Photovoltaics in South Africa: meteocontrol supplies monitoring system

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South Africa is increasingly focusing on renewable energies. By 2020, solar energy is forecast to expand to over 5.7 gigawatts.

meteocontrol GmbH, one of the world’s leading companies for PV monitoring, offers a manufacturer-independent monitoring and control system for solar systems of all sizes with the blue’Log X series and the VCOM virtual control room. In cooperation with Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd., Cape Town, meteocontrol has recently equipped four rooftop systems in South Africa with the monitoring system.

Due to the sharp rise in energy demand, the South African energy market has been confronted with bottlenecks for years. The main source of energy has always been coal. In order to ensure energy security and reduce emissions, the country’s government would like to focus more strongly on renewable energies in the future, especially on wind power and solar energy. Through numerous tenders within the framework of the “Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme” (REIPPPP) and the high expansion target of 8.3 gigawatts by 2030, South Africa has strengthened its position as a PV growth market.

A professional monitoring system is required to ensure the smooth operation and maximum energy yield of PV systems. meteocontrol is one of the leading suppliers thereof and implements projects of all sizes throughout the world. The modular system of the blue’Log X series, which is tailored to individual systems, in combination with the VCOM virtual control room, reliably monitors solar systems, optimizes on-site energy consumption, and controls grid feed-in management. “This leads to a considerable reduction in terms of the time and cost expended on operation management. Furthermore, thanks to remote access, significantly fewer on-site operations are required,” explains Martin Schneider, Managing Director of meteocontrol.

Together with the South African EPC partner Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS), meteocontrol has implemented this monitoring functionality in four rooftop systems in Cape Town and Bloemfontein with a total output of around 1,400 kilowatts. The project team has equipped one of the solar systems with Power Control for implementation of the zero percent grid feed-in (zero feed-in). The data loggers of the blue’Log-X series are compatible with current inverter manufacturers and enable reliable interaction for remote configuration and live values. Thaine Sasman, Head of Operations & Maintenance at Sustainable Power Solutions, is happy about the collaboration with meteocontrol: “At SPS we pride ourselves in realising optimal plant performance through effective monitoring and analysis of our solar project portfolio. The meteocontrol hardware and VCOM platform enables SPS a new level of performance excellence through these sophisticated tools and collaborative company support.”

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