1.    Overview of analysis

This report aims to provide local market conditions & trends relevant to storage applications for South Africa.

Data in this report was collated from three sources:

  1. Contractor online survey
  2. Interaction & communication
  3. Telephonic interviews

Contractor online survey:

This report includes collated data obtained from information supplied by 213 companies to create an overview of preferred storage brands and other criteria to understand the storage sector better and make informed decisions around storage related products.

Data submitted during the survey was not consistent as installers only provided what they knew and may have left some cells blank or refrained from answering certain questions. Data missing in one cell might have been reflected in other cells, i.e. the cell that contains “brand-of-battery” may have been left blank however the brand was then reflected in the cell containing one of the reference projects.

Data had to be re-worked and “cleaned” in order to produce this report. A certain margin of error should be accepted and the data contained in the report should be read as being a guide & summary of trends in storage that could be collated from the raw data. Information relayed is as per information submitted and has not been manipulated to motivate a certain outcome. Raw data is available on request. This report was generated for industry by PQRS.

The solar PV industry in SA is relatively new and consideration should be given with regards to the way in which contractors refer to the same item/concept under different names. kWh’s mentioned by one contractor might not have the same relevance or meaning for another contractor using the same abbreviation; as we see a diverse range of occupations finding an interest in; and doing PV installations.

Apart from the obvious information such as company name and trading name; the following questions were asked as part of the application process:

  1. In which region(s) do you operate?
  2. How long have you been active in the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry?
  3. What volume of stationary storage did you sell in the last 12 months (in kWh)?
  4. From which wholesalers do you currently purchase?
  5. Please provide a few project references – provision was made for 3 reference projects.
  6. What brands of storage have you installed or are you planning to install?

Interaction & Communication: During PQRS training courses, contractors share a substantial volume of information through interaction, debate and discussions that form part of the face to face training event. Relevant information will then be researched and where deemed important/valuable has been included in this report.

Telephonic interviews: Telephonic interviews were done with three distributors of Li-ion storage brands.

2.    Executive Summary

Of the raw data submitted from the 213 companies,

  1. 112 companies included battery brands
  2. 457 reference projects were mentioned which generated approx. 29MW in PV capacity
  3. 37% of reference projects were pure grid tied systems
  4. 63% of reference projects had some form of storage
  5. Based on data submitted there are
    1. 59 different Brands of Lead acid batteries in SA
    2. 12 different Li-ion batteries
    3. 5 different types/brands of Flow batteries
    4. 1 company that promotes the sale of BMS’s for lithium Ion batteries (Zettajoule)

A bit more detail of the findings


3.    Different types of systems

Differentiation was made between five different types of systems:

  1. Off-Grid
    1. Any system as indicated to be off-grid or not connected to the grid
  2. Grid tied
    1. Any system that does not reflect any type of storage along with the product descriptions
  • Hybrid (Grid tied with Storage)
    1. Any installations that indicated grid interactive, hybrid, grid with storage or grid with backup.
  1. Backup
    1. Any system that did not have solar PV connected to the installation
  2. Unknown
    1. Installations where the type of system was not specified.


The graph below shows two Pie charts. The chart to the left shows a summary of all referenced installations and draws a comparison between all types of installations, i.e. grid tied, off grid, hybrid, backup and unknown.


Data reflects the number of systems and not generation or storage capacity. We can therefore see that 289 of the 457 projects submitted included some form of storage. Installations that included storage can be broken down further to reveal:

  • 192 of those installations being done with hybrid inverters,
  • 60 being completely off-grid and
  • 37 for backup purposes only.


Lead-acid battery brands available in SA Nov 2016

The table below shows the total number of Lead acid battery brands as was known to PQRS at the time of publishing this report towards the middle of November 2016.
1Aspen16Enertec (Energizer)31MyPower46Sonic
2AGMG+17Excis (FNB)32Narada47Sonnenschein
3BAE18Exide33North Star48SonX
5BSB20First National35OMRON50Sukam
6Ceil (+NXT)21General36Panzerplatte Gel51Sunlight
8CS323Havano industries (IBT)38Probe batteries53Trojan
9Delkor24Haze39Raylite (FNB)54UPS Direct
10Deltec25Hoppecke40Ritar55US Batteries
13Duratec28Mecer43Solar one58Willard

Li-ion battery brands available in SA as at November 2016

1Akasol Neocube Li-ion7Tesla Powerwall
2Blue Nova Li-ion8BMZ
3FreedomWon Li-ion9Zettajoule
4LG chem Li-ion10MyPower24
5BattCo Li-ion not mentioned in raw data11Extra2000 (SolaX)
6Icon Li-ion not mentioned in raw data

Flow batteries November 2016

1Redflow (ZBM)4Van. Red. Flow(REDT)
2Imergy (Flow)5Aquion
3VizN Redox Flow

Battery brands by popularity November 2016

The table below shows the number of times batteries were mentioned in the raw data and provides a reflection of brand awareness amongst installers. It could be argued that the number of times a brand has been mentioned may also serve as an indication of the popularity of a specific brand. Brands that appear in table above that do not appear in table below were not mentioned in the survey and names were added to the list through association / additional research.
Ref nr.BrandNr. of times mentionedRef nr. BrandNr. of times mentioned
1First National10833Blue Nova Li-ion3
5Discovery3037Excis (FNB)3
7Omnipower2639Fiamm (Sodium Nickel)3
11FreedomWon Li-ion2043Imergy (Flow)3
13Ceil (+NXT)1545LG chem Li-ion3
17Probe batteries949OMRON3
18Energizer (Enertec)850Powerman3
19Enertec (Energizer)851Raylite (FNB)3
20Betta652Solar one3
23Redflow (ZBM)655Stride3
26Sonex658Tesla Powerwall3
27BSB559UPS Direct3
28Celtec560US Batteries3
29Dixon561VizN Redox Flow0
30CSB362Van. Red. Flow(REDT)0
31Akasol Neocube Li-ion363(IBT)Havano industries0