Leading Germany-based solar monitoring, smart energy and feed-in management company Solar-Log will showcase its professional solution for qualified photovoltaic (PV) system monitoring and energy management at the Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event on March 27 and 28, which will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng.
Exhibiting at PEWA since 2014, the company will display its entire range of services, especially the Solar-Log WEB-4U system, this year. Solar-Log’s system meets power sector needs with a family of Solar-Log Gateway and hardware devices, its software working tool WEB Enerest and accessories such as meters.
“Our management system is specifically designed for installers; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors; and project and service companies in residential, commercial and industrial segments,” Solar-Log sales VP and executive board member Silvia Blumenschein-Schuetz tells Engineering News.
Solar-Log uses PEWA as a platform to inform potential clients about why inverter-independent monitoring, with numerous additional functions for energy and feed-in management, makes sense to protect a PV investment properly.
Blumenschein-Schuetz highlights that the company will also showcase its Solar-Log 50 Gateway product for energy monitoring, which is an ideal tool for the residential sector, and smaller existing plants with improper or no monitoring. The new Gateway has been launched for the German market, and the international launch will start this month.
The Gateway allows for quick and easy installation, being small and compactly designed for top hat DIN-specified rail. It is also easy to manage and simple to deploy. It is most suitable for PV plants of up to 15 kWp and for operations with an opening licence, the Gateway can be applied for applications of up to 30 kWp.
“This solution stands for best quality, low pricing and rapid data transmission to its Solar-Log WEB Enerest software portal. It is set up as an inverter-independent and neutral monitoring platform. It can be expanded to also function as a management system,” notes Blumenschein-Schuetz.
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Additionally, Solar-Log will also introduce its new local service partner company that will manage Solar-Log Southern Africa, at PEWA. As of April, this will be the first and main contact in South Africa for sales and technical support regarding Solar-Log’s services in the Southern Africa region.
She says PEWA has been the best place for Solar-Log to enter into the South African market while learning about PV requirements in general and meeting technical cooperation partners, which are primarily inverter companies. Solar-Log’s system is compatible with more than 100 inverter brands, as well as other components such as meters, energy storage systems and also charging stations for electro vehicles.
“The inverter is the heart of a PV system and the company considers itself the brain of a PV system. “With this approach, we use the PEWA event to listen to what the market wants,” Blumenschein-Schuetz explains, noting that, most importantly, the event allows for meeting potential clients and following up leads.
Meanwhile, Solar-Log works with more than 15 of the 20 top-ranking PV installers in Southern Africa.
Blumenschein-Schuetz says the company offers not only PV monitoring but also qualified solutions for regulating the grid, such as the rooftop installation at Clearwater Mall, in Roodepoort, Gauteng.
“Our solutions make an important contribution to the successful integration of renewable energy into an intelligent power grid and help make the successful transition to clean energy a reality.”
Blumenschein-Schuetz cites a report about South African consumer trends, published late last year that high electricity prices dent household budgets and spur growing demand for renewable-energy sources such as solar energy.
“The report added that a definite trend is emerging, where homes and businesses that could afford renewable energy are opting for rooftop solar PV panels, cutting off State-owned utility Eskom’s revenue from clients with deep pockets,” recalls Blumenschein-Schuetz.
From 2011 to 2016, consumer expenditure per household on electricity increased by 4.6% in real terms, reaching an average R1 905 a month in 2016. In a 2017 report on Property24, real-estate agents Rawson Property Group MD Tony Clarke said green design, as a buzzword, had lost a bit of its shine, but the ecofriendly concepts behind it would still be evident in residential properties this year.
“Solar geysers and solar PV systems are gaining popularity in South Africa, and solar PV technology will likely become even more prevalent in residential areas as power storage solutions advance,” Blumenschein-Schuetz concludes.