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  1. The can o worms…. So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe ) Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s. Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest. Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above? What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you. So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously. Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid? Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons. What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post): Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise. So more to follow, all them questions....
    7 points
  2. When I bought my system I did a calculation on a little piece of paper and figured a 7 year payback (given annual escalations > 10% by Eskom). That was the cost of the system against what I wasn't going to run up on the meter. I know longer think that will happen (for one, stupid me didn't factor in overcast days), at the very best I will break even just in time to splash out on new batteries. However, this doesn't mean my wife is unhappy. Firstly the savings increases year on year as the tariffs increase. Secondly, since installation we have always had power, the lights have always been on, the fridges and the deep freezers stay on and so we don't lost contents (and I can always get a cold beer), we never miss Strictly Come Dancing. These are things that we can't attach a rands and cents value to and so set off against the purchase price of the system, but they surely are worth something. So I think in pure rands and cents terms - where the only saving you can measure is on your meter - it's difficult to balance the books, but there's the advantages that I've described above, and if reducing your carbon footprint is worth something to you then there's another thing that is worth something.
    5 points
  3. Buyeye

    Where to buy?

    https://powerforum-store.co.za/ Good store
    4 points
  4. Finally took the plunge and bought a better Off Grid Solar System Was again a bit of a learning curve to extract the data from the inverter. Finally have it working on RPi4 using a bit of Python with MQTT, Influxdb and Grafana Always amazes me how data can become so easily visualised on a single page.
    4 points
  5. Very Simple Python script to send loadshedding status to influxdb for use in grafana on raspberry pi Tip: If not already installed add the nano editor to your system, its just easier to use Now Create file called loadsheddingcheck.py You can do this i your home directory or anywhere you like to load your scripts, just be sure to change/edit the cron according to your preference. touch loadsheddingcheck.py Then sudo nano loadsheddingcheck.py Add (copy paste) the following code to the file and save (ctrl x y) from urllib.request import urlopen import json from influxdb import InfluxDBClient import datetime url = "https://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/LoadShedding/GetStatus" response = urlopen(url) data_json = json.loads(response.read()) print(data_json) theLoadsheddingChecker = [{"measurement":"Loadshedding", "tags": { "Country": "South Africa", "Utility": "Eskom" }, "fields": { "Stage":data_json } } ] influxdbClient = InfluxDBClient( host = 'HOST', port = PORT, username = 'INFLUXUSERNAME', password = 'INFLUXPASSWORD', database = 'INFLUXDATABASENAME' ) influxdbClient.write_points(theLoadsheddingChecker) Then add a cron to run every 30 minutes to check loadshedding status (or whichever check interval you prefer open cron editor (will ask which editor, use nano as its the easiest) crontab -e Then add the following line to the bottom at the last open line and edit to suit your requirements (the example below is for every hour). * */1 * * * /usr/bin/env python3 /home/pi/loadsheddingcheck.py > /home/pi/loadsheddingcheck.log 2>&1 ctrl x y to save Now in grafana add a Stat card and edit the settings and add some value mappings to show the correct stages. End result
    4 points
  6. Good day to all, Data logger system that my son programed for my two 5000 ES growatt inverters. I'm really very happy with
    4 points
  7. 0012

    Introduction

    The SolarEdge is a nice piece of kit but too sophisticated for Zim, the power quality thresholds are too tight and so it's the first to cut out and the last to start generating. Of the two inverters we put in, one had to be replaced after a year, under warranty. Of the 110 optimisers, about 6 have failed since install 3.5yr ago. ABB - a nice machine, a bit of a mission to commission but no issues with it since up and running. Looks like it has the lowest efficiency of the bunch but probably by less than 1%. Delta - sounds like a helicopter with those fans, but a good machine. Schneider - I think this is just a rebranded sungrow. Our pick of the bunch, nice piece of kit, this and the delta have the best kWh/kWp production, best conversion efficiency. Very robust and can handle wide grid power quality parameters.
