Non Grid Electrification: Progress Report January 2013

This past year has brought us a step closer to the vision of impacting the un-electrified areas in South Africa and Africa. As a dedicated unit, our team has made remarkable strides in fulfilling every aspect of this vision. In some areas, we have reached a satisfactory level, however, certain areas still need more attention in the pursuit of an effective Off Grid Power Utility Model. However, a comprehensive solution is currently on the table addressing all the critical areas in order to support this - including a Web Based Management System, SIM Switching as well as income generation and service models that could serve as a platform to carry us forward into a successful 2013.


2012 Started of with another visit to the DOE Head Offices, resulting in an invitation to the Electrification Indaba held in Durban. This set the stage to focus development strategies to support the need to service un-electrified areas. This was reciprocated by a visit from the Non Grid Electrification Team at the DOE to our factory which helped in narrowing the focus for greater collaboration. Here are a few more highlights:

  • Nine design models with specific criteria were presented to the DOE early last year, on their request, as solutions for domestic homes, schools and clinics with no access to electricity.
  • A launch was done in Botswana and systems were deployed in homes and schools.
  • One of the present Concessionaires was assisted with product supply and assisted in the awarding of a Tender to electrify one of the most remote villages in South Africa. This project was successfully completed at the end of 2012, complete with TV’s and Hi-Fi’s.
  • The Sustainability Institute at the Stellenbosch University were assisted in their grant application to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The grant was approved and the installations will commence early this year.
  • We were invited again to do another presentation at the Domestic Use of Energy Conference in Cape Town. From this grew our involvement in support and design for specific project roll outs in the Western Cape.
  • Post COP17 meetings were conducted in Upington and Durban involving the local FET Colleges and SME’s highlighting their potential for localised involvement.





This job was done in Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape South Africa. The system is an off-grid 6kw per day system, incorporating a 3kw Victron inverter as well.


It was installed in a small room built onto building next to the garage. The panels were installed on a cement tile roof.

The system took 1 day to install and is currently running everything in the entire house.

For further information on how to get off the grid call SSS now on Tel: +27(0) 44 878 1126 or mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Blouberg Rural Installation - North of Polokwane

Off Grid Blouberg Rural Installation - North of Polokwane, South Africa -  November 2012


Client: Solar Vision

Project: Off Grid Blouberg Rural Installation

Off grid units installed:  42 complete off grid electrical units with accessories

Off grid unit solar components supplied by SSS:

  • 5 X 80W Solar panels per unit
  • 235 A/H batteries
  • Large Stainless Steel battery box
  • AC DB box
  • DC  DB box - 40 AMP

Off grid unit solar electrical accessories supplied by SSS:

  • Lights
  • Cell phone charging
  • Security lights
  • 22 inch TVs
  • Hi Fi - DVD player + usb
  • Inverter 350W

Project completion time: 3 weeks


SSS(Specialized Solar Systems) project coordination at site: 5 days


Solar Home System's Management: Specialized Solar Systems SHS's Online Management System


Transporting the solar electrical components to the inaccessible remote rural community gallery No images found.


Installation of the solar units by Solar Vision in the remote rural community gallery


iShack Concept

Specialized Solar Systems(SSS) working in close collaboration with the Sustainability Institute's developed prototype system get's acknowledged globally

South African Settlement Welcomes the iShack - By EMMA BRYCE

One of the first sights greeting every tourist riding from the airport into Cape Town is a wall of corrugated iron and wood on either side of the highway. Before Table Mountain rises on the horizon in all its majesty, it’s the clusters of shacks that make an initial impression.

shack-blog480South Africa has several thousand informal settlements, many of them technically illegal, comprising well over a million dwellings. While these are a legacy of the country’s system of racial apartheid, the problem has only worsened since apartheid was dismantled, partly because of weak political will, many say. The government, led by the African National Congress, acknowledges that the demand for state-sponsored housing has outstripped supply. So efforts have shifted toward providing services in the settlements and upgrading existing shelters.

Enter the wryly named iShack, or improved shack, a prototype built by a group of South African researchers to help address the problem. The main goal of the design, which is malleable, is to equip informal homes with solar panels and energy-saving features that make them more livable. With a rooftop photovoltaic panel, shelters can generate enough electricity to power three lights, a cellphone charger and a motion-sensitive alarm. (Security is a pressing concern in the settlements.)