Why I dislike Likes….

Stop Liking – Rather Show Support…

It is one of the weird things – where you go out of your way to host an event or set up a cause. All of a sudden, everybody starts hitting the like button and before you know it, you have 100 000 or even 1 000 000 likes, yet you still have no support- financial or other…

What the world has come to, is a place where we feel it is ok to try and impress our friends by liking everything – then we feel better about ourselves… yet we tend to forget that our friends stand for a cause, and we will only truly be supporting them by being there…

If what I plan, or what I stand for hits close to home, and you feel like supporting the fact, rather contact me, or make a donation, or pitch up or even register for the event, and by doing so, lets start this evil drive of liking stuff to feel better.

Lets try and be the support our fellow South Africans need, Lets show the support in the right way. Lets remove the like button and replace it with a Call to Action Button.

Next time – before you click like, please think, will you be willing to support this motion – if you do, hit like, spread the word and perform the action…

Nick Bekker

Residential PV Installations – Who Cares???

“It’s only a house, its not like anybody will come and check…”

This, unfortunately, are the words that get muttered far too often by sub-standard Solar PV Installers. The risk does not fall on them, The safety standards do not get adhered to, and then, when something goes wrong, and somebody gets injured, nobody knows what happened…

This seems to be the way things have been going in the Solar PV Industry. The sad bit here is that the homeowner has no idea whether any standards are being followed, and when questioning the installer, its far too easy for them to make it look like everything is done correctly. I think I speak for all self respecting Solar PV Installers when I say… THIS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!!!

The reality is that this sort of behaviour causes damage to everybody’s future in this industry. The chances of something going wrong might be slim, however it is still there, and if something does go wrong it won’t be aimed at the company, but rather at the Industry. One can already hear it: 

  • “The industry is unregulated”
  • “Solar isn’t safe”
  • ” Why did this happen, where was the regulator?”

The other part is that areas that are regulated, do not get verified. For example, I got called to assist wityh a system that had a “blown” inverter. In the words of the the customer – “we were on the phone in the living room, when we heard a loud BANG in the inverter room, we think it exploded..”

Upon further investigation we found the following:

Take a closer look if you want to… the following will jump out at you:

The system is 3 Phase – however ther is only Single Phase Earth Leakage, this means the load is unbalanced, the unbalanced load all push out on the Yellow phase – Ironically, that is the same phase on which the blown inverter was…

Then you will notice that the installer extended a Live cable with a piece of Bare copper earth wire, and it was connected using a connector block…. On top of that one can clearly see that they are using a 2.5mm 4 Core cable for the 3 Phase system supply… I must at this point mention that this system is a Off-Grid System with 3 x 5KW Inverters in parralel. So I will not suggest anything less that a 10mm cable. 

The other thing is that teh 3-phase pump motor was not even connected to the 3pole Isolator… This was the just the top 4 of the items…

The actual Inverter Room was even worse – Battery Cables Connected directly to the batteries – no Isolator, not even a Fuse. The connector between the prallalel banks of the battery bank was simply twisted together, no BusBar. The DC PV Input had no disconnect (they at least had fuses in line).

This is just one site, we have a multitude of similar Case Studies, where it now costs the system owner a lot of money to rectify what is wrong, while the original installating party ran away with the money for the system.

The problem now is that the System Owner does not trust anybody, and it now becomes an actual nightmare to get them to allow us to rectify the system.

There are courses available, outlining the importance of following the standards, from LRG we also offer these courses and would love to ask all Residential PV Installers who might have the smallest question to contact us, or even to join us at one of these events, where we verify all standards.

We take this matter very serious and we don’t want anybody to damage the industry, or to injure a customer, due to lack of knowledge or Ignorance.

Kind Regards

Nick Bekker

Managing Director

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE – – – LRG Solar

I am so proud to introduce to you, LRG Solar. What was once a pipe dream turned into a reality, through constant belief, hard work and HUGE blessings, we have established a company that now rank amongst the best in South Africa and even Afrcia.

We at LRG Solar, strive to deliver to you, our Customers, the best possible service and quality when dealing with us. We would liek to extend an invitation to ALL South Afrcian EPC firms to give us a call, and lets see how we can make difference in your company.

