consistent consumption throughout the day.

  1. Upgrading your system 

UPGRADES Our solar power and battery backup systems are modular and it is possible to upgrade your system after it has been installed. Our solar consultants will help you to assess the performance of your current system and optimize it as far as possible, thereafter they will assist you with upgrades to achieve the following objectives: YOU WANT TO SAVE MORE YOUR MY UTILITY BILL Additional solar panels will help you increase your savings potential. Please bear in mind that the inverter model that you have will determine the maximum number of solar panels that can be connected to it. YOU WANT TO MAXIMISE YOUR SOLAR POWER GENERATION If you find that your solar panels not producing power for a large portion of the day due to low daytime consumption, adding an additional battery will help you store solar power to be used in the evenings. YOU WANT YOUR BATTERY TO LAST THROUGH LONGER PERIODS OF LOADSHEDDING If you find that you battery does not have sufficient capacity to last you during an extended grid outage you can add additional batteries to your system. The batteries will charge from solar panels during the day and charge from the grid at night

  1. Maintenance

MAINTENANCE A properly designed and installed solar power and battery backup system can have fault free operation for several years. Like any other hardware, performing normal upkeep and inspection of the system components will help guarantee its performance and reduce disruptions due to component failure. THE MAINTENANCE DETAILS PROVIDED BELOW ARE FOR KNOWLEDGE PURPOSES ONLY. OTHER THAN VISUAL INSPECTIONS, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ANY KIND OF MAINTENANCE ON YOUR SYSTEM IS CARRIED OUT BY AN AUTHORISED METROWATT INSTALLER. 

SOLAR PANELS: The primary maintenance work for solar panels is cleaning the glass to remove the dirt that might have accumulated on the surface. In most cases, cleaning is only required during the long dry periods where there is no rain to naturally clean the panels. To remove a layer of dust and dirt from the modules, the panels are simply washed with water. If the modules have thick dirt on the surface that is not getting removed by normal washing, a sponge and warm water can be used. 

 INVERTER: The following should be checked form time to time to ensure proper functioning of your inverter: 

• Keep your inverter clean and properly ventilated. 

 • Minimise the possibility of dirt and dust collecting on the equipment. If necessary, clean with dry cloth. 

 • Make sure that the inverter is not infested by insects AC COMBINER BOX: The following point should be checked form time to time to ensure proper functioning of your inverter: 

• Make sure that all cables/conduits and interconnections are mechanically secure. 

• Verify proper operation of all switches and circuit breakers. 

• Verify that indicator lights are working as expected.

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Metrowatt Solar Centre,
30 4th ave Parkhurst.
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