Final week I learn an article that mentioned photo voltaic panels at the moment are going for round 15 to 17 cents per Watt and even lower than that. I remembered after I began working in C&I photo voltaic, photo voltaic panels had been hovering round 60-70 cents per Watt. That was round 2015. That’s a pleasant drop in simply 8 years. A number of different stuff has additionally modified because the expertise advances convey larger effectivity panels as effectively. I keep in mind in 2015, the principally broadly out there photo voltaic panels on this a part of the world had been 250W panels and even decrease rated panels. Now in 2023, everyone seems to be utilizing 550W panels or larger. So, for a 5kWp system you now solely want 10 panels in comparison with 20 panels in 2015. One other main step ahead is we now have a plethora of superb and extra reasonably priced hybrids inverters, principally from China, in contrast to in 2015 the place you wanted photo voltaic inverters in addition to battery inverters. For instance, in the event you had been utilizing SMA, you would wish Sunny Island inverters in addition to Sunny Boy Photo voltaic inverters or an identical configuration.
Having 550W panels plus hybrid inverters simplifies installations and cuts again on related steadiness of apparatus prices, leading to less complicated installations, decreasing set up time, related cabling, mounting, and combiner bins and different change gear. All of this implies it’s now an entire lot cheaper to include photo voltaic with properties now than in 2015. One other main factor is the progress made within the battery sector. Again in 2015 it was all lead acid batteries — cumbersome space-consuming stuff. Now it’s all slim wall-mounted LFP packs, offering the identical power or extra in a small footprint. Subsequently, for brand spanking new housing developments, the enterprise case for including photo voltaic proper from the start as a part of the package deal is rather a lot higher now.
All of this, coupled with rising power prices in addition to common energy outages fueled by a era shortfall in locations like Zimbabwe and South Africa, makes the enterprise case is even higher. Housing developments with photo voltaic will supply residents some power safety. One other massive plus is that residents of cluster developments and gated communities received’t must cope with all of the noise from tens of diesel turbines working consistently within the complicated.
We have now a number of solar right here in southern Africa, however the upfront prices of putting in the right-sized photo voltaic methods has been prohibitive, which is why you don’t see a number of photo voltaic installations as we should always must capitalize on all this solar. Some locations like Zimbabwe have restricted financing choices as effectively, making it even more durable. Bundling photo voltaic as a part of new housing developments from the get-go is an superior concept to assist enhance the penetration of photo voltaic.
Relying on the dimensions of properties and the extent backup required to again up key hundreds, a number of housing developments at the moment are incorporating photo voltaic coupled with battery storage in packages just like these ones listed beneath:
I just lately attended the launch of a brand new housing growth close to Highlands in Harare. This growth has 12 models in addition to a membership home. All of the models have photo voltaic and battery storage, which is tremendous superior. Listed here are some photos from Glenara 1, developed by Turnbury Property Builders, Troika Design Workshop in collaboration with Stanbic Financial institution.
Zimbabwe now has a housing backlog of over 2 million models. As folks within the trade work in the direction of addressing a few of this backlog, it could be nice to see extra of those developments get photo voltaic from the get-go the place possible. For larger density developments, issues like group photo voltaic and neighborhood batteries may very well be price trying into.
Photos courtesy of Turnbury Property Builders and TDW
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