Published: 28 Oct 2020

The 47th episode of Sunex Diaries has landed! Our video blogs go behind the scenes at Sun Exchange, giving you the latest on solar cell installations, community energy generation, industry news and much more!

In this episode:

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Video Transcript

How did the solar panel feel when it got installed? Amped!

Welcome to Sunex Diaries! This is your first port of call to get up to date on all things going on behind the scenes at Sun Exchange. Make sure you like and subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you're first to know when these videos get released.


Our first solar project in the South African city of Port Elizabeth was for a retirement home Munro Kirk, part of the ECHO chain of retirement homes. This project sold out in a number of hours, but if you managed to get solar cells in the project - congratulations! You are now going to be reducing the cost of elderly care by lowering their energy costs and eliminating your carbon emissions. Next up on Sun Exchange is your chance to solar power another Spar supermarket. This is your chance to make supermarkets sustainable and get yourself 20 years of income, whilst lowering the costs of delivering produce that all of us use on a daily basis.


A lot of activity is happening in solar installations as we speak. Firstly, is Bothaville High School. The procurement process for this project has started, the kick-off meeting is imminent, and we expect the solar installation to start on the 5th of November. Over at Westville Girls’ High School, the procurement process has already started and we're just waiting for mandatory paperwork to be completed by the authorities around that project. A similar story over at Rondebosch High School where we’re waiting for the Western Cape Education Department’s mandatory paperwork to be completed before we can begin installing that project. Do not worry - things are progressing and we will keep you notified every step of the way.

We’re very, very pleased to announce the project at Woodside Special Care Center is now generating power. So, if you're powering this fantastic residential care facility you will receive your first solar rental income payment in November for powering this project. A similar story for Boland Wine Cellar: this project has been operating for about a week now and you will be receiving your first payout of monetized sunshine at the start of November. Last - but no means least - the solar cells over at Cape Town High School have now also been producing power since Friday, the 16th of October. So, you will also be receiving a couple of weeks worth of solar powered money in your Sun Exchange wallet at the start of November.

If you ever want to get a quick update at a glance of the status of any projects you're powering or crowdsales you're involved with, you can always check out the status field on your Sun Exchange dashboard.

Did you know?

You've probably noticed on our website and in many Sun Exchange materials, references to the units of kilowatt hours and kilowatt peak, and wondered what they mean. A kilowatt peak is simply a unit of power. A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy. What we mean by this is, if you were to apply a force of one kilowatt onto an object for one hour, you just exerted one kilowatt hour of energy. In solar terms, this means that if you have 1000 watts of solar power that operates for an hour, you've produced one kilowatt hour. But of course, a solar panel’s output varies according to the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar panel and also the temperature of the solar panel. So, when we say a solar panel, or solar cell is rated at four watts, that's four watts at 25 degrees Celsius at 1000 watts per meter squared of sunlight. The actual power output of your solar cell will vary according to natural conditions, but the forecasts that we use when we predict the energy output of the solar cell will give you those units in kilowatt hours. Just like computer memory, the prefix changes as you go through orders of magnitude. So, you may start with generating just maybe 10 watts of solar power, but then when you go into producing 1000 watts, we start referring that to a kilowatt. When you’ve managed to achieve 1000 kilowatts of solar power, that's then called a megawatt and 1000 megawatts then becomes a gigawatt, and so on. Now, the Sun Exchange community has to date produced three gigawatt hours of solar energy from nearly three megawatts of solar power. To put that into perspective that's the equivalent energy that a one gigawatt nuclear power plant would have produced in three hours.

Energy Results

The forecast energy for September was 284 megawatts and the actual energy generated was 224 megawatts, so this was some way short of the target. The reason for this is the biggest solar project that Sun Exchange members are currently powering is the new Ushaka Mall. It's been operating for a couple of months and we've just identified a technical issue with the solar plant, which has now been resolved. So, if you are powering that project you will see the performance of your cells improving significantly next month. There are also a few schools which are not yet exporting power but will be very soon. If you're seeing a shortfall in energy of a school you’re powering, it's likely that the forecast energy that was going to be exported is not yet being done. Do bear in mind that we have solar engineers at all times monitoring the output of your solar cells. These are 20 year leases and we're always doing everything we can to maximise your income and increase the social and environmental impact of the organisations you're powering.

Your Questions

We've had a member contact us called Atlas Network and he has asked the following: “When you own only a few numbers of cells and you're earning in Bitcoin, the fees to withdraw your Bitcoin often make withdrawing it not viable.

Now, the simple solution to this is just to let your Bitcoin accumulate in your Sun Exchange wallet and withdraw it when it makes sense to do so. Even better than that is to not withdraw your Bitcoin and use it to directly buy more solar cells in other solar projects. This will compound the amount of income you can be earning through the platform. By expanding your remote solar array, you can reduce more CO2 and create more social and environmental impact effortlessly, without even putting any additional income into the platform. If you need any guidance on how to do this check out the
FAQ page on our website.


We've introduced you to most of the Sun Exchange team. We've got quite a few new members who have recently joined that we'll be introducing you to very soon. But today we're gonna touch on not just who we are, but what we stand for. The Sun Exchange team is a multidisciplinary team of changemakers. We are on a company mission to connect the world to the sun. Our mantra is we dare to be great, and we dare you to be great too.

What’s Next

The first Sun Exchange project outside of South Africa is launching any day now. I can't give you too much more information about it just yet, but I'm going to give you a sneak bit of info that this is the first Sun Exchange project to have battery storage on a big scale. So, the solar energy from your solar cells can be utilised 24 hours a day maximising the income that you can be getting, and also the impact and reliability of solar energy to a very worthwhile energy consumer. Do standby, it's an absolutely fantastic project.

Head over to our project page to get some solar cells today