Rooftop PV installation. Pic credit Master Power
The solar rooftop PV system is a once-off cost with a maintenance life of 25 years. Pic credit: Master Power

In South Africa, Master Power Technologies (MPT), a power and data centre solution provider, has invested in a rooftop PV solar panel installation, valued at ZAR475,000 ($35,073), at its head office in Randburg.

According to a company statement, MPT has been researching the efficacy of solar power for some time.

The goal of the solar project was to design and install a renewable energy system to supplement MPT’s power usage.

This has the added benefit of reducing the company’s electrical costs, while investigating rooftop PV solar power generation as an efficient means of renewable energy.

Rooftop PV solution

The solution MPT designed was installed on top of the carports in the parking lot. Each of the two parking bays has 80 x 250 watt PV panels coupled to a 20kW inverter, totalling 40kW potential power in ideal solar conditions.

The solar panels occupy a total area of 600 and are perfectly suited for a rooftop PV installation.

Payback period

The total cost of the system including all the necessary cabling and mounting equipment cost ZAR475,000 ($35,073). Therefore, producing an average of 150KWh per day, the system has an expected pay back period of four years and four months in terms of savings from reduced electricity costs.

Clarifying the savings MPT will achieve, Menno Parsons, CEO of MPT, says that an average of 150KWh per day translates into an average saving of ZAR9,000 ($665) per month with current electricity tariffs.

However, he notes that with Eskom asking for another 25% increase in its fees, the payback period will actually be far less.

Parsons adds: “In addition, we haven’t even included the cost benefits of having our own green power supply that does not depend on diesel or petrol and allows employees to remain productive during periods of load shedding.”

Alternative energy source

The solar rooftop PV system is a once-off cost with a maintenance life of 25 years, which in the long run will provide significant savings. Not only is it economically beneficial, but it is an environmentally friendly means of obtaining an alternative energy source.

The solar project took approximately two months to install. As this was a first for the MPT team, depending on the site, future installations should be conducted in a shorter period.

“With growing electricity costs and an increasing number of power outages, research into practical and efficient solar installations that provide decreased long-term electricity costs and offer a sustainable energy source was critical to Master Power,” concludes Parsons.