    4 points
  8. Sure. First you will need an account with solcast for the forecast. The free account works fine for this, you get 50 api calls I think for free. Once you have an account, set up a site with your panels total kW capacity and the angle they mounted as well as the direction. Mine is 3900w mounted directly north at around 45 degree angle. Once done, grab your site as resource_id and the api key. Then add this to your yaml somewhere (configuration.yaml): Mine is at https://github.com/tinuva/home-assistant-config/blob/master/packages/goodwe_dod.yaml rest: - resource: !secret solcast_forecast_resource #resource: https://api.solcast.com.au/rooftop_sites/RESOURCE_ID/forecasts?format=json&api_key=API_KEY&hours=72 scan_interval: '00:30:00' # RATE LIMIT! sensor: - name: "Solcast Forecast Data" force_update: true value_template: "{{ value_json.forecasts[0].pv_estimate|round(2) }}" json_attributes: - forecasts - name: "Solcast Forecast 10" force_update: true value_template: "{{ value_json.forecasts[0].pv_estimate10|round(2) }}" - name: "Solcast Forecast 90" force_update: true value_template: "{{ value_json.forecasts[0].pv_estimate90|round(2) }}" Then in the the UI, create a card with the following yaml code to get the graph. Replace the sensor.goodwe_ppv with your own actual solar/pv sensor. type: custom:apexcharts-card graph_span: 36h span: start: day offset: '-6h' header: show: true title: Solar Production vs. forecast show_states: true now: show: true label: now apex_config: legend: show: true series: - entity: sensor.goodwe_ppv stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false color: '#FFF700' name: Actual unit: W fill_raw: last extend_to_end: false group_by: func: avg duration: 30min - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_data stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false color: '#3498DB' transform: return x * 1000; name: Forecast History unit: W fill_raw: last extend_to_end: false - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_10 stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false in_header: false color: '#797D7F' transform: return x * 1000; name: Forecast 10 History unit: W fill_raw: last extend_to_end: false opacity: 0.4 - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_90 stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false in_header: false color: '#797D7F' transform: return x * 1000; name: Forecast 90 History unit: W fill_raw: last extend_to_end: false opacity: 0.4 - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_data stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false in_header: false color: '#E74C3C' name: Forecast type: line extend_to_end: false unit: W data_generator: | return entity.attributes.forecasts.map((entry) => { return [new Date(entry.period_end), entry.pv_estimate*1000]; }); - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_data stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false in_header: false color: '#797D7F' name: Forecast 10 type: line extend_to_end: false unit: W opacity: 0.4 data_generator: | return entity.attributes.forecasts.map((entry) => { return [new Date(entry.period_end), entry.pv_estimate10*1000]; }); - entity: sensor.solcast_forecast_data stroke_width: 2 show: extremas: false in_header: false color: '#797D7F' name: Forecast 90 type: line extend_to_end: false unit: W opacity: 0.4 data_generator: | return entity.attributes.forecasts.map((entry) => { return [new Date(entry.period_end), entry.pv_estimate90*1000]; }); All of this is based on testing and ideas from https://community.home-assistant.io/t/rest-api-command-platform-fails-on-post-to-external-url-solcast/143238/141
    3 points
  9. I also prefer the power distribution card. However my favorite card is the apex bar chart I set up to show actual vs forecasted solar production. The above is what is shows now in the morning. Yesterday some time during the day it looked like this:
    3 points
  10. I doubt you can get all that with a budget of R25k. The Hubble battery is already R26k alone, R1k over budget and you still need to get an inverter and bits and bobs. The 4.6Kw kodac inverter is around R19k. The OP wanted a budget friendly solution, lets not scare him into thinking that budget friendly does not exist when he can get a good solution for less than R30k. 3Kw inverter will work just fine if the DB is split into essential and non essential. Kitchen plugs, except for the fridge plug, can all be wired to non essential and no worries about someone switching the kettle or microwave while there is loadshedding. You can power all the lights, TV, fridge, wifi and charge your phones and you will never need to worry about the 1C or 0.5C of Lithium batteries. Till this date I have never had to draw 100A from my battery bank, with all the load of my house running on my 10Kw Growatt system. My advice, Get Pylontech US3000C and Growatt SF3000TL-48 because they are budget friendly and they work.
