Power-Star first installed an online meter at NAPK in 2013. The information was used to measure energy consumption in order to lower costs. Shortly after a Power Factor opportunity was noticed and corrected.
The idea to install solar panels was realized after several months of data collection by the online meter. Using specialized software we were able to conservatively predict solar yield and calculate the expected financial benefits. The cost of the project was weighed against potential savings to determine the return on investment numbers, which were found to be favourable.
The installation of over 900 solar PV (Photovoltaic) panels on the roof of the cold room was completed in just 5 weeks, and the system was up and running smoothly.
The success of the initial project prompted the owners to increase the size of the system to 414 kWp several months later. The modular nature of the installation made this expansion easy, and the existing energy generation was not impacted.
Currently NAPK are generating up to 50% of their annual energy usage through the solar system, and reaping the benefits of the favourable feed-in tariff at the Drakenstein municipality. All PV energy is first used on site, and when excess is generated it is exported to the grid. Drakenstein credit NAPK for each unit of energy exported as long as they remain a net-user over an annual period.