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    • Hi,

      I currently have 10 300w solar panels connected to a 5kva Apert (Mercer) invertor.

      1) What is the max 300w solar panels can I connect to a  5kva Apert invertor ?

      2) Should the max be 12 panels, what advantage might I experience by doing that ?

      a) batteries will be fully loaded quicker ?

      (b) I will use lesser Eskom power ?

      3) Will the cost of the additional 2 panels out weight the saving on my Eskom account, over a 5 year period ? 

       
      • 9 replies
    • I would like to know if it is safe to pair AGM and Gel batteries. I recently built a string of 4 AGM batteries in series. A deal has come my way of 4 gel batteries I intend connect in another series string and connect in parallel with the AGMs if it is safe to do so. 
      • 3 replies
    • I am posting this to help with system sizing for people considering going off grid. This is one years monthly production figures. The system size is as follows:

      Generation

      3000W solar array, two separate arrays of 6x300W and 4x300W panels, through separate MPPTs. Fixed angle installation, 1800W at 30deg north, and 1200W essentially flat (roofs dictate the angles)

      Diesel generator for backup.

      Wind generator (I can't measure this but I guess it makes 1or 2 kwH per month depending on wind)

      Solar geysers (no electrical backup)

      Load

      Household of 4, normal fridge, freezer, washing machine, computers etc etc. Water pumping from borehole, pool pump (2hrs in winter, 6hrs in summer).

      Gas stove for cooking, wood fires for heating.

      Storage

      8x150Ah Trojans, currently 2.5 years old.

      I have been measuring the montly production for a year now since I upgraded the system to 3000W. Note that the graph is more of consumption rather that production as the batteries float on most sunny days, so there is excess production mostly. If the weather is overcast I run the generator, rather than stress the batteries, especially in winter I run the generator for an hour or so in the morning to power toaster, microwave etc before the sun is up.

      The seasonal effect is obvious on the graph, the pool pump is used more in summer which accounts for some of the extra power consumption, I'm not sure what all of the other extra consumption might be, I think we are getting less frugal with power use as time goes by and we are used to the system, so we vary from about 300kWh per month in winter, to almost 450kWh in summer. Solar efficiency varies from around 3 in winter to 4.5 in summer (kW produced/kW installed per day).

      Diesel use peaks in May & June as would be expected, you often get overcast days in May.

      So here's the figures, I hope someone will find this useful.

       

       
      • 21 replies
    • I'm new to the forum and to solar so would appreciate help please.

      I've bought 7.5ha undeveloped land in Cape Farms inland from Melkbosstrand 5km from Atlantis. Going to install a container and barn in the next month to start the development.

      So, I get Eskom to come give me a quote and they say the whole process takes 180 working days, not sure if they can do prepaid in my area, bla, bla... I take it as a clear sign that I need to go solar right now.

      Questions:

      My take is that I need to start with a system that caters for the 12m container (which will be in the 280m2 barn) and barn. Then, when we build cottages on the land down the line, each will have its own system. Does that make sense or not?

      So Guys, if I need say 600kw pm (does that sound right?) for the barn, what is the best solar system for that please?

      I would really appreciate some good, wise advice and help.
      • 18 replies
    • Hi Guys, 

       

      I am new to this forum, mainly registered since reading a bit and want do download the axpert manual,but need atleast 5posts. So let me introduce myself. 

      I am a qualified Millwright,working on Dragline control systems for a big company, been in the industry for 5 years and programming PLCs the past 2 years. Learning a lot about power factor etc. 

      I recently decided to buy a small system due to load shedding we will soon start to experience. Recieved it this week and will start to install on sunday. 

      It consists of:

      Axpert 5000mks

      2x 260w JA solar panels

      4 x 105ah 12v batteries

       

      also requested a quote on another 4 batteries and 2 panels to expand a bit

       

      Any installation tips,calculations etc you guys can assist me with? Whats it good for and what not. At first I wanted to use it on all plugs and lights with the utility bypass function. But after reading a bit it seems it wastes more power when bypassing

       

      current daily usage of about 40kw per day. Between 5-7 people in the household. Big swimming pool. And electric geyser. 
      • 56 replies
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