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    • Hallo,

      As so many previous threads, I need your advice.

      My elect bill is about R4k per month, I need to reduce that and minimize loadshedding.

      I only have R65k to do this. I will DIY what I can but need advice.

      I was thinking a Sunsynk 5KW inverter and a small battery for starters. Something like this:


      Budget is now at around R38k.

      Is it possible to add panels and get all the cables/mounting/DB board/sundries?

      My idea is to run most of my load during the day, when we have sufficient sun and only to use the battery during loadshedding (running only essentials). During night/cloudy days, I will use grid/Eskom. 

      I am hoping that the above would save me about R1500 per month on my bill? If it saves me R1500 on the bill, I can spend the money.


      I have the following:

      - 2x 200litre electrical geysers

      - 1x Stove

      - 1x 750kw swimming pool

      - 2x Front loader washing machines

      - 1x Dishwasher

      - 1x 1.1kw borehole

      - 1x Electric fence

      - 4x fridges

      Only using LED lighting and I do not have any power monitoring. I take a picture of the electricity meter daily at 06h00 and I see the most I have used during a day is 45 units. The least is around 17 units. We do not use the stove/oven since we have a airfryer and a deepfryer. I know I need to reduce my daily consumption but spending R7k for a gas geyser (times two), leaves me with R51k. Adding electricity monitoring, reduces my budget even more. 

      What do you suggest? 
      • 5 replies
    • hello, sorry for the translation but I'm Italian. I expose you my problem, I have a 3200w 24 volt inverter I noticed that the battery Zavoltage reading is wrong. When I am taking 1kw the difference in reading with the tester also reaches 2v. Is there any advice or any component to replace? thanks to all cordial greetings
      • 12 replies
    • Great Post.

      Promoting to our Picks 


    • Hello.. I want to install 14 panels however I only have space for 8 in the N direction and 3 in the NE and 3 in the E. 

      My question is those that are placed in the NE and E direction.. Typically what time would PV production start and for how long? 
      • 40 replies
    • New Solar Journey
      Good day all,

      Just need some advice on my solar setup which was installed recently in the Pietermaritzburg Kzn region.

      I have 6 panels (415w each) mounted on my north side roof and 6 panels (415w each) on the westerly side closer to north.

      Now the issue I found is that I am not receiving the total possible production from this setup. In fact the total I noticed was 3.5kw which is a good 1.5kw roughly shy.

      Is this seasonal related because the sun is shining well these days however the angle of the sun has altered itself as oppose to summer?

      If you guys have some recommendations let me know. 

