The African Renewables Story?
Africa has abundant renewable energy resources and the continent is increasingly turning to solar photovoltaics to bolster energy supply and to enhance sustainable economic growth. With the costs of PV installations continuously falling, solar PV is becoming accessible to all consumers across the board and is being installed on the roofs of homes of all sizes , on office blocks , factories , shopping centres , hospitals and on ground mounted systems ranging from kilowatts to megawatts.
The most visible and accessible part of any installation are the PV panels. They are also a large part of the value of the PV system. The fact that people are looking for what they consider will be free power or a quick buck makes them desirable and vulnerable to theft. The theft of the solar PV panels is a huge risk for the owner of the solar PV system who loses not only power but in many cases revenue.
Age Technologies identified this major industry problem following many reports of theft from its customers and set out to combat PV theft. We have achieved this by developing a system that increases the level of difficulty in physically stealing a solar PV panel wherever it is mounted and then rendering the stolen equipment
What Do We Need To Protect.
- PV Panels: Panel Level Control and Monitoring.
- Invertors: Remotely controlled and monitored.
- PV Panels: Cloud Connected.
Smart PV System
To tackle the challenges of theft within the PV industry AGE Technologies focused on developing a system that takes a multipronged approach to ensure system equipment safety and security.
Our first challenge was to ensure the panel could be monitored and controlled all the way to the edge. We have succeeded, with the assistance of our partner manufacturers, to create an intelligent PV panel arrangement that requires a constant system heartbeat in order to produce any output power. On initial installation, via software, the panel is paired to its sister devices and thereafter requires an “alive” signal in order to maintain production. If for some reason, the signal is not received, the panel will stop producing power.
All PV Panels have a termination connection enclosure that is easy to tamper with. AGE Technologies has dealt with this risk via a specially mounted tamperproof bracket that inhibits access to the termination enclosure with subsequent attempts at removal resulting in damage and failure of the PV panel.
We assessed various mounting techniques to establish what locking systems would work as a deterrent to would be criminals. After much research we have implemented an anti-theft Powar-Snap solution which makes it very difficult to remove unless in possession of a specialized tool.
When using our modified Micro-Invertor Technology (MIT) we can now achieve the same anti-theft software polling as per the PV panels. In other words, the MIT is paired to the site system and if removed from site will cease to produce any power. Standard string invertors are compatible as well.
How Can We Help You?
AGE Technologies is an innovation hub for bespoke developments . We pride ourselves in assessing the technical and situational problem and using our inhouse technical abilities to create viable solutions which meet our clients requirements.
If you would like to discuss your requirements please contact us