We have 4 teams of Highly Qualified and experienced Solar PV Installers, as well as sufficient supplementary staff to assist with as much as 10MW installations.

We would love the opportunity to show you. the EPC, what the true benefit to your company can be, if you Outsource the installation to a company such as LRG International.

We carry the risk of installation, we carry the staff supplement, we ensure all required legislation has been met and adhered to, all the while ensuring that the installation is kept on track and delivered in time.

Our team of Project Managers will work hand in hand with your team, to ensure the full process is met, and all expectations are exceeded.

Do not wait any longer, Contact Me: nick@lrgsolar.com and let me show you how we can help you.

Difficulty working for Multiple EPC’s – Or Not?

I often get asked whether we, as a company that work for more that 1 EPC, find it difficult to ensure all our customers get treated with the same amount of Privacy and Respect, and the short answer is No. I don’t. 

Reason Being: 

We ensure all our employees are Highly Skilled and Professional. We then go one step further and ensure all of them have signed and agreed to the LRG Terms and Conditions of employment, that includes a stringent Non Disclosure agreement. 

Step two, is to ensure that a certain emplpoyee only works on projects for a certain customer – as far as possible. As you may well imagine, this can’t always happen, as you hardly ever have a scnario where that employee will be busy with that customer for 12 months of the year, however it does happen every now and then. We then also have the challenge of starting with a nw customer and having to find a suitable candidate for that customer, while trying to ensure that the person will work exclusively on their projects.

Many times this means we need to employ somebody on contract, to ensure he/she is the right fit, and should we see they fit in perfectly, and the repeat business occurs, we offer them the part/full time employement they deserve.

Yes, we do see the challenge in the environment we operate under, but more importantly, we have already established a way make the scenario work for us… 

LRG – a company with vision, willing to go the extra mileto ensure our customers’ satisfaction.

Nick Bekker – MD

Renewable Energy Plant Monitoring for the E.P.C. – Important or Not?

So it has come – a time where every Person, Company, Country or even Continent is considering the use of Renewable Energy. Whether it is Bio-Gas, Wind or Solar Power or maybe Tri-Gen, it makes no difference, everybody knows that in order to fight Climate Change, we need to do something with Renewable Energy…

In some countries, a proper back office monitoring system is freely available, in other countries, they are extremely difficult to come by. In South Africa, we have a very unique situation, where we have a lot of companies offering Renewable Energy Systems with extensive Guarantees, based on individual product guarantees as set out by the manufacturer. This is good, as we all know, however, we also know that “A PV – PLANT IS ONLY A GOOD THING WHEN IT WORKS…” 

The reason for the above statement, is that Renewable Energy plants, as with any other form of energy plant, can trip.

It is for this reason that LRG International decided to position ourselves in the one space of the Renewable Energy market that a lot of people take for granted – Plant Monitoring.

Weather you have a Wind, Solar, Bio, Tri-Gen. or any other Renewable Energy Plant, or whether you just want to keep an eye on your consumption in your existing building, we have the Solution…

Using our infrastructure, we can monitor and in some cases even control the following:

  • Energy Consumption on various levels
  • Energy Production
  • Plant production levels – down to string connection – this is particularly helpful on the larger plants, as you will be able to pin point the string where the problem is.
  • Cable Theft 
  • we can tap into Security Systems and report on that, as well as fire prevention systems.

With the correct configuration, you can give the customer access to the dashboard as provided by the Inverter Manufacturer, while we set up a dashboard for the EPC, where he can see all his plants, monitor the plants himself, pull historical data, get critical information sent to him, and by doing so, offer the consumer a performance guarantee with full S.L.A.

If this is not in place, a performance guarantee is a major risk, as you do not have any information, other than what the Inverter manufacturer offers.

Allow us to show you how easy it could be, to monitor, manage in even control the plants you install, all from one dashboard with instant GSM – comms if something does go wrong Regardless of Inverter manufacturer, Module Manufacturer or any other manufacturer for that matter.

Plant Monitoring, the one aspect that could potentially assist you with the Performance Guarantee becoming 98% Risk Free.

Nick Bekker