    3 points
  11. For a bit more you could maybe consider an installation like this: 5 kW VMIII + Hubble AM-2 It is a nicely matched system as the AM-2 is 5.5 kWh (1C), so the inverter is able to supply the full 5kW (more than enough to boil the kettle).
    3 points
  12. Hi Basil, I cant talk much on the pylontech product that @hoohlocrecommends above, however, what i can say is that given the costs I would always go for the 48V system. The 24V system will suffer from a lot of heat build up. The lower the battery and inverter voltage as in 24V Vs 48V the lower voltage cables will need to carry a lot of Amps to carry the same wattage. The 48V in the longer term is just safer with less heat and needs not as thick cabling. The other problems faced is that, some 12V LiFePo4 budget batteries cannot just be wired in series or parallel to make up a system voltage. The internal BMSs sometimes have limitations on these. Im not saying that the Hubble falls into this category, Im just saying that the tech manual that is supplied with the battery will need to be double checked before making the purchase with this in mind. I have seen the Mecer LiFePo4 batteries not with stand the exact same setup you are trying to establish. Then you have a big mess and will need to sell the cells on to salvage some cash. My minimum recommendations on such a system is at least, 5kW inverter at 48V and at least a 16s LiFePo4 cells arrangement. I say 16s because the cell voltage is advertised as 51.2V and the 15s as a 48V nominal voltage. I say this for my own reasons but rather buy smartly than on budget alone and end up in a mess down route. 87
    3 points
  13. There are many discussions about those elements in various treads on this forum. Use the search function
    3 points
  14. TimCam

    Sunsynk 8.8 KW

    Such a beautiful sight to behold, now get it up on the wall and working. I've been enjoying mine for the past 3 months now, and have never regretted the purchase. Enjoy you're solar journey, and now load shedding is a thing of the passed, and high electricity bills will be banished.
    3 points
  15. 3 points
  16. Agree on this. I am over-panelled, but on a few consecutive overcast days it's still a close-run thing. At my office I have a standby 6.5kW silent diesel genny on the ATS output from the Deye, at home I have a 'spare' 4kW of panels on their own Kodak invertor which I switch in to help charge (I also have a standby genny, but it hasn't been used in a year). I am doing a major extension project at my office right now and will put up 4 more strings of panels and a second Deye 8kW (paralleled) when I have finished. Power is like beer or ammunition. You simply can never have too much.
    3 points
  17. Google - Technolgy "disruption"....Sunsync is disrupting Victrons market. The older, more established product, Victron, is well developed, tried and tested and provides comprehensive functionality...at a price, which people are prepared to pay for based on the functionality and perceived quality. They focused on niche functionality that is really for a niche market (not required or used by everybody)... Along comes Sunsync, which is much cheaper, with a more "home user" market that is very quickly gaining on the Victron functionality space as well.. Do a simple price/functionality comparison (compare only the functionality you require) and you will see that the Sunsync wins hands down. Victron installers like the rpoduct because they can maintain/monitor the victron setup remptely (apparently a HUGE selling point) but Sunsync will do this as well very soon (in beta testing, I beleive) In the next 12 months I'd like to compare sunsync installs vs Victron installs. For ease of use, simplicity, local (end user support) I'd go sunsync any day, based purely on price/functionality/support availability (and I have a Goodwe!)
    3 points
  18. Am I the only one who think this personal attack was uncalled for and in bad taste? And that from the supplier? For me it will be a point to remember.
