Thorne Solar Installations

Generate Your Own Renewable Energy

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"My Passion lies in the Solar Renewable Energy field.
To become totally self reliant on energy from a green source is really satisfying."

~ Mike Thorne, Managing Director, Thorne Solar Installations (Pty) Ltd.

What We Do

Here at Thorne Solar Installations we have over 15 years of experience in solar and renewable energy. Over the past years we have been working with Corporate and other interested parties on the implementation of Green Energy Systems. We offer the full package to our clients, including: initial energy assessment, a personal system design, installation by knowledgeble installers, post installation energy assessment and ongoing advice and guidance. Investment in solar energy and renewables, such as wind, biomass, etc., provides an ecological and viable alternative to traditional fossil field energy that will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to slowing climate change.

How Solar Works

A Photovoltaic installation works by harnessing the clean energy of the sun, a constant and renewable energy source. It is used to power all kinds of electrical appliances from computers and lighting to washing machines, fridges etc. It should not be confused with solar thermal which is used to generate hot water or hot air for heating. Photovoltaic modules are panels often attached to roofs or walls, consisting of many solar cells made from one or two layers of semiconducting material, usually silicon which absorb the solar energy from the sun. When light shines on the cells, it creates an electric field across the layers, converting the sunlight into electrical energy. An inverter translates the current from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) from which electrical appliances are operated. During the day solar energy powers electrical appliances. Any excess current that has not been used is “fed back into” the national grid (not fully Operational in South Africa). At night or in winter when it is very overcast, appliances can still be powered from the mains electricity, therefore savings will only be made during the day. In the case of a system that is not connected to the main grid (also known as a standalone/off-grid/island solution), excess energy can be stored in batteries for use during the night.

Net Metering

A meter records any excess electricity that is fed back in to the grid (feed in tariff) and any additional electricity that you require. This way you are credited for the energy you export back and this is offset against any additional you require. Normally you sell for much lower than you pay for. However you will only be credited for the same value of what you import. You loose the rest in South Africa. The performance of solar is measured in kilowatt peak (kWp). That's the amount of energy the cell generates in full sunlight. Systems differ in overall effectiveness in terms of energy balancing and the efficiency of solar cells used. This in turn is dependent on the type of solar cells used. Efficiency of a solar module is the percentage of solar energy that is converted into electricity. The highest value is approximately 20 per cent. The Output of a PV (photovoltaic) system is affected by many factors including roof pitch and orientation, power rating of the plant, and shadow. Solar energy relies on day light through solar radiation not just sunshine so you can still generate electricity even when it’s cloudy although there will be some reduction in the amount produced. Overall however there is sufficient sunlight in most countries to allow photovoltaic systems to work efficiently and luckily for us in South Africa, we live in a climate that begs for solar use.


Investment in solar energy and renewable energy (wind, biomass, etc.) provides an ecological and viable alternative to traditional fossil field energy that will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to slowing climate change. Here we bring you some of the facts about Photovoltaics, also known as solar electric.

Solar Panels

A Photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged, connected assembly of typically 6×10 solar cells. Solar PV panels constitute the solar array of a photovoltaic system that generates and supplies solar electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each module is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions, and typically ranges from 100 to 365 Watt. The efficiency of a module determines the area of a module given the same rated output – an 8% efficient 230 Watt module will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 Watt module. There are a few solar panels available that are exceeding 19% efficiency. A single solar module can produce only a limited amount of power; most installations contain multiple modules. A photovoltaic system typically includes a panel or an array of solar modules, a solar inverter, and sometimes a battery and/or solar tracker and interconnection wiring.
~ Wikipedia

Economic Trends

The price of solar power, together with batteries for storage, has continued to fall so that in many countries it is cheaper than ordinary fossil fuel electricity from the grid (there is "grid parity"). For example in 2015, an average home in Europe or the US could use around 3,000 kilo-Watt-hour (kWh) in electricity each year. Twelve 280 Watt solar PV modules (each generating 250 kWh annually) would generate at least 3,000 kWh each year, even in a cloudy country like the UK. An example market price would be about £8,000 in the UK, $12,000 in the US, or €10,000 in the Eurozone in 2015, which is certain to continually fall, allowing permanent energy independence for each household. Most governments have feed-in tariff systems that allow homeowner to sell surplus energy back into the grid, and make a future profit on their investment. Please inquire about reselling to grid options in South Africa.
~ Wikipedia.

Power Point Tracking

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is a technique that charge controllers use for wind turbine and PV solar systems to employ and maximize power output from the solar power system. PV solar comes in different configurations. The most basic version is one where power goes from collector panels to the inverter and from there directly onto the grid. A second version might split the power at the inverter. This is called a hybrid inverter. Part of the power goes to the grid and part of it to a battery bank. The third version is not connected at all to the grid but still employs a dedicated PV inverter that features MPPT. In this configuration power goes from the solar panels to the inverter and from there to a battery bank. MPPT equipped specialty inverters are availabe that are designed to serve all three functions. They grid-connect PV solar power and branch off power for battery charging.
~ Wikipedia


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Camps Bay
Camps Bay



8h30 to 17h00
Monday to Saturday

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