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Smart Grid Electrification: Utility – Styled Solar Power Supply





With over 50 000 solar home systems produced, at Specialized Solar Systems we are only in the beginning stages of an incredible journey – both humbling and exciting – to bring sustainable, renewable, affordable, off-grid solar energy into the estimated 600 million non-electrified homes in Africa [source: World Bank]: fast-tracking job creation, infrastructure, communication, water purification, education, entertainment, possibilities, hope …and a better standard of living for all.”

Jonathan Hodgson, CEO

For a short overview of our Solar Towers and utility styled smart grid electrification, have a look at this video clip…

Solar Technologies: Smarter & faster energy supply

Solar Towers are the future of energy supply, having the potential to fill gaps in grid infrastructure smarter and faster, generating efficient energy and offering energy metering and remote communication with switching options. Solar Towers are used as an energy source for powering energy efficient DC energy appliances. Specialized Solar Systems’ solar generation offerings are demarcated as follows:

Solar Home System (SHS)

The micro grid SHS range of products are ideal for scattered environments where the distance between installations is large and the demographics sparse.  The unit is installed at an individual’s premises where the energy is produced and used. This is also known as de-centralized solar energy supply.

Solar Tower

This mini grid solar solution was developed to supply energy to multiple dwellings from a central location and has many applications, options and configurations. This is also known as sub-centralized solar energy supply and is ideal for informal settlements and congested environments.

Roll-out of solar electrification on a utility scale

Built on the backbone of entrepreneurship and micro-economies the data has been evaluated over the years and strategic partnerships formed.

Specialized Solar Systems has demonstrated the truly sustainable scalability of its solar products by offering venture-capitalists a turnkey solar extra low voltage (ELV) electrification framework with the following offerings:

  • Solar based energy generation products:

    Supplying solar products with remote functionality to generate clean, efficient renewable energy for placement in disconnected communities;

  • Efficient DC electrical appliances:

    Offering well priced and attractively packaged options that are made up of efficient DC electrical appliances. These packages include the very basics of energy appliances and progress to more sophisticated offerings for dwellings, businesses, schools and other establishments;

  • Online platform for ecosystem management :

    Providing a secure and integrated Online platform for ecosystem management with a host of features, such as remote system monitoring, client billing, vendor management, customer notifications and automated system switching;

  • Ongoing training & support:

    Incorporating strong support structures with comprehensive training, intricate planning procedures, successful product placement and providing basic leadership and business knowledge skills leading to greater economic activity.

Above: A short video of our dedicated factory staff in action.

In this video, our factory staff show some of the detail involved when building our immensely popular managed off-grid solar home system for DCGO Power.Today solar electrification project. With over 50 000 units produced by Specialized Solar Systems over the years, these economical and reliable homegrown DC micro-grids are used to solar-power small households with lighting, entertainment, and refrigeration throughout Africa.

the use of renewable energy as a driver for equality acceleration and socio-economic transformation.

Proven energy supply business models

Based on a pay-for-energy-usage business model and using solar power generation for energy delivery, a percentage of recaptured revenue supports product expansion, employment and sustainability.

Roll-out of solar electrification on a utility scale

With many successful projects completed in collaboration with universities, governmental organizations, NGO’s and businesses, this approach has fostered economic transformation in disconnected and indigent communities with new business start-ups, job creation and so many more possibilities. Specialized Solar Systems offers an exciting new ecosystem approach for the supply of energy to locations that are beyond the reach of grid supply systems in Africa.

Our passion: Empowering indigent communities with renewable clean energy as a catalyst for equality acceleration and socio-economic transformation.

Utility-based solar energy management framework

Specialized Solar Systems’ utility-based solar management solution supplies all the necessary tools required for system management through a secure, configurable tiered-user online platform for remotely managed solar energy supply, anywhere.

The core architectural design of this framework is to securely assist with the management function by providing an integrated framework for remote system monitoring, GPS system allocation, client and system management, billing options, vendor management and automated system switching in a simple and intuitive user interface that is accessible anywhere where there is an internet connection.

The framework allows for the creation of independent utilities or ecosystems where administrator users are created who are then assigned to their own unique environment.

Vendors (P.O.S) are set up and managed by these administrators. Using a pay-for-energy-business model, the vendor business model is based on a wallet fund system. For a vendor to dispense energy, funds must be available in their account thus eliminating risk for the independent utility. Adequate training is provided in all the framework functions in 3 modules.

The cloud-based framework is constantly monitored and support is always available. The solution is now used extensively in many off-grid solar electrification projects where remote administrators and their ground operations rely on real-time data to fulfill their operational criteria.

Working at the electrification frontier

” Our passion is using renewable clean energy to empower indigent communities; fast-tracking equality acceleration and socio-economic transformation. ”

Solar Tower in action…

A solar tower designed and installed for an innovative client in Cape Town, Zonke Energy used for remotely managed solar energy supply powering lighting and appliances for 9 households in the outskirts of Cape Town in a suburb called Jabula where grid-power is not available


SSS-EPOWER is a centralised on-line solar system management framework that is accessible with any modern internet browser. It is built on dedicated and reliable cloud services and allows the creation of system management clusters for solar energy service providers (utilities) for efficient management of macro and micro solar energy solutions.  The use of solar energy production as a primary mechanism for energy distribution for large-scale and diverse demographic coverage is the culmination of many years of product development leading to the formation of an integrated solar energy supply solution.

Simple & Functional

The management framework supports automated billing services that can be set up and then allocated to a solar system . The payment packages work primarily with upfront payments for energy usage and once allocated,  perform an automated pay-for-energy-usage function. All payment packages include an optional switching function that allows the solar system to be changed to varied states – ON, WARNING and OFF – all dependent on the user account balance and the allocated payment package. The user can also be notified of the different status changes via SMS or email.


A vendor outlet can be established anywhere where there is an internet connection.  With the vendor application, the point of sale outlet can receive payment and print invoices or mini statements for the end-user as a proof of payment.  The receipt shows the last 3 transactions, the payment value , account balance and the current system status.All vendor transactions happen in real-time. For example:  If a unit is OFF and a payment is processed that results in a system status change to ON, the transaction will update the systems status immediately if criteria are met. The vendor module is created and managed within the main framework.

Find out more about solar electrification

Having designed and manufactured over 50 000 DC microgrid units  installed throughout Africa, ranging from simple unmanaged solar systems to sophisticated remotely managed and monitored systems, Specialized Solar Systems has a proven track record in solar energy product offerings and services that can fulfill almost any individual’s or energy service provider’s energy requirements.

Contact us today

Or call us directly +27 (0)44 878 1126

Solar Power Stations

Meet our SS20

Our SS20 DC micro grid range of solar products are ideal for scattered environments where the distance between installations is large and the demographics sparse. Along with energy access, customers are provided with efficient DC powered appliances that improve their quality of life. These appliances support the very basics of indigent energy needs and progress to more expensive comfort appliances enhancing the available options to a customer as their energy requirements grow.

25 000


2 000

tonnes CO2 savings p/a

100 000

People serviced (avg)

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