Category: Invest Solar Blogs

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Examining Shoprite’s plans to go off grid

The Shoprite Group says that it now generates enough electricity to power over 1100 households for a year from solar energy – the equivalent of 12,300 MWh of electricity.

This follows the installation of rooftop PV (photovoltaic) panels at 19 sites in South Africa and Namibia.

Shoprite said it has also fitted 649 solar panels to the roofs of its refrigerated trucks, which generate 760 MWh annually – enough power to run 1,040 refrigerators for a full year.

These allow drivers to switch off truck ignitions at delivery locations, reducing noise and exhaust pollution, while keeping the cold chain intact.

There are now 18 stores throughout South Africa and Namibia in the group that harness the power of the sun for their operations. These include:

Western Cape

  • Checkers Plettenberg Bay Mall;
  • Checkers Sitari;
  • Checkers Gordons Bay;
  • Checkers Constantia;
  • Checkers Hermanus;
  • Checkers Whale Coast Mall;
  • Shoprite Strand.

Free State

  • Checkers Parys;
  • Checkers Woodlands;
  • Shoprite Parys.

North West 

  • Shoprite Rustenburg


  • Shoprite Devland

Northern Cape

  • Shoprite Kimberley;
  • Shoprite Kathu


  • Shoprite Oshakati;
  • Shoprite Otjiwarongo;
  • Shoprite Ongwediva;
  • Shoprite Tsumeb.

The group’s largest installation, at its Basson distribution centre in Brackenfell, is a significant move to reduce the company’s impact on the environment.

Shoprite said that there are now enough solar panels at this distribution centre to cover an entire soccer field.

In a bid to find innovative ways to reduce electricity usage, the group has also replaced fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient LED lamps. The process cost R98.3 million, and in the four years since its inception has saved 83.8 million kWh of energy, it said.

“We recognise that climate change poses direct and indirect risks to our business and the communities we serve,” said Sanjeev Raghubir, sustainability manager for the Shoprite Group.

“Therefore we are taking measures to tread more lightly on our planet. Apart from these solar panel installations, we have also signed an agreement which will see the group procure 434,000 MWh of renewable energy per year for the next seven years.

“We are the first retailer to close such a deal, which is arguably the first of its kind in Africa.”

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How Do Solar Panels Work?

Simply put, a solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity. Solar panels actually comprise many, smaller units called photovoltaic cells. (Photovoltaic simply means they convert sunlight into electricity.) Many cells linked together make up a solar panel.
extracted from https://www.livescience.com/41995-how-do-solar-panels-work.html.

Step 1:
Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC)
Step 2:
An inverter converts electricity from DC to alternating current AC
Step 3:
The AC powers your home
Step 4:
Extra electricity may be used by the grid

Solar panels soak up sunlight for roughly 6 hours a day and provides electricity for up to 18 hours (based on your electricity usage). An inverter is a device that is connected to the panel to convert the DC charge into AC current. Extra power that is generated is stored in Gel batteries which is used to power the Grid (the set of appliances that are connected to your circuit).

Solar panel designs has advanced throughout the years from being installed on ceilings to having fields of solar panels to generate power to fuel industrial sectors. Invest Solar Suggests you read up on the Terminology involved in Solar Technology.

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Solar Panels Could Soon Be Generating Power at Night

Throughout the years there have been geniuses who have discovered and invented innovative technology, it seems like now we are at the brink of a new era in electricity by discovering other means of generating electricity.
As much as solar panel technology is effective in our quest for renewable energy, the challenge is that such panels can’t generate electricity at night. However new research suggests that its possible to design panels that can operate at night.
The heart of the solution is at the cell level, where researchers are testing solar panel cells that can generate energy based on temperature. Researchers from the University of California, Davis are looking to put together materials that can form a panel to generate power both from solar energy and thermal elements.
While there’s a long way to go to properly scale up this technology so that it’s practically useful – many prototypes are in development. The discovery of this particular technology will be a relatively cheap and inexpensive way to keep solar cells operating 24 hours a day.
It seems not so far away a future that involves the use of the universes elements to sustain ourselves rather than use up our earths resources to burn a light bulb.

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How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

A big question for first-time investors is how many panels are needed to go into solar power or where to even begin? It’s a big question because it directly affects the cost of your new solar energy system. With the rise in demand for solar systems, prices tend to be in the thousands but you often don’t need to over- spend and this can be done by answering a few simple questions to gauge the size of equipment that is needed.

