On Tuesday, solar photovoltaic (PV) company DuPont highlighted the growth in rooftop solar installations and strategies to help mitigate risk and maximize financial returns for these unique systems at African Utility Week in Cape Town.
Marketing manager of DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, Europe, Middle East and Africa Stephan Padlewski said: “There are key differences between ground and rooftop solar installations that make the choice of materials critical. Materials can significantly impact the power output, reliability and safety of systems as well as the return on investment (ROI) for system owners.”
Rooftop solar potential
Industry analyst NPD Solarbuzz predicts that the South African solar market will become a 9.8GW market by 2030, with the rooftop solar PV market potentially representing over 35% of the total market between 2015 and 2019.
According to Padlewski, rooftop solar panels reach a much higher temperature than panels installed on the ground, due to poor air ventilation and higher thermal cycling.
He added that many systems are not undergoing regular maintenance and monitoring to assess any signs of premature degradation that could ultimately lead to early system failures and safety issues.
This week in Cape Town, DuPont will be demonstrating the thermal stability of the back sheet on a rooftop solar system, sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays and risk mitigation strategies to prevent long-term reliability and safety issues. This includes deterioration that can compromise the panels’ electrical insulation , DuPont said in a statement.
DuPont will meet with key energy stakeholders to discuss best practices for rooftop solar, its challenges and opportunities.