There are numerous sizes of solar panels available. However, due to solar panel manufacturers producing larger panels, it would be best to buy 450W panels and up.
The average household uses between six and fourteen 455W solar panels and up to around twenty-three panels for bigger homes. But, it depends on the space you have available, your electricity usage and the parameters of your inverter.
Find your average monthly usage in kW, divide that by 30 (days in the month) then divide that number by 5.5 (average peak sun hours per day in South Africa). This will give you the size of the array that you’ll need. Then you take your array size and divide that by the watt rating of a panel like a 455W panel to find out how many solar panels you’ll need.
Solar Panels can last 20 years and sometimes even up to 30 years. Ensuring that your system is in good health, you should see your solar equipment running smoothly well into the future.
The number of panels you will need within a 5kW system is entirely dependent on the parameters of the inverter. You will first need to check what the maximum PV array input is and secondly, check the voltage ranges of the inverter. You do not want to exceed either of those 2 parameters.
Your solar panels should be in the sun all day to be able to produce solar power. So north-facing is best in South Africa. However, if your roof is not north-facing, you can still produce solar power by installing two arrays, one on the east and one on the west-facing roof. That way your east-facing array will produce solar power in the morning and your west-facing roof will produce solar power in the afternoon. To do this, you will need a high voltage inverter with 2 MPPTs or 1 MPPT with a combiner box.
For your typical residential home in Cape Town, electricity costs are 330c/kWh. We estimated earlier that your 5kW solar system would save you 6,000-8,000 kWh per year.
This means you get a return on your investments after four (4) to six (6) years. With manufacturers issuing warranties that last up to 25 years, you are likely to begin saving money beyond your sixth year of ownership.
Okay, let’s do a quick recap: 5kW solar system. 20 polycrystalline panels. 45 m2 roof space. 6,000-8,000 kWh electric energy saved per year. Now, how much is this going to cost?
According to our research, a 4kW to 5kW system is going to cost you around R70,000-R140,000. We do not recommend that you do this independently. This is a big project, and plenty is at stake, especially your safety. However, we will give you an idea of how much the main components cost so you can negotiate with your supplier or contractor.
Gustav Cruz from ClimateBiz.
|Price Range per Unit (R)
|Total Cost Pre-tax (R)
|10k to 30k
|PV Panel 250w to 350w
|1200 to 2000
|14 to 20
|Other Electric Components
|Roof Mount Kit
|14 to 20
|Electrical Works and Installation
Table: Estimated Cost per Category
The size of a house, as well as electricity consumption, would direct what size system to install:
|Electricity expenditure in rands per month
|Approximate cost, including VAT
|Below R1 300
|Between R1 300 and R2 200
|Between R2 200 and R5 000
|Over R5 000
Table: Estimated Cost per electricity expenditure – Property 24
Solar Panel prices depend on brand and size.
Prices range between around R2500 for a 345W Monocrystalline Solar Panel and R4500 for a 540W Monocrystalline Solar Panel.
Solar Panel Installation Price
Solar panel installation costs vary from installer to installer.
However, you will usually pay a base cost for a Solar Power Kit installation which will include the hanging and wiring of your inverter and battery and the connection to your distribution board.
Then will be a per panel installation price.
If you need to install 12 solar panels, your installation cost will be higher than that of someone who only needs 6.
For a 6 panel installation, you can expect to pay upwards of R12,000.
It is important to take on the services of a reputable installer that uses top-quality equipment. A sales representative visits your house to assess requirements and then provides a quote. The larger the house, the more the lighting and appliances, the bigger the system.
Contact our team on email@example.com or 071 319 2831 for more information.