    3 points
  19. Actually, on reading the documentation again, I no longer hold this theory. With the solar balance setting off, the PV output current should be limited to the value of the total charge current setting. Suppose that's 60 A; that means that you should be able to use up to 60 A of PV charge current (at the 50 V end, so around 3 kW) to support the loads. That's clearly not happening. What I now suspect is happening is what @hoohloc reported; the BMS is sending a "don't charge, don't discharge" command to the BMS, and it's obeying it. Mu suspicion is that the Pylontech BMS is using too high a maximum charge voltage, and that's allowing the battery voltage to exceed 54.0 V, which is the panic level. But I don't understand how the battery voltage is supposed to fall if it's not being discharged. In summary: it looks like the BMS is the root cause. Whether the inverter firmware should be slavishly following the BMS commands is another question.
    3 points
  20. That argument is irrelevant for majority of the use cases in this country. Isolated installs for backup purposes with zero export in to the grid, actually with zero export capability at all, really shouldn't warrant arbitrary folks knocking on your door to make more money from taxpayers trying to save a dime and only compensating for already present inadequacy in government.
    3 points
  21. This project is finally finished. I had an inspection done and received the CoC today. Apart from two additional warning labels, there was not a single compliance issue found with my installation, which I'm quite chuffed about. As a side note, I resolved the nuisance tripping of the essential db EL by swapping the crappy ACDC branded EL with a Schneider EL. I hope to add solar panels in future, but being in Cape Town, I will probably have to swap the inverter too as InfiniSolar is no longer on the approved list (it was in 2019). Edit: typo
    3 points
  22. I think most people work out the payback wrong. Panels: These babies generate power. So they can pay themselves back. Batteries: These do not generate power without putting power into them first. So how can they pay themselves back? They really can't but they can increase the power generated by your panels. Inverter: Required but again doesn't generate or store power, just switches between power sources. So for me, the panel will pay themselves off fast. The inverter+batteries is for convenience, or as you say, the advantages you described. Panels are to pay themselves back. Batteries and inverter is there for my convenience to enjoy life as I should have before Eskom started their interuptions.
    3 points
  23. Shoot the drones down, this is and invasion of privacy.
    3 points
  24. It is a very expensive hobby, ill tell you that. If your goal is to make the system work for you (not the other way around) then I like to think of it as a long term investment into your comfort and self sufficiency in the future. Have a chat around the forums to learn about components people like... dislike etc... and be warned, your (Wife/husband/partner) will not be impressed with your account balance Huge fan of the Pylon batteries(Owner of 3 US-3000C's ), cant speak for those inverters, know nothing about them,
    3 points
  25. The Sunsynk 5 kW is now rated at 13 amps and the 8 kW at 22 amps with a firmware update
    3 points
  26. I watched one of the Synsynk You Tube videos recently. I think the max PV input was 10,000W, want to aim for 450V or lower and the max amperage was around 18A. It's got two sting inputs. Why not go for smaller sub 500W panels & not fly so close to the sun? Careful, Icarus...
    3 points
  27. My heat pump is a few years old. At the time I had it installed I wanted a solar geyser (I'd had one at my previous property) but there was no way to position the tubes so that they would face north (according to salesperson. At my previous place of abode they'd built a framework and mounted geyser and tubes on that, he told me that's not allowed in Jo'burg anymore). This then led to "ok, how much is it going to cost?" The answer was that there was not much in it in terms of putting a solar geyser on the roof or hooking up a heat pump to my existing geyser. To be clear, this is a heat pump to heat a 200l geyser, not to warm up a swimming pool a bit. OK... so maybe solar geysers got cheaper in the meantime, or you are proposing just tubes on a roof feeding an existing geyser. I think it's important to understand what varieties of fruit we are comparing. What you say about relative efficiency makes sense to me. What I don't get with the heat pump is loss of water due to the water getting too hot and a pressure relief valve sometimes having to pop and send lots of scalding hot water down the roof and into the gutters. What makes the heat pump work for me, I think, is the improvement in efficiency V a common or standard geyser (which, in turn, means I can run it early AM off my batteries), and that I can use the timer to just run it at certain times of day which suit our lifestyle. RE Cost. Yes... the heat pump is more expensive than a regular geyser (or even a geyserwise as far as I can tell). It's like so many of these things - you have to play the long game and bet that over 7, 8, 9, 10 cars you will make the money back and then start saving.
