Solar Systems and Low-cost Housing

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that South Africa faces is the backlog in the building and distribution of excellent, lowcost housing to the masses. Suffice to say, solar technology is a cost-effective resolution for providing energy to lowcost houses as it assists in the supply of electricity which is vital for both lighting and the delivery of hot water to thousands of these homes.  

The cost of a solar power system should not cost in excess of R1000; furthermore, these systems would benefit from superior solar batteries and battery regulators to ensure longevity. 

The installation of solar systems in lowcost houses will depend largely on the installation company that connects the systems. The end-result is a basic, user-friendly, cost-effective green and sustainable source of energy supply which can be used just about everywhere – especially in remote locations. 

Why solar? 

  • Because solar technology uses renewable energy, it is both green and sustainable and is one of the most well-liked methods of renewable energy in South Africa – a country which boasts having abundant sunlight 
  • Most areas in South Africa enjoy having an average of more than 2500 hours of sunshine per year 
  • Solar radiation levels range between 4,5 and 6,5 kWh/m2 in a single day 

The continent of Africa enjoys many days of sunshine throughout the year, with an annual 24-hour solar radiation average in the region of about 220 W/m2 for South Africa, compared with about 150 W/m2 for certain areas of the USA, and about 100 W/m2 for Europe and the United Kingdom. This means that South Africa’s solar resource is one of the highest in the world. 

About solar panels 

Solar panels are undoubtedly one of the most sought-after renewable energy solutions – this is primarily due to their consistency and reliability. Electricity is produced from photons which are found in light radiation; this means that even on cloudy days electricity will still be produced although they will not produce as much power during overcast conditions as they would during sunny conditions. 

The South African government is making huge inroads in finding solutions to our power woes – perhaps installing solar panels in low-cost housing is a further, positive step in the right direction.