Here are some facts to consider:

1. Look at your bills especially during winter and summer months – it is a good
idea to keep a record of how much you have been paying.

2. Think about the future. Investing in solar power is no short term thing thus you
need to know whether your future energy needs to for the next 10 to 20 years
will change.

3. Look at your monthly watt usage as well as converting it into daily usage.

4. Consider the area space of your property and the size of panels that you
would need. Try researching online for different calculation methods.

5. Take into consideration the area that you or your business resides in. You
would need to know how much sun exposure the property receives.

6. List important questions that you may have as a potential solar investor.
These questions can be directed to a professional service provider (ie. Invest
Solar) so that you are more at ease with your decision.

7. Get A Solar Quotation from a reputable solar supplier. Submit the information
that you have gathered to your trusted supplier (Invest Solar is a definite option)
and receive a formal quotation to suit the data that you have collected.

These tips should assist in making your decision for the future. Remember that solar power is a once-off price (excluding maintenance and additions), unlike electricity that you may currently run on which is constantly rising throughout the history of time as well as the fact that the world is desperately looking for alternative renewable energy sources due to the decrease in the supply of electricity.

Invest Solar is reliable and welcomes your questions and quotation requests to make the process easier for you.

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The Future is Bright with Solar Energy

Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Consumers are becoming more aware of their surroundings and the damage that is being done to the earth. The beauty of Solar energy is that it is both safe, effective and environmentally friendly. Imagine a world where we are able to harness the power of the sun for our daily household & commercial uses without the stress of hurting the planet and the costs of electricity rising. Invest Solar offers many packages to suit both household and commercial businesses that want to jump onto the solar energy bandwagon.

Now more than ever, big corporate companies are using this calling card to showcase their commitment towards making the world a better place. Corporate companies like Makro have invested in large solar panels and technology to reduce their carbon footprint. What does this mean for average households though?

A look around South Africa and one can see the plight of many who are without lights or electricity on a daily basis. In some settlements, residents are having to steal power from electricity towers resulting in dangerous methods that can put their lives at risk. Thankfully we are moving towards better times and South Africans as a whole are looking towards alternative renewable power sources. With the rising day to day costs of living as well as the restriction of electricity, it is no wonder that homeowners are looking for an alternative source of energy. South African weather is particularly great as the country experiences at least 8 to 12 hours of sunlight depending on the season and province. This means that sun exposure can be put to good use and supply households with energy that is efficient and can help in these tough economic times.

On a global front, many consumers of electricity are switching to renewable energy sources not only in their households but in their lifestyle as well. It will not be surprising to see the age of technology adapt to this with ideas of self-charging phones or solar-powered chargers. This wave of change will begin with future generations expressing innovation. Whatever the future is, Invest

Solar is proud to be part of the brightness from the get-go.

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Load Shedding – A new reason to switch to Solar Power?

Loadshedding seems to be a more frequent topic evolving at a rapid pace within South African grounds although frustration is a strong emotion that is expressed in this topic. Has this disappointment in Eskom’s great failure caused more South Africans to look at alternative energy supply? This is the perfect time to visit Invest Solar.

While many South Africans today sit in darkness, a backup plan is needed. The major energy crisis began in 2014 with what we thought was a negative step of stage 3 load shedding but the negative matter has just increased with time, leaving the community with stage 6, five years later. The cost per kWh by Eskom has been recorded of increasing ahead of inflation since 2008. South Africa relies on Mozambique as a supplier of energy, when Mozambique experienced devastation in April 2019 with a cyclone, South Africa felt the aftereffects of blackouts. Eskom also depends on a coal supply for energy production but this has resulted in environmental consequences. All this dependency on other elements is backfiring and green energy is a good alternative.

Load shedding has created great damage to businesses whether being the shortage of being able to successfully serve their customers or losing money on appliances that can not handle the constant power surges. Households also suffer in this regard, daily life is affected and slows down the rush of Johannesburg life a little too much.

‘Going green’ is cheaper as well as a more reliable energy source which is of great importance at this stage. Generator sales skyrocketed when it was seen as an alternative option to fix the load shedding crisis but this contributes to the environmental factor that the world is currently coming face to face with, although spending a bit more now can be brighter for the future and in the long run a cheaper option. Commercial sales for solar-powered homes or businesses have increased representing more South Africans moving to a solution from load shedding.

South Africa has devoted more effort to renewable energy production. The country receives a relative amount of sun therefore solar power is easier to maintain.

Why not move to Solar?

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