HomeNewsSA tile and sanitary group goes solar

SA tile and sanitary group goes solar

Ross Allan,
solar specialist,
8 October 2013 – Omron’s photovoltaic technology has been installed by WSP Consulting Engineers at Italtile’s newly opened showroom at The Glen, Johannesburg, South Africa, optimising the tile and sanitary ware retailer’s energy management.

“Solar power is one of the most attractive forms of renewable energy, and South Africa has the ideal climate for solar energy generation. There are no harmful by-products generated in the production of this renewable energy source as most photovoltaic (PV) cells – which collect the solar energy – are made from silicon, which is the second most abundant material on the planet,” Ross Allan, solar specialist, Omron, South Africa, says.

The solar energy generated via Omron’s KP100L inverters is grid tied and connected to Eskom supply. The inverter will match the frequency of the national grid powering the Italtile site. The result is a reduction in electricity consumption from the national grid. DC power is fed into a PV inverter mounted in a panel. The DC supply range is from 225 V to 850 V, with a nominal input voltage of 585 V. The AC power is then connected to Italtile’s 400 V three-phase supply.

Interestingly, a 10 kW PV inverter can produce an annual average of 80 kWh per day without tracking in South Africa. It is less than one watt during standby. Forty 250 W PV panels will cover an area of 74 m² and supply a peak of 11 kW of power, meaning an electricity bill could be reduced by almost 30,000 kWh a year per unit (10 kW will power one hundred and twenty-five 80 W fluorescent tubes).

Importantly, the PV inverter uses no water or electricity to generate power, with other key benefits being a fast return on investment, smart control, high quality and a five-year warranty, with an option of 10 years. The innovation, technology and energy saving are tangible as employees and consumers can view the energy consumption and saving thanks to a real-time computer monitor in-store.  

Allan explains that as the PV inverter lies at the core of the photovoltaic plant, the efficiency and reliability of the inverter is vitally important. Omron has developed a range of solutions for photovoltaic plants, including solar inverters. The latest of these is the KP100L.