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    • All the reason to go grid tie and NOT BATTERIES     😜


      Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe has published new embedded generation regulations for public comment, in a move that is expected to help limit the impact of load shedding.

      The gazette effectively raises the threshold for embedded generation from 1MW to 10MW, providing businesses and private individuals more room to build their own electricity supply away from Eskom’s grid.

      However, the gazette includes the proviso that private groups who plan to use this embedded generation will have to register with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

      President Cyril Ramaphosa previously announced that government would look at increasing the embedded generation limit in his February 2021 state of the nation address.

      “Recent analysis suggests that easing the licensing requirements for new embedded generation projects could unlock up to 5,000 MW of additional capacity and help to ease the impact of load shedding,” he said.

      “We will therefore amend Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act 4 of 2006) within the next three months to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation.

      “This will include consultation among key stakeholders on the level at which the new threshold should be set and the finalization of the necessary enabling frameworks.”

      A report published in March by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shows that South Africa now spends more than 10% of the year load shedding, which has serious knock-on effects for business and consumers.

      The report shows that 2020 saw 859 hours of load shedding – seemingly the most intense year of blackouts yet.

      “In 2020, load shedding occurred for 859 hours of the year (9.8%) with an upper limit of 1,798 GWh relative to actually achieved energy shed of 1,269 GWh,” the CSIR said.

      The most intensive load shedding was seen before the Covid-19 lockdown, which accounted for 63% of all load shedding seen in 2020. Most of this was stage 2 load shedding, the research body said.
      • 39 replies
    • Our solar installation at home went live on Friday afternoon, so we've only been on solar for a few days.

      I am blown away by how useful the logger on the Sunsynk is. We need some assistance in reducing the consumption.

      To give some context, we're four people in the main house where we have the solar solution (soon to be five), and then two in the cottage where my folks live. We've identified some wasteful loads that we can address, but others are a bit tricky to address.


      The main house consumption only deviates a little bit as we have a gas stove and geyser. During the day we try to introduce the heavy loads only when there is sufficient sun and battery capacity to handle the peaks. The cottage has an electric stove and geyser.

      1. Stove / Oven - we're looking into a modern gas stove / oven (not the gas stove electric oven combo). We should have that installed in a few weeks once we've decided on a model so this isn't a major concern.

      2. Then there is the geyser. I have a number of ideas I want to try, but for the most part, I don't know how to get rid of the thing. So far the best I've come up with is a thermal blanket as it's insulation is very poor. And then of course a timer to shift as much of the load to the day. I would have liked to install a gas water heater such as the one we have in the main house, but the old folks don't like 'personality' of the gas heaters and I don't want my solar hobby to become a point of contention.

      I would appreciate some ideas to solve this problem without diminishing their enjoyment and convenience of hot water. I also looked at solar geyser, but I know too little about this at the moment, and I am concerned it will just shift the power problem to the winter when sun is not sufficient to heat the geyser.

      3. Small loads that add up to a lot of power. We still have to identify these little buggers. They're all over the place. For example, I have three fridges and a freezer, and then the fridge and freezer in the cottage, plus the fridge in the caravan. Just switching off the fridge in the caravan noticably dropped our usage over night but we're still hunting for other items to disable. We're between 450W and 850W the whole night (excepting the geyser of course) which still depletes the batteries way before morning. But we'll carry on hunting for these culprits.


      So my main concern at the moment is how to reduce and shift the geyser consumption as much as possible. Thermal blanket and timer are a start, but do we consider a solar geyer or heat pump? Or even a modern electric gas water heater with electric control etc.? I would very much appreciate your perspective on this.



      • 53 replies
    • Good Day

      I have put together a few solar systems for a few lights and charging cellphones.

      However I need to put a system together to run a fridge and a few lights for a few hours.

      No idea where to start.

      What solar panels to get, inverter needed, solar controller etc.

      Any advice appreciated.
      • 6 replies
    • I'm hoping that the site guru's can assist with a question around panels in parallel. I bought and installed a small simple system: EasySolar 16oo 24V Victron and 2 X JA Solar 405W panels to run a fridge and LED lighting in an off grid cottage. The system has worked extremely well from onset. But I find I need to add an additional panel to deal with a bit more load during daylight and when overcast. So the EasySolar has a PV Voltage limitation so the panels needed to be in Parallel. Now I need a third panel, I cant find a 405W JA Solar panel for love or money. It has been suggested that while not ideal I could add a JA Solar 410W panel which operates at a slightly higher voltage. So my question is, is this advisable in a parallel array? The spec sheets attached say there is a 5W variance but this could equate to 10W between the panels. I'm desperate as I dont want to buy 3 new panels of the same. I would really appreciate some expert advise here. 
      • 12 replies
    • Hi Guys,

      A few questions I hope one or more of you may be able to help me with.  I’m a newbie on a steep learning curve.  First my system comprises x10  second hand 355 Watt Canadian Solar panels feeding an Axpert VMii 5KW inverter.  The battery is a single Pylontech US2000 which I hope to add another three units to when I can afford it.  My questions are:

      1.            Does anyone have the correct inverter battery settings (in USR mode) for this battery when used with this inverter?  I actually have some settings from Pylontech but I think they may be referring to the VMiii rather than VMii inverter.  Currently these settings keep telling me that the battery is at a low state of charge and setting off an alarm [04] whilst the battery LEDs indicate it is fully charged. I assume that the VMii is unable to use the Ethernet port to ‘talk’ to the battery unlike the VMiii.

      2.            When drawing power from the grid, there appears to be a lower limit on current being taken.  In other words, if the inverter is supplying power to the load and the load is removed, the current drawn from the grid doesn’t drop below about 1.5 Amps despite the fact that the load is virtually zero.  I am aware that the inverter also takes power for its own purposes but surely not that much?  (A friend with the same inverter sees the same thing) Is it possible that this is a measurement error due to the type of load?  I measure the grid current by an AC ammeter in series with the live supply line and I also have a digital readout of voltage and current that uses a Current Transformer to sample the current drawn.  Both methods produce the same result.

      3.            I have downloaded the very useful Axpert Settings 1.1 file by Chris Hobson.  This has helped a lot with deciding which settings to use but I am a little confused by the need to start the inverter on batteries as mentioned in the Addendum.  The inverter is designed to run without batteries when necessary so why is this a requirement?

      4            Are there any other useful guides to understanding the VMii settings out there?  Either textual or YouTube.

      Many thanks for your time,

      • 6 replies
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