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Carlo1973

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About Carlo1973

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    Newbie
  • Birthday 31/12/1973

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    Male
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    Rayton

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  1. Carlo1973

    Batteries

    Guys, thank you all for contributing in this thread, I for one have learned a lot about batteries and charge cycles (and in general about Trojans, Axperts, Isuzus and Fords) and this is what makes this Forum great. My battery bank is made up of 200Ah Vision AGM batteries, 4 in series. We are completely off-grid now for a year. I do have a Honda inverter genny for stand-by use when there is no sun for a day or so. In the morning before the solar charging kicks in, the batteries are standing at 51Vdc. I presume this is acceptable? The 5kVA Axpert (not the plus one) does the bulk charge at 56V, and then tapers down to 54V. Does that sound right for the AGM batteries? I have not fiddled with any settings on it since I installed it. My thinking at the beginning was to buy the cheapest batteries of reasonable quality, with the intent to replace it after 3 years with something better. I paid R16k for the 4, on a PCLink special last year. I anticipated that the price of batteries and especially Li-Ion options will come down.
  2. Carlo1973

    New Fridge/Cooling Technology

    Well, this technology have been available in SA for many years already. All the camping fridges and freezers like Snowmaster, Engel, ARB, etc use this variable speed compressor. (Please note I am not talking about the 3-way gas/electric stuff here). I personally use one 60 liter Snowmaster as a fridge, and a 40 liter as a freezer at my home. With both running they only consume like 90W. We camp a lot and over the years I bought the fridges second hand or on special, and we used them for camping. The plus point is that my wife cannot buy a lot of meat that will end up getting freezer burn, and in the end go to the dogs. If she wants to make some dish and need meat that is not in the fridge, then I just stop at the butcher on my way home and fetch it, so its really not a big deal after you make the mind shift that you don't really need a 300 liter freezer. I also have a old retired 40 liter Engel that we use when we have friends over, and want to keep some drinks cold. It takes 4 sixpacks and 2 2 liters with ease. At my previous house, when we still had the large fridge and freezers, I also found that we tended to keep thousands of Rands of meat and stuff in them, and it does tie up a lot of money. Look, for us this is working well. It may not be for someone else. Snowmaster do make large stand-up fridges as well, the best is to contact your nearest Caravan shop to find out more.
  3. What I also discovered is how energy inefficient computer hardware can be. I got rid of the pc (450W easy)and we only use laptops (80W max for both) nowadays. The laptop only uses mains power when its charging as well, and usually takes less than a hour to be charged and ready for the next 6 or 7 hours. I use my cellphone as a wifi router as well...
  4. Carlo1973

    Battery Balancer

    After a day or two of searching, I can report back the following: Option 1. The cheapest Victron Battery Balancer goes for around R1055 incl VAT. Refer to Pricecheck to get to the shop identity. I decided not to go for this option, as I would need 3 Victrons to balance the 48V battery bank. Victron stuff is nice, but a bit pricey... Option 2. To order the HA-02, send a email stating your requirement to "reception at unipos co za" I have not yet done so, but indications after speaking to a forum member is that its around R900 give or take postage etc. What is nice of this option is that I only need one unit to balance the battery bank. There is also the option to source them from alibaba, for between USD10 and USD42 a piece, minimum order qty 10, plus whatever shipping and taxes will be, and waiting for who knows how long, with the risk of never receiving it... so in my book it is much better to support our local people who already brought them in. Option 3. The Su-kam "Battery Management System" was hard to track down in South Africa. I had to ask Su-kam India, who supplied me with the number of the local distributors. Su-kam have agents in Zimbabwe and Mozambique so why the SA agent/distributor is top secret I don't know... Price quoted was R800.There was also a guy selling this on bidorbuy for R1799 (nice bit of profit hehe). I kind of like Option 3 more and decided to order one, as it has a digital display screen showing you the voltage of each battery. I don't know if I am allowed to mention the company, but I can say "quick and friendly service" so if you need details PM me. I cannot comment on the quality but time will tell. If the Su-kam thingy turns out to be a waste of money, then I will consider the HA-02... PS: keep in mind that I am a bit of a weirdo in that I hate waiting. I usually pay more for something that I want NOW than paying less for the same item if I wait 2 weeks... so yes, I am definitely biased.
  5. Carlo1973

    Battery Balancer

    Thanks TTT!
  6. Carlo1973

    Battery Balancer

    Hi guys, I am new on the Forum, but not new to solar. I have an off-grid solar setup at home, with a 48V battery setup. I am having a problem with battery balancing, with one battery having a lower voltage than the others. I am looking for a battery balancer but it seems to be a hard item to find in South Africa. I was looking at Victron (very expensive, and need to buy 3 units), Su-kam BMS 48 (affordable at around R1100 but the local distributor is out of stock and will no longer bring them in), and then the generic Chinese one (I have sent a PM to Chris-R and is waiting for a reply). Who else can I try? Any other words of wisdom on this subject?
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