Campus grid-tied PV solar installation system at the North West University (NWU).

North West University boasts solar PV installation at Solar Training Center of SA

The North West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom campus boasts a campus grid-tied PV solar installation system which comprises a 5 x 3kW solar PV system that feeds directly into the engineering faculty's grid. In addition, a 1 x 3kW island system was installed close to the main entrance of the faculty with the main purpose of charging three electric scooters and an electric bicycle used as transport on the campus.

This system was installed as a partnership project between SUNFarming Germany and SUNCybernetics in South Africa to provide practical training opportunities at the NWU for persons at the faculty and in the region who require a comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding of PV solar systems. The Solar Training Centre of South Africa is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and is financed by the NWU, SUNfarming GmbH and KfW DEG.

SUNCybernetics has already facilitated training for over 120 candidates using a generic training module and the NWU's PV installation as the practical example to showcase the preparation, planning, project execution, installation techniques and commissioning of PV-plant installations on different roof areas.

The PV training course also covered the possibilities of PV technology and using solar radiation as an energy source whilst addressing the various technical considerations like fuse choices, overvoltage and EMF-protection, monitoring, metering, the electrical circuits as well as troubleshooting PV-plants. In addition an understanding of the basic functionality of PV systems and the different types of applications and their potential is discussed.

The next Introduction to PV training course is scheduled at the Solar Training Center at NWU on 26 June 2014 from 10:00-16:00 at a cost of R1500-00 (excl VAT). Online registration is available on

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