Most clients who are interested in Solar, don’t understand issues pertaining to compliance when doing a Solar installation in South Africa. What does it mean to be compliant? Each country has a set of regulations and compliance steps that needs to be followed. Today, this explanation will focus on South Africa’s compliance.
Well for most Solar PV and energy storage systems in South Africa, it starts with installation according to a wiring code. This means installation according to a set of standards to ensure that you protect people, animals and property from an electrical installation, under both normal and fault conditions. This standard is the SANS 10142-1 national standard.
Once an installation has been completed, the client would receive a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to ensure that this wiring code had been adhered to.
For Solar, there is a further code, that has not yet been officially adopted but called the NRS-097-2 which focuses on the embedded generation (Solar/Wind) and how it is to interact with the utility (eg. Eskom).
However, many clients fall into distribution networks like the City of Cape Town etc, and these distributors may have further requirements which are issues as by-laws that must be adhered to. As at the date of this article, it was also a requirement for the City of Cape Town to have a Professional Engineer sign off and application process that should be completed as well as a new contract with the City.
So in summary, if you are not being informed about compliance, you should be very cautious. We have seen many systems that are not compliant, where clients have spent a lot of money and then have to spend more, just to fix what was wrong before.
Our most useful tips:
- Check the background/experience of your designer/installer
- Look at reference projects
- Check testimonials and talk to one or two of their actual clients.
This is the least you should do when you are making an investment that can either be one of the best decisions or the worst that you have made. If you would like to know more about compliance requirements when attempting a solar installation in South Africa. Please do not hesitate to contact our team today for a free quote and advise.