Paper presented to the 3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference, South Africa, 11-13 May, 2015.
The successful expansion of the global use of photovoltaic generators (PVG) have resulted in an increased demand for PVG and accompanying reduction in cost. Higher reliability and the historical knowledge of life time behaviour of such generators place photovoltaic generators positively in the commercial arena of today as part of the energy landscape.
In sympathy with the status of PVG, the development of balance of system components (BOS) is also exposed to evolutionary characteristics present in its future. Ironically the past high cost of PVG guided technological development of BOS components in directions that may have resulted in lesser reliability, higher cost of such components, reduced serviceability, and diminished integration opportunity with existing infrastructure as well as aided the development of a wide range of diverse technologies to address specific functional needs, thereby complicating product offering.
An example of such a situation is found in water pumping systems. This study investigates the available product in the water pumping market, suitable for PVG operation and analyses trends and future direction. Applicable technology and materials development, product characteristics, envisaged market behaviour and expected product development trends are followed to ascertain the market behaviour and to determine the best way forward in new product development and product commercialisation.
The results presented include the impact of local market needs versus available global technologies, products and solutions and illustrates the increasing need and demand for local solutions, based on local market infrastructure such as manufacturing, knowledge and service and resource availability.
Conclusions include the, as yet, subliminal but possible significant impact that the PVG and accompanying BOS industry developments are starting to exhibit on the installed world of electricity and electrical power characteristics, with accompanying equipment as we know it today.