By Gary Thomas
Donauer Solartechnik, a global provider of photovoltaics and on- and off-grid solar projects, has completed two of its photovoltaic plants in South Africa. It will be commissioning a PV plant at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg after the Intersolar Europe 2012 event.
"Commissioning of the first solar plant at Mafa Max Motloung School in Delmas.
Benedikt Böhm: Regional Sales Manager, Donauer Solartechnik; Gugu Mashele: Director Technical Services Delmas Council; Dr Mike Seeger: Business company ""GX Energie""; Moses Msiza: Deputy Principal, Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School; Vusi Nzimande: Principal, Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School. Photo: Donauer Solartechnik"
The South African projects aim to provide solar power to two educational institutions – the University of the Witwatersrand and the Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School in Delmas. Donauer has partnered with an installation company in South Africa and a project developer in Germany for the solar projects.
The solar installation at the Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School consists of eight S-Energy SM-215 PA8 Tyco Modules and is expected to yield 3,011.7 kWh annually. It has been connected to the grid. It was commissioned in December 2011 and its production will help the school in reducing its electricity costs by 40%.
The photovoltaic plants serve a dual purpose as they provide both electricity and education. Students will monitor the plant through PCs and dataloggers and increase their knowledge about renewable energies and get to know the significant contribution of solar energy to the country. They will be taking responsibility of monitoring the solar plant and evaluating the related information.
The University of the Witwatersrand project consists of 16 Avancis PowerMax modules and in expected to yield 2,817.6 kWh annually. Both the projects use SMA Sunny Boy inverters, Donauer Intersol mounting systems, and Donauer Weblog Data Loggers for plant monitoring.
Delmas is an important coal-mining region, but it is also among the sunniest areas on the earth with around 2,500 kWh/m2 of solar irradiation. The South African government is providing support for solar power plants. The solar plants will demonstrate the potential for renewable energy and help address the increasing demand for energy due to economic development.