Concrete cabins for photovoltaic farms

by Tania Wannenburg
Concrete cabins

ROCLA have entered into a manufacturing agreement with Prephor for the supply of concrete cabins to photovoltaic farms in South Africa.


The recent shortage in energy has been placing a significant amount of pressure on the development and utilisation of renewable energy as a source of supply in developing countries such as South Africa. The escalating development of photovoltaic (PV) farms in South Africa has positive implications for the tourism, commercial and residential sectors as well as these communities that use off-grid electricity. Hand in hand with these developments comes the need to house the associated instrumentation in an environmentally-friendly, practical and secure way.

ROCLA has recently entered into a manufacturing-under-licence agreement with the Spanish company Prephor.

Justin Kretzmar, sales engineer at ROCLA said about the partnership: “We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Prephor, as we believe it is a meeting of ‘experienced minds’ which will mutually benefit both companies. The moulds for the concrete cabins, manufactured in Serbia by an Italian company, arrived at our Roodepoort factory in June. ROCLA plans to manufacture these concrete cabins at a rate of one cabin per day, with the first cabin being ready for delivery on Monday 15 July 2013. We currently have orders on hand for 128 cabins.

“In order to accommodate this unique new product, we completely renovated one of our existing production areas at our Roodepoort factory in order to produce, de-mould, cure, fit and paint each cabin in one area, without having to unnecessarily move these items around our yard. In addition we brought in an extra 25-ton gantry crane to increase our total lifting capacity in this area from 25 tons to 50 tons. We also had to custom-design and manufacture a specialised tilting device and lifting beam.”

Apart from being extremely durable and safe, the concrete cabins are constructed in a way that the natural ventilation required for the instrumentation to be able to flow easily.

The primary attraction of the cabins to the owners of the farms is that once the cabins get delivered to the site, they have a “plug-and-play” unit that has been completely manufactured, with all the internal electronics installed, tested and certified, in a secure factory environment. This eliminates the chances of very expensive cable, inverters, transformers and switchgears being vandalised on site.

ROCLA believes that these cabins would be suitable for electricity substations, telecommunications installations and any industry where sophisticated instrumentation needs to be securely housed.

Tel: (011) 670 7600
Website: www.rocla.co.za

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