Mobile containerised PV plant

Online since 1.03.2017 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017 page(s) 34-35
Mobile containerised PV plant

Founded in 2013, RenPower Group (Pty) Ltd (RenPower) develops rooftopand ground-mounted photovoltic (PV) projects for the agricultural, industrial, large retail/logistics, and mining sectors.

RenPower’s management and technical teams have extensive experience in the mature European PV market, as well as in the developing South African PV market and its accompanying regulatory environment. RenPower is based in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

Service offering

RenPower offers a service that spans the development, implementation, and operational chain of a PV plant from the initial site audit to monitoring and maintaining the plant. This includes, among other things, load profile and bill analysis to get to the right size of the PV plant, designing and planning the plant’s layout, selecting power and ancillary equipment for the plant, assisting with the utility application to connect the plant, managing the plant’s installation, and performing ad hoc due diligences required from site to site.


The decision on whether to invest in a PV plant is often weighed against smaller capex projects that contribute directly to the production output of the facility – which are usually realised in very short periods of time. In contrast to the direct contribution of these smaller projects to the production output, the contribution of a PV plant is indirect because the impact that the plant has is on the facility’s electricity account. Although the benefit of the plant is real from the onset, it only becomes pronounced in the medium to long term. Weighing a PV plant up against smaller projects is one example of the financial barriers that PV plants face, and there are a few others.

To ease the breach in these financial barriers, through international multilateral funding agencies, RenPower offers funding to the value of 70% of the project’s costs at fixed interest rates as low as 2.5%, and at repayment periods of up to 15 years, resulting in very low annual repayments in terms of both the principal amount and the interest on the loan. This substantial source of funds for projects sets RenPower apart from its competitors, particularly as local banks have shied away from these types of projects because of small project sizes and often a lack of technical knowledge.

Innovative solutions

RenPower offers innovative solutions that are well suited to address the needs of rural end users, including farmers, mines, and military bases, that are looking to invest in, or to make use of, renewable energy. RenPower’s PowerSafe is a containerised PV plant that runs with or without the electricity grid or a backup generator – it is a mobile, easily transportable small container that allows for:

• O n site electricity production via solar panels

• E lectricity storage via installed battery systems

• I f required, water purification

What this technical detail means is that the relatively small container can be transported to remote, hard to access locations via small trucks or 4x4 trucks. In contrast to other suppliers of similar containers, where a significant portion of the modules are attached to the outside of the container and are prone to damage during transport, all modules in this system are transported inside the container.

To unload the container, a standard forklift is sufficient – the container is specifically designed to accommodate the teeth of the forklift so no special crane is required, significantly saving time and money. No ground works or foundations are necessary, just an even-graded surface is required. No specialist tools or knowledge to set up the container and the panels is required. Consequently, the truck driver and an assistant can set up the PowerSafe container within a maximum of two hours. And, thanks to it being fully cabled internally, this plug-and-play solution provides electricity or drip irrigation within two hours of the container’s arrival on site.

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.” – Thomas Alva Edison

Because of South Africa’s current drought period, long established sources of water are no longer available and ever deeper boreholes need to be drilled to get the water to the surface. With established diesel-driven pumps that must to be refuelled and serviced quite intensively, the deeper the well the more diesel and servicing of the pump – or even larger pumps – are required. However, with PowerSafe no cost for diesel or frequent servicing is necessary. We monitor individual containers remotely and, in the event of a problem, we can determine what the problem is from our offices and send a technician with the required tools and replacement materials to the site to minimise down time.

The deployment of the PowerSafe is quick and effortless, and it can be combined in a modular fashion in blocks of 10kW with 19kWh of battery storage to build up larger PV plants at a very reasonable cost.

The areas of application for the PowerSafe are not restricted to irrigation, plant power, and camp power. The PoweSafe can also be used for desalination and irrigation plants, cell phone towers and radio stations, charging stations for electric vehicles, rural and deep rural electrification, and much more. The PowerSafe comes standard with thermal insulation and air conditioning, which increases the life of the batteries and the inverters.


Unit 10A, Carpe Diem Building Techno Park, Stellenbosch

T +27 021 035 0345

C +27 079 523 3657



Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017

Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017

This article was featured on page 34-35 of SABI Magazine Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017 .

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