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 awareness rising for quality among end clients.
What’s the PV GreenCard about?
Practically, the PV GreenCard is a checklist which installers fill out after completion of the installation and hand over 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 gives proof that everything was installed accoring SAPVIA’s quality guidelines. Furthermore, a 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 from now on every small-to medium-scale Solar PV installation gets a PV GreenCard.
How to get a PV GreenCard
First of all, not the installer 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 proof his / her installation skills and to become an officially certified PV GreenCard installer. After that the installer can start issuing PV GreenCards. Read more details in our FAQs below or on the PV GreenCard website.
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 reach 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 proove 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
The PV GreenCard is a comprehensive document that qualified installers provide to their clients on the completion of a project. The PV GreenCard contains details of the installation such as, what sort of PV modules and PV inverters were used, as well a checklist of all of the necessary installation steps that were completed. This document can be used as proof of compliance for insurance, finance, and regulatory purposes.
The most important aspect of the PV GreenCard is peace of mind that your Solar PV installation complies with industry and international best practice and installers meet minimum internationally bench-marked quality and safety standards.
International solar PV experts have worked together with SAPVIA for over a year to develop the PV GreenCard training outline and material in line with the national Solar PV Technician Qualification. Successful candidates are issued with an Occupational Certificate as a Solar Photovoltaic Service Technician. There are more than fifteen tertiary learning institutions around the country that are registered to provide this training.
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 passed the PV Assessment together with a DoL registered electrician. In this case the electrician does not to have 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 align 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 maxx-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 sucessfully passed 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 as competent PV installer to the database
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 electricians 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 communication. With the PV GreenCard you are able to prove that your installation will adhere to latest technical as well as safety standards and regulations.
As per June 2017, there are two PV Assessment centres in South Africa:
- Cape Town, operated by Green Cape and SARETEC
- Johannesburg operated by GREEN Solar Academy and Resolution Circle
All dates for the Assessments in Johannesburg are published on our website: https://www.solar-training.org/upcoming/region-ZA/cat-11-sapvia-pv-assessment-advanced/