      • 30 replies
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    • Looks like that is a lead-carbon battery, not regular lead-acid gel. Here is a spec sheet that has some charging settings you may have to enter manually: https://batterydistributors.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/12REXC200.pdf
    • You could try pbmstools, I have a RS485 to USB cable on the way so have not managed to try it on my shoto yet.
    • Your have a tight budget but workable if you choose a different Inverter. Have a look at Luxpower SNA5000 at R12k, Pylontech UP5000 for loadshedding at R27k https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za/products/solar-select-lux-power-sna5000 https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za/products/pylontech-lithium-ion-4-8kw-up5000-battery Change your geysers heating elements to Geyser wise PTC elements, get the 2Kw ones at +-R5k for two, and use timers to switch them on and OFF. Then get ten PV panels @ R23k  https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za/products/jinko-solar-panel-tiger-395w-mono-facial You will be slightly over budget but you can get eight panels and still achieve what you are looking for, both reduction in your bill and the battery will be enough for loadshedding 🙂 Then you can expand when funds allow, by getting a second Luxpower inverter to get 10Kw, a second battery to get 10Kwh and more panels if you have enough roof space.  Do not worry about getting a sunsynk if you have limited funds, there is cheaper inverters that can do the job. Another cheapie to consider is Growatt SPF5000ES  
    • One very important aspect to add to what @Beathas added. When you parallel & have each output onto its own breaker that then feeds into a larger 63A breaker. DO NOT disconnect an individual output breaker under load. What you will do is overload a single unit depending on the load. In other words, disconnect the large breaker 1st before disconnecting the smaller individual breakers. Do the same on start up in reverse. But @Beathas the startup sequence perfect. 
    • Found it thanks to Google ... Battery Studio. Anyone care to share? PM please
    • This is an install where you need to look at the lifestyle. If people at home during the day training and management can get you far. For R100th I feel one can get quite a bit in storage and PV power during the day to keep batteries charged. Some time ago I measured a 5 room granny flat LED lights and it used only 8kwh per month. This with normal use for 2 people so it is assumed that most of the times 2 lights would be on. For 2 people using a heat pump running it 1.25h in the early morning and 1.5h during the day takes care of the geyser. Yes add to this heating the geyser is heated after a bath as the 150L geyser is at 27deg after running a full bath. If the lifestyle is such that cooking takes place in sun periods and just heating in the evening then your estimate is spot on. It is just bad weather that can be a challenge. We get through LS with a 2.4kw Axpert and 3kwh storage during sunshine days. Only because we have grid so the low bypass when grid is on is not a problem as loads can be fed above 2.4kw from other plugs.
    • Hi all,   I read somewhere in these pages of software you can use to directly read BMS data from Shoto and other batteries. Something like Battery Lab? A friend got me the right cable to link up the batteries but now I can't find the name of the program used to read the data. Please help!
    • I have a Sunsynk 5K, and every now and then get this F59 error wheb Grid power comes back after Load Shedding.  Any ideas what cold cause this.  My Inverter loads are never above 1000 watts.  Thanks 
    • So yeah, I got the time to tinker with my setup. During ongrid, the voltage between neutral to earth is almost 0. But during offgrid, voltage is 110v between neutral and earth (oh sh*t). So I simulate bonding neutral to earth using some insulated wire, and it got a little spark, then I measure again earth to neutral voltage and it is absolute 0. However, I measure earth to neutral amperage, there is some 0.03A, what can you say about this? So yeah, my ac contactor is arriving, Im rewiring this setup to bond during offgrid.
    • Solarman Stick Logger (Solman-LSW-3) , works with Deye/Sunsynk, but possibly many other inverters and other smart devices. Uses the Solarman Smart / Business PV Monitoring Platform. Age: 20 months Price: R1200.00 Payment Method Accepted: EFT and Bitcoin Warranty: 3 months Packaging: No, but can package it in bubble wrap and a box if not able to collect. Condition: Excellent working condition Location: Midrand, Gauteng Reason: Unneeded after installing Sunsynk logger Shipping: PostNet at buyer's expense and risk. Collection: Yes, Midrand Link: Solarman Stick Logger (Solman-LSW-3)    
    • That's exactly what I was thinking which is why I was wondering how it would be possible for the battery to provide AC loads if it was being charged by AC-in, but as you say it can come directly from the PV via the bus, thanks for the explanation. Just thought there might be something lost in translation.
    • Hi,   I'm looking at getting 2x Hoymiles 1200w microinverters + 8x 300w (thereabouts) panels + DTU-Pro. If anyone has the Hoymiles microinverters can you please confirm that I only need 1x DTU (or DTU-Pro) for my setup, I seem to have got quoted for 2x inverters and 2x DTU's? surely you don't need a DTU per inverter...  Then does anyone know the difference between the DTU and DTU-Pro?  I am currently using around 2000w 24/7 (have a business at home) so I just want to reduce that load as much as I can for now during the daytime.  If at a later stage I wanted to export power to the grid as credit, can my setup do that with regards to the DTU-Pro? (don't worry about my electricity meter for now) it's mainly the DTU-Pro. I just don't want to spend the money on the DTU-Pro now and then in 6 months time I would like to add a few more inverters and panels so I can export the excess and then find out my DTU-Pro can't do that etc. I also have that Efergy electricity monitor and clamps etc if that helps.   Thanks
    • Thank  you so much for clearing this up Gents.. much appreciated 
    • Morning  I bought a Mecer/ AXPERT SOL-I-AX-5M4 inverter and M3000 ESS Lithium Ion Battery. Did the Installation and connect the inverter to the AC Power and switched it on. All came up and LCD screen light up. Switched the unit off and connect the battery via the 25mmsq Battery cables, connected the earth cable between the Battery, Inverter and Distribution Board. Then switched the  Battery on, and then the Inverter. The Inverter Started up, battery seems to start charging as well, however no display on the Inverter LCD panel. I switched off the Mains Power, and the system took the load and all seems to work fine, still no LCD Display. Still need to change some parameters on the Inverter. After a while, I assume that when the battery were fully charged the system trip / loose power and start-up again, trip and start up again - then I switched it off. Any idea what I missed or did wrong? Your assistance will be appreciated. Thanks  Abie  
    • Forget batteries, way too expensive and with your load you'll deplete them in no time a few times a day..  Solar panels and a large inverter, but then a large inverter say 10kw is around your entire budget.. this excludes panels, mounting, wiring, installation etc. Make 100% sure both your geysers are wrapped up in blankets and set to around 50 degrees or so, you can tweak it. Geysers account for around 60% of electricity usage. Maybe look at retrofitting your geyser to be solar, that is glass tubes on the roof, they work amazingly well. I just read a 200L electric geyser uses 14kwh per day on a household of 4 people. So you're using 28kwh a day = R56 give or take a day or R1680 per month to heat those puppies. Now you can't get that to zero, but you could chop that down by half at least with tubes. 750w pool motor, its winter so you can literally run it once a week for an hour to turn the water over. Summer depending on your pool size, once a day for an hour is fine. 1.1kw borehole, not sure if that is your drinking water or how often you use it to water the garden. Do you really need 4 fridges? Each fridge can consume between 150w-500w each depending on size. Maybe look at selling the 4 fridges and buying 1 or 2 inverter energy efficient fridges. 2x front loading washing machines, all depends on how often you use them and if they are also tumble dryers? If so, they chow through electricity like an Ethiopian cow at a buffet, that and they are never that great.  I know load shedding is a pain in the rear end, but what are you wanting to achieve during the load shedding? If it's just to watch some tv and use the internet at night then I would also look at a small trolley type inverter or a fancy lithium battery pack, they are the same just more expensive. That covers load shedding and tv watching for a few hours until the power comes on. I have a little camping 150w inverter and a small 40ah battery, I made a little box and that powers my fibre internet during load shedding, I then just play on my phone, cost like R1500 and I've used it for years. Food for thought  
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