Project setting: New-age containerised showroom
A trendy show room for international shoe company in Johannesburg is now benefitting from a hybrid solar PV + battery storage solution. The project installation was set in a new-age architectural setting using re-purposed shipping containers and constructed on steel stilts above an old pool that had been converted into a natural pond. The design objective given to Zero Point Energy was to achieve as much off-grid electricity capabilities and self-reliance as possible, without compromising electricity provision for the extensive lighting, office equipment, and communications devices. Another design objective was to install a system with the least indoor and outdoor visual impact to ensure the showroom maintain its minimalist aesthetic. A further design challenge was the non-conventional pitched roof structure & water-proofing solution chosen to install above the container that was composed of marine plywood and steel T-sections.
Zero Point Energy conducted a load analysis and site assessment during the design phase. We put forward a design to the project architects based on a customised solar PV mounting structure, hybrid PV inverter, lithium ion battery storage, battery management system, and a mobile app-based energy management system. To ensure highest quality and long-term sustainability, we selected only tier 1 module, battery and structure suppliers with industry-leading guarantees and warrantees with local distribution presence.
All other necessary electrical protection, control, lightning protection, earthing and metering was also considered and designed by our engineers. Lithium-ion batteries were chosen over lead-acid batteries so that they could be indoor wall-mounted while taking up minimal space and minimizing the visual impact. An aluminium flush-mount PV mounting structure was specified to ensure minimal weight loading on the roof and to ensure a discrete look on the pitched roof.
Indoor wall-mounted lithium-ion battery storage unit being installed prior to completion of indoor wall panelling around the battery unit
The system designed consisted of 320Wp modules, a hybrid PV inverter, and a wall-mounted Lithium-ion battery pack. The system was designed in a modular fashion so as to allow future expansion should the client intend to increase system capacity in future. The battery management system was programmed to ensure batteries are never depleted below 20% depth of discharge, and charge current limited to battery supplier recommendations, both to ensure longevity well over 10 years.
Completion of solar PV modules installation on marine plywood roofing structure
Upon project completion and electrical CoC issued by us, the system was generating +-8.5kwhrs or units per day and programmed to first charge the battery, then supply the showroom’s loads, and finally supply excess electricity back into the site’s existing buildings. This ensures that no electricity is wasted and the other site buildings benefit from municipal cost savings and sustainable renewable energy as well. In the event of load shedding, the hybrid inverter will work as a fast-transfer UPS, automatically transferring the show room electrical loads onto battery supply, without any noticeable impact on power quality.
Wall-mounted outdoor IP63 rated Inverter and DC protection box installed under a rain cover
The total system can be remotely monitored in real-time by the Zero Point Energy operations team and the client themselves, to track performance and ensure optimal performance. The project was conceptualised, designed and successfully completed in 3 weeks. Zero Point Energy continues to improve and offer a viable business case for any residential or commercial customer looking to increase their self-sufficiency, totally remove load shedding risk and enhance their sustainability footprint using cutting-edge technology, our engineering expertise and least-cost solutions for the greatest value-add to our clients in our mission to empower them on their journey towards net-zero consumption.
Dashboard display of the remote monitoring system showing minute resolution of total system performance accessible via mobile app and internet
Contact us today for any of your solar PV or battery storage queries, and an obligation-free quote:
Zero Point Energy (Pty) Ltd is a proudly South African sustainable engineering company that provides professional engineering consulting & turn-key solutions in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, off-grid and energy storage solutions, water efficiency and responsible waste management. The company is a 100% black youth-owned, 30% black female-owned EME achieving a Level 1 BBBEE Contributor status, and has a passion to transform the energy industry without compromising on safety, quality and client satisfaction. Email: email@example.com Web: www.zpenergy.co.za