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# 5.

2 PUC Technology E+Co was contracted to assess the technology integration of the Solar PV systems in the development and implementation of the PUC concept. During the period October 1, 2007 to October 5, 2007 E+Cos officers visited the existing PUC in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) with a view to assessing the technology cost, usage and integration with the other elements of the concept. There are two categories of PV systems being used in the area. In northern KZN the systems were installed and are owned by NURA a locally based solar PV Fee for Service Company and in Southern KZN the systems are owned by RESTIO. The following are the estimates of the available power/energy for the system visited. We use the Peak Sun Hours method to calculate the available power from the modules. On average we use the value of 8 in the tropics but as KZN is a relatively sunny area despite being closer to the value of 3 which is used for Cape-Town KZN. This is the number of peak sun hours (or the total amount of energy in kilowatt-hours per M2) expected per design day. To determine the available power, we multiply the module output by 8. Thus 16 x 55Wp x8 h/d = 7,040 Wh /d. To cater for the actual field performance of the module we divide by adjustment factor of 1.1: Actual Energy per day = 4,400 / 1.1 = 6,400 Wh. Battery sizing To determine the required battery size in Ah, multiply the daily system energy requirement by the number of days storage is required, and divide by system voltage and the maximum daily discharge recommended the for the battery. Thus: 4,000 Wh x 3 days / 48V/0.5 = 3,000 Ah. This is the minimum battery size required in amp hours (Ah). This is not to say that the batteries in KZN are inappropriate but just to calculate what an ideal solution would look like. The number of storage days required is the maximum expected consecutive days of cloudy weather when the battery is expected to supply most of the power. In sunny areas, this number may be as low as two or three days only. In places with long cloudy seasons, this number may be as higher as 7 days. The maximum daily depth of discharge refers to how deep the batteries can be discharged without damaging them. The manufacturer of the battery gives this figure. We can safely estimate it to be 50%, based on the commonly used deep cycle batteries. Load Estimation for the various appliances used in the PUC Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Appliances CFL Electronic Tubular Lamp Fan TV Stereo Fridge/Freezer Micro computer w/o Monitor SVGA Colur Monitor (14") Laser Printer Inkjet Printer Photo Copier (High Volume) Laser Fax TV 74 CM (28") Home Theater System Sewing Machines DC Laser Fax Thermal Fax Nos 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 W in 15 20 70 80 100 200 100 50 60 40 500 30 150 200 250 30 20 Hrs Day per Wh per day 8 8 8 80 8 12 9 9 9 9 9 24 6 4 8 24 24 120 160 560 6,400 800 2,400 900 450 540 360 4,500 720 900 800 2,000 720 480

E+Cos OBSERVATION 1. SOLAR PV SYSTEM DESIGN AND SIZING: The best Solar PV system starts with good design and sizing. Design and sizing covers from Load Determination & Energy Required, Battery Bank sizing, solar array sizing and several factors are to be considered for better results in the field. In the 5 existing PUC all the systems have been professionally designed and installed but given the energy needs of some of the containers users( Solar Fridges) they are relatively undersized. In all the other cases Sewing Cooperatives, Cinema, energy Shop, and business centres the systems are OK. Recommendation: No major recommendation here, except, for the better performance of the system, we recommend that end-users in the tuck shops be educated about the systems and what they can and cannot expect from them. 2. EQUIPMENTS The equipments are of good quality and from reputable manufacturers in the world (Total Energy and Energy Stream are the providers of the equipment) In the three PUC of Southern Kwazulu Natal there are 16 Total Energy solar panels 55W with a central inverter, a 1000Ah Battery and a Solar Regulator, a Combiner Box and a Control Panel. Apart from these major equipments, there are battery status monitor, DC Voltage Converter for radio, battery racks, solar panel mounting frame, cables and wiring accessories. In the Northern part two PUC (Jozini and Nongoma) : There are 8 Total Energy solar panels of 55W each, , one Inverter in Jozini, two inverters in Nongoma Inverters, 4 Energy Stream Batteries with performance monitoring equipment of 265Ah each, TS45 Morningstar Solar Regulator, Combiner Box and Control Panel. Apart from these major equipments, battery status monitor, there are battery racks, solar panel mounting frame, cables and wiring accessories. Recommendations: All equipment was sourced from the very best sources and as of today except for a couple of bulbs that are not working there have not been any instance of major default in the systems. We would also like to stress here that some of the faults were not actual faults as they occurred mostly as a result of the extended usage by the end-users who disregarded the warnings on the monitoring systems installed by Nura. 3. INSTALLATIONS AND WIRING Installations of all equipment and its wiring have been done in accordance with best code of practices. Workmanship is of good quality too and there is little to no danger to the end-users in operating the systems as they are all very secure. Recommendation: No recommendation here but to say that going forward the standards set here be always met when planning and installing solar PV system in new PUCs or PUBs. 4. END USER TRAINING AND SYSTEM MONITORING Consumer education has not been done long enough and ifthey all know how to plug and use their equipment they know little to nothing about the PV systems themselves and what they can and cannot expect from the PV systems. NURA and to a lesser case RESTIO have not addressed the issue. The result has been tow cases in Hlabisa where people have brought in LPG fridges which are also PV compatibles. Unfortunately for them the systems were not calibrated for that usage and all they have

achieved is tripping the systems every time they try to power the fridge and demonstrate that the systems monitors are working. Recommendation: Any solar PV system needs to be operated by a well trained end user for better performance and for the big system like these you need at least one well trained technician for close follow up of the system. Nura has been sending in people to maintain and repair whenever necessary but we recommend that in each PUC at least one of the entrepreneurs be educated and trained to operate, monitor and maintain the system. Nura has actually started implementing this recommendation as the Cinema operator in Mduda, Nongoma is being groomed to take on that role. It needs to be addressed in all the PUC. 5. SECURITY The solar panels installed in all the PUC are very high value items and are thus very attractive to thieves. The good thing is that the panels have been installed at about 4 meters above the ground on top of the containers, this complicates matters for thieves but they can still be stolen as already demonstrated by the thefts in Hlabisa. All other equipments are indoor and protected by locks. Recommendation: Apart from all those measures we recommend that the village leaders be engaged to assist in planning security measures so that we have different ways of protecting these expensive equipments. In Jozini the users are paying for the security. Appendix A

Date Visited

OWNE RSHIP

2007/ 11/01

R 35,000

NUR A

3,200W h/day

5,040 Wh/day

R 260/PM

2007/ 11/01

ESK OM

Grid power

R20 P/M

2007/ 11/02

NONGOMA: Mduda

R 35,000

NUR A

2007/ 11/03

R 50,000

RES TIO

2007/ 11/04

R 50,000

RES TIO

2007/ 11/05

## ESHOWE: Mhlathusa Village

R 50,000

RES TIO

2 Regulat 8*55Wp or Panels, 4* 100 Ah Batteries 2*300w Inverters 1 Regulat 16*55Wp or Panels 4* 100 Ah Batteries 2*300w Inverters 1 Regulat 16*55Wp or Panels 4* 100 Ah Batteries 2*300w Inverters 1 Regulat 16*55Wp or Panels 4* 100 Ah Batteries 2*300w Inverters

3,200W h/day

10,080 Wh/day

3*R100 PM

6,400W h/day

10,080 Wh/day

5*R50 P/M

6,400W h/day

10,080 Wh/day

5* R50P/M

6,400W h/day

10,080 Wh/day