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South African firm Sinetech built southern Africa's first accurate solar PV panel and weather reference station on the company's roof at Strijdom Park. It will be used to generate real-time, objective solar PV panel data, in combination with weather data, specific to South Africa but of benefit to a global audience.
Sinetech's solar specialists used sophisticated computer programs to calculate and design the most efficient and advanced solar systems. The company's solar systems are designed to perform for at least 25 years and will therefore only make use of high-quality and proven products. Three types of solar panels were used for the installation: monocrystalline silicon solar cells, polycrystalline silicon solar cells, and thin film coper, indium, and selenium solar cells.
Senior system engineer Rudi Jager said: "We no longer need to rely just on manufacturers' specs; instead we can confirm panel performance first-hand at our own reference site. For instance, CIS panels claim an 8 - 10 % efficiency improvement over crystalline panels due to a soaking effect. We are going to be able to put these claims to a real-time test. I am hoping we DO see the promised 8-10 % energy increase from the CIS panels, as they are cheaper to manufacture and would provide a tempting cost-saving for those customers who have the space."
News date: 21/07/2014