solar panels south africa

Solar Panel Prices

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Solar energy is quickly becoming one of the most important sources of renewable energy in South Africa. With abundant sunshine throughout the year, solar panels in South Africa are an excellent choice for generating clean, sustainable energy. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, costs, and future of solar panels in South Africa, including the advantages of using solar energy, and the most popular types of solar panels used in the country.

What are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorb sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. This electricity can be used immediately or stored in batteries for later use.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

When sunlight hits a solar panel, the PV cells inside the panel absorb the energy from the sunlight. This energy knocks electrons loose from atoms, allowing them to flow freely. This flow of electrons creates a current of electricity.

Benefits of Solar Panels in South Africa

There are many benefits of using solar panels in South Africa, including:

  1. Reduced Energy Bills: Households and businesses can significantly reduce their electricity bills. Since solar energy is free, once the initial investment has been made, the cost of generating electricity is very low.
  2. Reduced Carbon Footprint: Solar energy is clean and sustainable, which means it doesn’t produce harmful emissions or contribute to climate change. South Africa can reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier environment.
  3. Increased Energy Independence: Households and businesses have greater control over their energy supply. This means that they are less reliant on the national grid, which can be unreliable at times.
  4. Job Creation: The installation and maintenance of panels in South Africa has created many new jobs in the renewable energy sector. This has helped to stimulate economic growth and create opportunities for skilled workers.

Types of Solar Panels Used in South Africa

There are several types of solar panels used in South Africa, including:

  1. Polycrystalline: These are the most popular type used in South Africa. They are made from multiple silicon crystals and are less expensive than other types.
  2. Monocrystalline: Made from a single silicon crystal and are more efficient than polycrystalline. However, they are also more expensive.
  3. Thin-Film: Made from a thin layer of semiconductor material and are lightweight and flexible. They are less efficient than other types but are ideal for use in areas where space is limited.

Combining solar panels, inverters, and batteries can create a complete solar power system that can provide clean and renewable energy to homes and businesses. This can help reduce reliance on non-renewable sources of energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Price of Solar Panels in South Africa

The cost of solar panels in South Africa can vary depending on several factors, such as the type and quality of the panels, the installation costs, and the location.

On average, the price of a single solar panel in South Africa can range from R2,000 to R4,000, depending on the brand and quality. However, the overall cost of a solar panel system for a home or business will depend on the size of the system, the quality of the components used, and the installation costs.

  1. Canadian– (300W – 650W) R2,200 to R5,000 per panel
  2. JA – (275W – 595W) R2,150 to R4,500 per panel
  3. Jinko – (415W – 620W) R2,700 to R4,600 per panel
  4. Renewsys – (275W – 550W) R2,100 to R4,800  per panel
  5. Trina Solar – (275W – 550W) R2,150 to R4,500 per panel
  6. Longi Solar – (275W – 550W) R2,180 to R4,300 per panel
  7. Hanwha Q CELLS – (275W – 675W) R2,055 to R4,600 per panel
  8. Seraphim Solar – (275W – 550W) R2,289 to R4,000 per panel

Factors That Affect Solar Panel Installation Prices

Several factors can affect the price of solar panels in South Africa. These include:

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of the solar panel system can significantly impact the cost. The larger the system, the more expensive it will be. The capacity of the system is measured in kilowatts (kW), with a typical residential system ranging from 1 kW to 10 kW.

Type of Panel

The type of panel can also affect the price. There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and expensive, while thin-film panels are the least efficient and least expensive.

Installation Method

The method of installation can also affect the price. A rooftop installation is the most common method, but it can be more expensive than a ground-mounted installation. The type of roof can also affect the installation cost.


The location of the installation can also affect the price. The cost of solar panels in South Africa can vary depending on the region, with some areas having higher installation fees than others.

Designing Your Solar Panel System

The first step in solar panel installation is designing your system. This involves determining your energy needs, selecting the right size and type of panels, and planning the installation location. A reputable solar energy company can help you with this process and provide a customized system design based on your specific needs.

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Run a Home?

The number of solar panels needed to run a home depends on various factors, including your energy consumption, the efficiency of the panels, and the amount of sunlight your location receives.

