The PV GreenCard is a national, standardised hand-over report for roof-top PV installations. SAPVIA, the South African PV Industry Association, established the PV GreenCard programme with the goal to promote safety and quality for PV installations.
To achieve this goal, the programme especially focuses on skills development, education of installers and raising awareness of quality among end clients.
What’s the PV GreenCard about?
Practically, the PV GreenCard is a checklist that installers fill out after completion of the installation and handover to their clients. The PV GreenCard includes detailed information on the type of panels and inverters used, the capacity of the system, installation steps and tests and further useful information.
This detailed documentation helps investors and clients to trust the installer and serves as proof that everything was installed according to SAPVIA’s quality guidelines. Furthermore, structured documentation is very useful when spare parts or repairs are required after a couple of years of operation of the system!
Only SAPVIA-certified installers are allowed to issue the PV GreenCard. SAPVIA’s aim is that every small-to medium-scale Solar PV installation gets a PV GreenCard going forward.
How to get a PV GreenCard
First of all, it is not the installer who gets the GreenCard, but the installation. The installer can get the qualification to issue a PV GreenCard. For that, he / she has to participate in an Assessment to prove his / her installation skills and to become an officially certified PV GreenCard installer. Once that happens, the installer can start issuing PV GreenCards. Read more details in our FAQs below or on the PV GreenCard website.
SuperSolarSchool training for PV GreenCard
GREEN Solar Academy has partnered with SAPVIA to make the SuperSolarSchool (SSS) training part of the PV GreenCard initiative, so doing this course is the first step you should take before you sign up for the PV GreenCard assessment.
You can rely on the SSS because it is officially endorsed by SAPVIA as one of the trainings available for you to do before signing up for the SAPVIA PV GreenCard Assessment. The SSS course has been tailored to help you gain all the skill and knowledge you would need to feel confident to take the Assessment and excel.
The SSS course is not required to do the PV GreenCard Assessment, but it is strongly recommended to make sure that you are fully prepared to take the assessment.
PV GreenCard Assessment Procedure
The PV GreenCard Assessment takes two days and consists of two parts: a Theoretical Assessment and a Practical Assessment. In both parts, the competence of installers to correctly install PV systems is tested and candidates have to attain a minimum of 80%.
The Theoretical Assessment is a written exam. Participants have 4 hours to answer questions on:
- Electrical and solar basics
- Site Assessment
- Solar PV System Design
- Solar PV Installation
- SANS 10142
- PV System inspection and testing procedure
The Practical Assessment takes place on the second day. The participants have to prove competency in the following fields:
- Quality installation
- DC and AC circuits incl. safety components
- Wiring of distribution board
- Testing (e.g. Insulation resistance)
- Material List
- Workplace safety and PPE
- Appropriate use of tools and materials
PV GreenCard FAQs
You can access a database of qualified and verifiable solar PV installers in your area via the PV GreenCard website www.pvgreencard.co.za.
PV GreenCards can either be issued by:
- A DoL registered electrician who passed the PV Assessment OR
- A PV Installer who has passed the PV Assessment together with a DoL registered electrician. In this case, the electrician does not need to participate in the PV assessment.
Step 1: Join the SuperSolarSchool
The Super Solar School is a one week training developed by DGS (German Solar Energy Society) and aligned with the curriculum of the SAPVIA 5-day Solar PV Installer course. The course is the ideal preparation for the PV GreenCard solar PV assessment.
Step 2: Participate in the PV Installation Assessment
Installers successfully completing the assessment will receive a Certificate from GREEN Solar Academy and SAPVIA and will qualify to be part of a SAPVIA-endorsed installer database which also forms a key entry point to become part of the PV GreenCard programme. The 2-day SAPVIA PV Installation Assessment includes a theoretical as well as a practical assessment where candidates are required to mount PV installations on a simulated roof environment. The purpose of this assessment is primarily to ascertain competency of installers and vet their abilities in order to gain access to the PV GreenCard quality programme.
Step 3: Register as a SAPVIA PV GreenCard Installer
Once you successfully pass the PV Installation assessment your company can register you in the SAPVIA PV GreenCard database. Therefore, your employing company must:
- register under the PV GreenCard programme and
- add you to the database as a competent PV installer
The registration form to become a PV GreenCard endorsed service provider can be accessed on the SAPVIA PV GreeCard page. It is important to note that your company will only be recognised as an endorsed service provider once you have enlisted suitably-qualified PV installers.
Installers should hold an electrician’s qualification/ wireman’s license, be registered with the DoL and have undergone and successfully completed the Solar PV Installation Assessment.
PV GreenCard endorsed service providers will form part of the SAPVIA PV GreenCard online database. Once registered you will be exposed to potential clients via the search engine on the PV GreenCard website. The PV GreenCard will also comfort the client in your sales communications. With the PV GreenCard, you are able to prove that your installation will adhere to the latest technical as well as safety standards, and regulations.
There are two PV Assessment centres in South Africa:
- Cape Town, at GREEN Solar Academy operated by Life Choices
- Ballito, KZN, at GREEN Solar Academy operated by Solarvest
- Johannesburg, operated by GREEN Solar Academy
All dates for the Assessments in Johannesburg are published on our website