I was sooo glad when that last one was retracted. It had requirements for fireman’s switches on the outside perimeter of the property and for all the conduit to be steel. The kind of thing that would have severely increase the cost of a residential solar installation. I’ve always been the kind of guy who figures 8 out of 10 is fine, as long as the 2 points you dropped are unlikely to kill anyone.
This reminds me of my distant past on the workbench. I think I can name the company - Television And Electrical Distributors, AKA Tedelex.
Now when the company was founded with that name somebody said to the owner “But there is no Television in South Africa”. He said “not yet, but there will be, and where there is I will have the company already named.”
Anyway, as the country was getting ready for the dreaded inevitable, a draft set of regulations were published which effectively required that a television set and it’s aerial had to be INSTALLED with lots of conduit and multiple earth points and a small lightning conductor within a certain distance of the aerial. There were other stipulations. It was all ugly and over the top and made the purchase of a TV set less easy and more expensive, because you couldn’t just buy it in a shop and plug it in, it had to be INSTALLED. The companies in this fledgling business were up in arms but Government paid them no heed.
Then the first TV set in the country was installed. Tedelex (who had the word “television” in their name, and who also had the franchise for Sony TVs, then regarded as the bees knees) got the honour of installing a set at the home of the then Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.
The owner took the installation team aside and said “do it EXACTLY according to regulations”.
They did. The Minister arrives home with loads of people from the press, takes one look at all the paraphenalia and took the technician aside and asked “what exactly is THIS?”
The technician kept a straight face and said “well, Sir, that’s a lighting conductor as required by 13.3 paragraph B. These earthing points that you can see here are for compliance with paragrah D of the same regulation. Now as for…” then the Minister told him to shut up.
The next week simplified regulations were published, and a fresh install was done at the Minister’s house. But not by Tedelex.
OK… so all my paperwork is in. I am going to post redacted copies (no company names or branding, no contact details, no meter numbers etc) to give an idea of what is required.
First are the application form (as completed thus far for submission to the city) and the compliance certificate for the inverter (this is required).
APPLICATION FOR INVERTER BASED GRID TIED PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATION FORM redacted (3).pdf (2.0 MB)
GW_ES (14A)_Certificate NRS097-2-1.pdf (221.7 KB)
Now the line drawing, the commissioning report (a Pr Eng is required to sign off on this), and a document describing how the system will be operated in the long run.
This is not all of it. I have not uploaded the COC. I have not uploaded the letter I signed to appoint a proxy to engage with the City on my behalf.
Note : the registration is for a specific inverter at a specific location (GPS coordinates)
being naturally curious I emailed citypower to enquire about the process of registering a solar installation.
Enquiry mail sent Friday (2Feb) mid-morning.
Reply received Tuesday (6Feb) 09:00.
Please complete the attached SSEG application forms and send back:
1.Single Line Diagram (SLD)
3.Inverter NRS097-2-1 Certificate
4. Utility Bill
Indicate if the installation is completed or you need pre-approval.
Kindly note we are not authorized to create a notification number for our customers ,you are therefore required to walk in CoJ customer service center, should you be walking on behalf of the property owner the following will be needed:
- Fill in the electricity supply form as attached
- Authorization letter indicating you are representing your client
- Certified ID copy of yourself and your client
Forms as received (mods welcome to nuke if the server storage space is becoming skraps)
Application for Electricity supply.pdf (381.4 KB)
APPLICATION FOR INVERTER BASED GRID TIED PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATION FORM.pdf (609.8 KB)
CP_TSGUID__012_GUIDELINES FOR GENERAL PHOTHOVOLTAIC INSTALLATIONS.pdf (595.4 KB)
PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATION COMMISSIONING REPORT FORM.pdf (126.9 KB)
OK. So now, according to the boffins, my system is 100% compliant and they are going to put some pressure on City Power. The last piece fell into place with the application of some labels, like this one affixed to the cover over the meter and the municipal breaker.
Others were placed on the main DB (Warning! This equipment is supplied by more than one source.), below the main breaker on the DB (Point of utility connection) and on the AC DB for the inverter under the change over switch (Point of Generator Connection).
Now we wait for City Power to test. Apparently this includes earthing, checking for anti-islanding, and timing how long the inverter takes to reconnect on restoration of grid supply (this should not be instantaneous).
±66 seconds to sync again after Eskom came back.
±600 seconds before it is operating again at “full power”.
I knew there was a delay in reconnecting, but I’ve never sat there going “one elephant two elephant…”
So my date with destiny is set for Wednesday 6th of March.