Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels produce electricity from sunlight. Because South Africa has such an abundance of sunny days, you can save a great deal of electricity and use free energy through the use of these panels.
PV panels need as much direct sun as possible, in order to generate the most electricity from them. In the south, panels should face in a northerly direction and it’s preferable that no shadows form on the panels as the sun moves over them. PV panels actually generate more energy when they are cool, so it helps if they are placed so that wind or a breeze can reach them.
South Africa enjoys an average of five hours of good sunlight per day, so you need to consider this when looking at the size of your PV system. A 1 000W PV system will generate, on average, around 5KW of electricity per day. However, we also need to consider the fact that in cities such as Port Elizabeth, we lose about 50% of solar energy in winter, due to the angle and set times of the sun and sunrise, as the sun does not shine as frequently.
Probably the biggest advantage offered by investing in PV panels is the fact that they are guaranteed to generate up to 80% of their power for approximately 20 years.