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Showing content with the highest reputation on 29/04/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Chris Hobson

    Victron BMV 702 - No Power?

    RJ 12
  2. 1 point
    Not much to talk about when it just works? Other than get into those endless debates :-) Sounds like a bakery! :-) This has always impressed me, even before I got more involved in this business when I was just buying my first hardware. The MD himself, or at least someone in R & D engages with customers. The usual triangular structure is a very flat one. Of course, the company insists that you follow the right channels: You talk to your reseller first (who has received training, something they provide as well at very reasonable fees), who then escalates it to second level, and finally it ends up with someone in their R & D department, but the point is this channel exists. All the firmware is in one place, and a lot of the software is open source and available on github. Integration into other products such as this, or what people do for themselves, is a really strong point. I think what I liked the most is those extra Christmases you have every now and then, when a new firmware revision makes something new possible and you get it for free because you already have the hardware. But I do understand that cost is an issue with people, especially in exchange-rate-challenged countries like ours. So essentially it is up to you. Of course, as South Africans, we tend to have a high make-it-work ability and we are somewhat willing to accept rough edges for a bargain price... and as I said already, these other inverters are not complete crap, in fact they are troublesome and worthy competitors, at least for as long as they last!
  3. 1 point
    <rant> Isn't it amazing how many "professional solar installers" there are, who used to be IT distributors. They know something about technology, have a reseller account with a big distributor (who also started selling solar stuff, even though they know little about it) and now they can suddenly install 100Kw solar farms. I am all for entrepreneurship and learning new ropes, but at the expense of a client who possible cannot afford the mistakes? One of the most common reasons for solar being a big scam, is that these installers spec the systems wrong. The wrong size (and often model / type) batteries are used, generally with too few solar panels to recharge the batteries + provide energy for their load during the day. And now that it fails, it's the biggest scam ever. People would rather spend R60K on a generator, which 1) don't save them money on their eskom bill, 2) cost money to operate, 3) is very noisy and often an inconvenience to switch over to (ATS too slow, or too expensive). And what about protection? Fuses, isolators, panel earthing, etc. I know it's rocket science and people need to have 6 doctorate degrees to understand it, but does it mean you should just skip it all together? </rant> <flamesuit on> Am I the only one who feel like this? </flamesuit off>
  4. 1 point
    Yeah, I feel like this too, but people will say it's because the product I push is one of the most high end (aka expensive) of the lot and so OF COURSE I'll be saying that (or in technical terms, they commit a false dichotomy and assume that the only possible reason for my disagreement must be because I want to do them in financially). Then again, I'm not an installer, so I'm sure it's worse for you. I have similar issues with what I might call unbalanced setups. For example, an expensive inverter paired with crappy batteries (many many cringe-worthy strings in parallel). Or more often, an expensive battery paired with a very cheap inverter. The worst for me was a system where the battery was well over 100k, and it was rounded off with two Voltronics in parallel. Now this isn't just me bashing Voltronic (again), the reason it draws my attention is that it seems the installer has a hammer (aka reseller account with UPS/solar supplier), and now every problem becomes a nail. If the nail becomes bigger, get more hammers to pound it with. Had a discussion with someone recently about some suppliers up North who sell Fangpusun charge controllers (Fangpusun's entire business is to make fake copies of other people's products). They are of course careful not to advertise it outright on their (very poorly) constructed website, but I'm told they distribute these things along with the Victron software and manuals. Let me just say... if you read this... we know who you are...
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