The Unique Value of Solar PVT

Largest Solar PVT Project in Cape Town

As of 1 October we began the installation of our most recent Photovoltaic and Thermal (PVT) project in Cape Town. The project is a large rooftop solar plant on the African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel in Cape Town. This hotel is one of many luxury hotels in Marriott Internationals wide collection. It will be the largest hybrid Solar PVT  installation in Cape Town to date.

About The Solar PVT Installation

Fully operation in December 2018, the rooftop installation will produce an average of 3.000 kWh of energy per week for the hotel. It will also create a viable and stable energy supply for 130 hotel rooms as well as the spa and laundry. Most importantly, it will significantly reduce the hotels OPEX. The energy produced in conjunction with the reduced demand from the grid will provide electricity and heat throughout the hotel. Over a 20-year period, this installation will save the hotel approximately € 1.5 million.


The installation includes 124 PowerCollectors provided by our PVT partner Solarus Sunpower. The PowerCollector is a unique technology. It combines the generation of thermal (T) energy with photovoltaic (PV) generation of electricity, producing one of the highest energy yields ever measured. When compared to traditional solar panels, the PowerCollector produces both electricity as well as hot water output up to 70°C. It delivers 3 times more energy across the same surface area.

What is Solar Thermal?

You may have heard of Solar PV, but have are you familiar with Solar Thermal? If not, here is what you need to know.

In basic terms, Solar PV cells are much less productive the hotter they get. This decline in efficiency can be quite substantial on a hot sunny day (a problem to consider in greatly in Africa). To increase output and efficiency, solar PV essentially needs something to compensate for this deficiency without compromising its strengths. Fortunately, we have the answer – solar thermal.

Why We Endorse Solar Thermal

Solar thermal solutions are ideally suited for clients that require thermal energy. Through our exclusive partnership with Solarus Sunpower, we are able to provide our clients with a solution to all their water heating requirements. Major hospitality and industry groups, such as the Marriot group mentioned above, have adopted these unique solar thermal systems. We appreciate that surface area to install our solution in these sectors is limited. We therefore selected a highly performing solar thermal solution that produces three times more power per installed surface area then traditional PV panels.

How Solar PVT Works

Now that we understand what solar PV is as well as solar thermal, imagine what a match made in heaven it would be for the two to work together? This innovative technology is what we call Solar PVT.

A solar thermal collector is strategically placed behind a solar PV array allowing the cells to cool. In this way, the solar collector can use the energy that passes through the array, which would have otherwise been lost if the solar system only consisted of solar PV. By simultaneously providing both electrical and thermal forms of energy, this brilliant combination results in a solar co-generation process. This solution of solar PVT maximizes your investment and your output.

How NSE Can Help You

Let your electricity, heating, and cooling issues be a problem of the past! NSE will reduce your energy bill and increase the reliability of your systems in an environmentally friendly way.

Through the integration of various technologies we are able to reduce diesel dependence by up to 80%. Careful planning and assessment needs to be conducted for projects of this nature. We have implemented some of the largest commercial off-grid projects in Africa and consider ourselves to be well positioned to provide you with the best possible solution for your site.

A Free Initial Assessment

A free initial site assessment is conducted to determine if your project is feasible. Site assessments are the foundation upon which all subsequent stages are built. Working with experienced NSE energy professionals will substantially save in development capital. Our client-centric approach starts with a frank conversation to identify project goals and expectations. Once we know where you want to end up, we can customize our approach to get you there. Sites are assessed using careful evaluation criteria taking various technical, financial, operational, licensing, and other administrative factors into account.

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