To determine the number of solar panels you need, follow these steps:

  1. Calculate your daily energy consumption: Check your utility bills to find your average monthly energy usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Divide this number by 30 to get your daily energy consumption.
  2. Estimate the solar energy production: Your location and the hours of peak sunlight it receives daily will determine how much energy your panels can produce. You can find this information through online solar insolation maps or by consulting a local solar installer.
  3. Determine the solar panel output: They have varying wattage ratings, which indicate how much electricity they can produce under standard test conditions. Common residential panels have a wattage rating between 250 and 600 watts.
  4. Calculate the number of solar panels needed: Divide your daily energy consumption (in kWh) by the solar energy production (in kWh) to determine the required solar panel capacity. Then, divide this capacity by the output of a single solar panel (in watts) to find the number of solar panels you need.

For example, if your daily energy consumption is 30 kWh, your location receives 5 hours of peak sunlight, and you’re using 300-watt solar panels:

  • Solar energy production: 30 kWh / 5 hours = 6 kW
  • Number of solar panels needed: 6,000 watts (6 kW) / 300 watts = 20 solar panels

Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate and other factors, such as shading, roof angle, and panel orientation, can influence the actual number of solar panels needed. It’s always best to consult with a professional solar installer to get a more accurate assessment for your specific situation.

Choosing a Solar Company

Choosing the right solar company is crucial to ensuring a successful installation. When selecting a company, consider factors such as experience, reputation, and customer service. Be sure to obtain quotes from several companies and compare them before making a decision.

Obtaining Permits and Approvals

Before installing solar panels, you will need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from your local municipality. The requirements may vary depending on your location, but they typically include a building permit and an electrical permit. Your solar energy company should be able to assist you with this process.

Installing Your Solar Panels

Once you have obtained the necessary permits and approvals, it’s time to install your solar panels. This involves mounting the panels on your roof or a ground-mounted system, connecting them to the electrical system, and securing the wiring. It’s important to have a qualified professional handle the installation to ensure that it’s done safely and correctly.

Connecting Your System to the Grid

After installing your solar panels, you will need to connect your system to the grid. This involves installing an inverter, which converts the DC electricity generated by your panels into AC electricity that can be used by your home or business. Your solar energy company should handle this process for you.

Inspections and Commissioning

Once your solar panel system is installed and connected to the grid, it will need to be inspected and commissioned by a qualified electrician. This involves testing the system to ensure that it’s working correctly and safely. Your solar energy company should handle this process for you.

Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

Yes, solar panels do work on cloudy days, but their efficiency is reduced compared to sunny conditions. They rely on sunlight to generate electricity, and while they work best under direct sunlight, they can still produce energy when it’s overcast or cloudy.

During cloudy days, diffuse sunlight still reaches the solar panels, allowing them to generate electricity, albeit at a lower rate. The actual output on a cloudy day depends on the density of the cloud cover and the type of solar panel. Generally, they can produce about 10-25% of their rated capacity on a cloudy day.

It’s important to consider your local weather patterns and average sunlight hours when planning a solar power system. If you live in an area with frequent cloudy days, you might need to install more solar panels or consider using a battery storage system to store excess energy generated on sunny days for use during periods of reduced sunlight.

Government Plans for Renewable Energy

The South African government has set a target of generating 18 GW of renewable energy by 2030. This includes 8.4 GW of solar energy. To achieve this target, the government has implemented several initiatives, including:

  1. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), encourages private investment in renewable energy projects.
  2. The Solar Water Heater Programme provides subsidies for the installation of solar water heaters in households.
  3. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), outlines the government’s plans for renewable energy development.


Solar panels in South Africa offer a bright future for renewable energy. With the government’s commitment to generating more renewable energy, the country is well on its way to reducing its carbon footprint and achieving energy independence.

By taking advantage of the many benefits, households, and businesses can save money on electricity bills, contribute to a healthier environment, and create new opportunities in the renewable energy sector. With the right type of solar system and proper maintenance, South Africans can enjoy the benefits of clean, sustainable energy for many years to come.


Can they work during power outages?

Yes, if the system is equipped with a battery backup, it can continue to generate electricity during power outages.

How long do they last?

Most of them come with a warranty of 25 years, but they can last up to 30-40 years with proper maintenance.

Are they expensive to maintain?

They are generally low maintenance and do not require frequent upkeep. However, it is important to keep them clean and free of debris to ensure maximum efficiency. Professional maintenance may be required from time to time to keep the panels functioning optimally.

Are they suitable for all types of buildings?

Yes, they can be installed on a variety of building types, including homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. The suitability of the building for solar panel installation depends on factors such as roof orientation, shading, and structural integrity.

solar panels cost

Solar Panel Prices

Select Your Area Below to Contact a Professional: