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    • I recently restored an old farmhouse in the Kalahari just outside Upington NC. I rebuild the house with solar power in mind, but was a little scared of the assumed cost. I must point out that  if I was going Solar I wanted to go 100% solar as just the standing charge on the Eskom pole is R850 per month.

      Anyway, earlier this year I decide to take the plunge. The house is three bed, dining room, living room, kitchen, large stoep and a granny flat.

      We also work from home full time.

      We have a gas geyser for hot water and a gas range and oven to cook.

      In the summer, and it's a hell of a summer in the Kalahari we use an evaporator cooler.

      I did the calculations over and over again for daily kW used but still it only came to 3kw. So on that basis I installed 4x305w panels, a 3kw inverter and two 200ah gel batteries. Cost R28000

      So we run a fridge freezer, a chest freezer, 2 x TV, microwave (just for re heat max 5min) lighting, washing machine 1xload per day, charge phones, laptops and the internet modem, pressure pump for the house water and evaporator.

      We have not noticed the difference between Eskom and solar, the batteries seem to use 30% overnight.

      My takeaway is that if you are prepared to look at alternatives to Electric stoves/ovens, and electric geysers and foresake aircon for evaporation then off grid solar need not be an expensive proposition.


      • 14 replies
    • Just received my gift today and so excited to give it a try. Thank you powerforum 🥳
      • 2 replies
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    • Hi everyone. 

      Need a bit of advice please on the way forward with current install with the max amount of panels I can add.
      Currently the system is about a year old. Kodak OG 5.48, 8x Canadian 365w KuMax panels (8s) , 4.8kwh Shoto Lith.
      Specs on Inverter: Max PV 5KW, MPPT range 120-430 VDC, max VOC 500 VDC. Not 100% confirmed but max input current on one or two sites 18A
      Panels spec on 1000 W/m2: Pmax 365W, Vmp 39.8V, Imp 9.18A, Voc 47.2v, Isc 9.75A

      The system is running great, powering everything on essential side, stuff left on non-essential is geyser and oven (got a gas hob). Got a plan in mind for the geyser so thats why the question regarding more panels and helps a bit with overcast.

      A friend of mine who installed the same time as me and his panels are out of the same batch as mine is planning to change his 6 panels he has to 450w+ panels.
      At last I can get to the question. I'm thinking of taking over his panels and maybe running a 6p2s ( 4.38Kw 18.36A, VOC 283.2v) or 7p2s (5.1Kw, 18.36A, VOC 330.4v) configuration. but with the series config I'll be pushing the input current to 18.36.

      Any input will be much appreciated. roof real-estate is not a problem can accommodate parallel strings and is pointing 357 degrees (N) 

      • 7 replies
    • Goodday all. 

      I have been lurking in the forum for a while and am considering a grid tied installation.

      I would like some advice for or against if anyone has an opinion or experience with these panels above.

      I had never heard of them until 2 days ago, but they do seem promising based on what I was able to find from web research, YouTube, etc.

      They were suggested by the installer. 

      See attached link, http://www.znshinesolar.com/product/zxm6-nh144/

      The installer I may go with has done some big commercial installations, formed his own company and has done an installation at a family member's house and at his colleagues houses. So comes with a good reputation.

      He suggested the Deye 5kw inverter, but I am leaning towards the sunsynk based on everything I have read here.

      Other informative details: single phase, prepaid meter, 500kwh monthly usage, johanesburg location, solar geyser, gas stove. Have a separate Ellies powercube ups for router and fibre. Also have the mecer 200ah llifepo4 second Life battery and small 600w inverter to charge laptops for working from home (this was my first trip down the power backup rabbit hole :-). Would like to keep the essentials going during loadshedding and subsequent outages.
      • 4 replies
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  1. Renewable Energy

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