In light of the recent Eskom power outages we have been forced to find alternative solutions to keeping our systems running 24/7. Solar was the obvious solution so we put our Project Engineer Vidette Kallie to the task.
As an IT company we are no stranger to uninterrupted power suppliers, but what do we know about solar? How hard could it be…
We knew the problem and we let our team of highly intelligent out of the box thinkers behind the whole. As it turned out, Solar is not so different from our backup power solutions. We reached out to one of our existing suppliers Mustek for one of their off the shelf inverters which we knew well and had tried and tested. As we asked more questions we soon found out Mustek had everything we needed, Solar Panels, Distribution Boards, Batteries, MPPT’s… we just had to ask.
Vidette (B.Eng), quickly launched her Excel spreadsheet and began calculating how much, how long and how soon. We came up with what we have labeled as the magic number. 5kVA, 800Amp, 130W – It was all we needed to run our business for up to 8hours uninterrupted during load shedding as well as off grid from 7am to 7pm during sunny South African days.
How it works:
We are a few weeks in and have operated seamlessly since switching to solar power. Funnily enough there have been no emergency load shedding recently but we have simulated total power failure several times and can’t wait for the next Stage 4 power outage.
We are so happy with the installation that we are now recommending it as an alternative to our usual battery backup options. That’s right, we are ready to sell, install and support solar to our customers as a sustainable solution to their Data and Network power needs.
Q. How much more expensive is Solar compared to a similar sized UPS system?
A. It is roughly 10% more expensive, but when you calculate the daily savings it works out 50% cheaper over 3yrs. In year 4 and 5 you are laughing all the way to the bank.
Q. How long does it take to install
A. With the right planning, a complete installation from arrive on site to cutting over will take 24hrs to install.
Q. What are the risks?
A. Our installations are signed off by a certified electrician and therefore fall under your normal insurance policy. Hail and Lightning are your typical causes of damage. The panels are really robust and modular so changing them can be done