The energy sector in Africa is under pressure, considering its inability to supply sufficient power for end-users, says photovoltaic (PV) solar industry supplier Valsa Trading MD Svilen Voychev.
Energy infrastructure is inadequate or very old and does not sufficiently meet the needs of businesses or people, thus, the “ultimate solution” is PV solar energy, he declares. This can be achieved by linking battery storage directly to the grid – in a mini- or off-grid system – where the infrastructure or network connections are poor or unstable, he explains.
“PV solar offers an alternative to having to build an expensive network infrastructure or decentralising the network. And it will reach more people and businesses faster.”
Valsa Trading, which is working extensively on projects in the commercial and domestic sectors, will attend the 2019 Power and Electricity World Africa (PEWA) conference taking place on March 26 and 27, in Johannesburg. The company expects to receive clarity from the relevant stakeholders on the way in which PV solar will be implemented in South Africa and the rules and regulations which will be applicable to ensure good governance.
Valsa Trading will be participating at a professional level, sharing its insights and experience in the renewable-energy industry and would like to be actively involved in projects practising good governance where its expertise can be used.
Voychev states that events such as PEWA are a great platform for all relevant stakeholders in the power and electricity sector to engage with one another, although there needs to be follow-through to ensure projects and new initiatives materialise from discussions.
“We would like PEWA to guide the discussion on PV solar technology as a solution and focus on the parity between the cost of electricity produced from PV solar and the cost of energy provided from other sources and to support the roll-out and implementation of a PV solar solution on a bigger scale,” says Voychev.
He highlights the influx of inferior-quality solar products and insufficient guidelines by government – in terms of a framework and governance – for the implementation of PV solar systems in commercial and domestic environments as some of the challenges facing the industry. As such, feed-in tariffs will also need to be established, where private customers sell excess power back to the grid, adds Voychev.
Using PV energy as power supply has clear advantages in that it empowers businesses and individuals for future growth, prosperity and elevated living standards.
“We are implementing an expansion programme into Africa, offering our extensive product range and engineering expertise to the markets. Our objective is to join forces with partners and experts in different countries to help realise which projects will provide power for businesses and people that will uplift their lives,” Voychev adds.
Further, Valsa Trading aims to transfer knowledge associated with the PV solar industry to individuals, business and governments in other African countries. The company would also like to contribute to the elimination of costly mistakes especially during the beginning stages of establishing a new business niche for PV solar in specific countries. PV solar provides a long-term solution and requires a high capital expenditure investment and should therefore offer a reliable solution with good performance. Cheaper options provide poor-quality solutions and low return on investment which can result in big losses for the buyer.
Most importantly, Valsa Trading would like to ensure that the solutions, products and expertise provided consider the specific needs of the African continent and maximise the results. “European solutions are not necessarily the answer and we would like to provide professional input that considers African-specific requirements and needs,” Voychev adds.
Today, Valsa trading provides a comprehensive range of quality solar energy solutions and products, including mounting system solutions, solar panels, inverters, Li-ion batteries, alternative current and direct current combiner boxes, cables, housing and other accessories.
All the mounting system solutions are designed by structural engineers and simulations are run to ensure that the designs meet the mechanical performance requirements. Designs simulate the conditions of a site to guarantee the best PV system performance.
Static calculations are performed for both horizontal and vertical wind loads, structural behaviour and the impact from other external conditions. The performance of different mechanical structures is calculated to avoid tensions and erosions over time.
The mounting system solutions available per application are rooftop, ground mount, carport, canopy or container, tensile cable, façade and solar integrated roof.
Meanwhile, the PV solar components available from Valsa Trading are PV solar panels, inverters, batteries, monitoring systems, cables, connectors, combiner boxes, pre-assembled back plate kits and power tools.
Footprint in Africa
Over the last nine years, Valsa Trading has supplied PV solar mounting system solutions and products for projects in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Uganda, Cameroon and Ghana. Valsa Trading is able to manage the production and manufacturing for and installation of large sized complex solar projects. The company supplies installers and resellers work closely with channel partners, PV solar developers and engineering procurement and construction companies to contribute to the overall project success.
Valsa Trading has a strategic relationship with smart technology and solutions supplier Jasco Group’s renewable-energy division and provides solutions and technology for clients.
It also works closely with solar energy company ProCare Solar on small- to medium-sized PV solar projects. Other companies include EPS provider Terra Firma Solutions, renewable-energy provider New Southern Energy and energy solutions company Rhino Energy, among others.
Valsa Trading is also recognised by energy management company Schneider Electric as a system integrator.