Gremlin posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,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.
Trev501 posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,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  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,
JohanM posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,Hi All and thanks for all the contributions
I did allot of research and are now planning on buying a DIY kit end of the month. Even with all the research I am still lost.
My current consumption is about 15KW a day. Based in Boksburg.
0.75kw pool pump, running a hour a day
No geyser, running heat pump 1.1kwh avg, runs about 4 hours on/off
Oven, not everyday
Tumble dryer, get used maybe once a week hour or two
Dishwasher, once a day
Fridge and box freezer
What I would like to do is run as little as possible on grid
Interested in the following from Solar shop but not sure if its the correct inverter for me.
1 x 5kv Axpert Voltronics VMIII Solar Inverter (Kodak branded)
1 x Battery Pylon Cable Pack
6 x 340Wp Canadian Solar PV modules Thinking of adding 2 more or upgrade to a higher Watt
1 x Complete mounting kit (select roof type on checkout)
2 x Pylon battery brackets
2 x Pylontech Pylon US3000C
1 x MC4 Connector & Splitter Twin Pack ( Kit 1 )
1 x K&N Dual String DC Switch Disconnector 25A 220V – 11A 460V (per string)
1 x 4mm2 single-core 50m cable- Black
1 x 4mm2 single-core 50m cable - Red
1. Can I connect my complete DB board to the inverter, and for eg, when I switch the stove ON it will starting pulling current from grid for the high load
And IF YES
2. Will it run the stove from the grid and continue run say lights from PV/Battery ( solar shop claims it does blend current)
3. What other option is out there without spending to much extra cash
Also have prepaid and don't want something that is going to cause problems.
Hello Guys and Girls,
I am new to the forum…this is my second post. I gave a brief intro in my first post (Power Forum - Axpert King 5kW - Warning 32 )
In this writeup, I would like to share my experiences with trying to revive (desulphate) my otherwise kaput 200Ah AGMs!
Part 1: Background Info
My current system (V2.0) consists of a 5kW Axpert King & 4x 200Ah Allgrand AGMs. It’s purpose is to provide clean power and UPS to the essential stuff in my home. I installed it in Dec 2018 as an upgrade/replacement of my 1kW 24v Microcare & 2x 200Ah Deltec AGMs, which have served me since Dec 2014. The upgrade was triggered because after 4 years service, the Deltec’s had lost capacity and the backup runtime had become unaceptable!
My definition of “essential stuff” is all home lighting, alarm system, electric fence, gate motors, CCTV, computers, network, internet, TV and last but not least the fridge. My average load is approx. 400W-500W. It drops to minimum of 280W and climbs to a max of around 600W (ignoring the startup load of the fridge).
My required max runtime is between 9-12hours, ie to make it through the night. We have occasional power disruptions (once or twice a year) that last 24 hours and every other year we loose power for 2-4 consecutive days! This lovely reality is courtesy of City of Jhb and the aging infrastructure combined with cable theft and substation vandalisms!
I have a 9KVA generator that enables me to bulk charge my batteries for 4h in the morning and 4h hours at night and make it through the couple of days of ESKOM power disruption.
My upgraded system migrated to:
48v, in order to double up on the previous battery capacity (and hopefully improve the disappointing 4y service life of the Deltecs).
The Axpert KING inverter, because of the 0ms transfer time as well as the healthy AC charging amps (for a good dose of 30A bulk charging during those 4hours of generator run-time). The built in MPPT is a nice to have for future upgrade/expansion.
Back to Reality
The 200Ah Allgrand AGMs barely lasted 2 years (disappointment is an understatement). They did not work hard during these two years. From my recollection and perception, they were not cycled many times either, unfortunately I do not have exact data to refer back to. They most definitely were not deep cycled “hundreds of times” as per the performance promises indicated on their datasheet!
I will discuss my speculations of the root cause of their failure in a later part of this writeup.
After experiencing a premature shutdown during load shedding, I started investigating and ran the following capacity load tests with a >2kW load (courtesy of a two element air heater):
In summary, with a draw of 50A from the batteries I was getting less than 15min runtime!
These batteries are truly kaput! Specifically battery no 1 was collapsing prematurely and it's voltage was rapidly falling off below 10v!
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
It is finally 2021 and everyone is eager to put 2020 behind them. New Year’s messages were full of hope and good wishes for the coming year. Yet, the year started on a negative note. January began with worse Covid figures than ever before and there were rumours of stricter lockdowns.
Then came the news that Koeberg Unit 1 had to be shut down earlier than planned for maintenance and that Stage 2 loadshedding was being sheduled. In all, an underwhelming start to 2021.
Of course, a new year also means tariff changes for many service providers, including Eskom. So will Eskom’s new tariffs, which are proposed to be implemented from 1 April 2021, follow the negative theme? Are there some positives in the proposed tariffs?
South Africa’s power company has detailed their tariff restructuring plan on their website and some interesting details emerge.
A CHANGE IN MINDSET?
According to Eskom’s retail tariff plan, this year’s proposed changes are being based on a cost-to-supply (or cost-to-serve) study for the first time since 2012. Apparently, the driving factors behind the study are the changes in technology, customer needs, the planned unbundling of Eskom into separate divisions, and the fact that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has requested that tariffs be based on the cost to supply (CTS).
Eskom claims that the proposed tariffs and changes to pricing structure are based on this study. The tariff plan also states that the aim is to simplify and modernise the system.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES? Read more at: https://insideenergy.africa/2021/02/01/eskom-tariffs-2021/
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