    3 points
  28. 0012

    Introduction

    The installation is planned for Monday. Parts are going together, leaving space for the future MPPTs...
    3 points
  29. This is definitely not true. A normal timer does not control geyser temperature like you can with geyserwise. The trick is to set up the temps and time it comes on according to how many people need to shower . Follow the usage of water/temps for a while and set the controller parameters accordingly. I have saved atleast 30% on my usage after installing a geyserwise. I was using a normal timer before and its a huge difference.
    3 points
  30. <Okay just a rant> I've been happy with their batteries so far. But their logger and software update process however is a full on disaster. One basically can't rely on SolarMD for meaningful stats and logs. Also I don't think they test before doing software updates - i've last summer's data/logs (three months worth) basically disappear when they did an update. Also no warning or notice to customers before said software updates. Currently now the dashboard is showing wonky data, ie +-90 kilowatts continuous draw (wtf?).... and I apparently consumed 5.3k worth of electricity today.. hahaha. guess their devs been playing on the live environment again . Luckily I have SolarAssistant plugged in to the second inverter and am able to see system's status. Oh yeah - had to purchase SolarAssistant as SolarMD doesn"t have API I can use for HomeAssistant/NodeRed. Sorry for the rant. I'll relax now.
    2 points
  31. I have unfortunately already installed them...
    2 points
  32. Just have a think, ICE cars and power generation Lets have a proper look at the SA scenario for the future, regarding ICE cars and EVs and the outlook for power generation. So why look at this you may ask? Easy answer, this is not. My distinctly charcoal grey Crystal ball is a bit foggy about the future. One thing thou is that the Legal framework and idiotic ideology in SA will not change anytime soon. The fraud, graft and ineptitude of the Cleptocracy will snowball if any of the current proposals for bee and other new legislation (or just look at the Powership story) are anything to go by. Now, I hate being negative, but all the years gone by has proof in and of itself, this is barreling along. I am a realist, just for the record. But back to ICE cars end Escam. Worldwide, many counties enacted new legislation, or are about to, to either ban ICE cars or pivot manufacturing to alternative technologies like BEV’s. Lets unpack. In less than 10 years, the production of ICE cars will plummet by a significant %. When that materialises, SA’s exports will be affected as Japan and Europe will want to keep employing their own people, so guess where factories will be closed first? Also a consequence of less demand for ICE cars will be less development for new models and a reduction of parts produced for maintenance. As electronics are updated, older chips and systems will no longer be available to manufacture the computers for older generation cars. The end game will be for ICE car manufacturing to collapse due to unavailability of parts as well as the cost to build the low volumes, making them very expensive. What will happen to industrial machines and other heavy equipment, maybe they pivot to electricity as well. There are numerous very large (100 tonne and larger) mining trucks that are electric powered or assisted, already. Diesel electric trains can all be converted to electric only. We currently have Gautrain that is electric only. The first electric ships and planes are currently being tested. Here is the rub. When ICE dies, not if, Africa will have a problem. In 2008 there was the joke about what comes after electricity for SA, and its candlepower…. With SA on a downward trend in Eskom and no relief from policy or ideology, there will be no power to support BEV’s, let alone the population at large. We have frequent shortages as it is. In the below picture, Red represents the occurrence of unplanned outages, hint, its a trend… Green trends downwards and is another trend. Over time, less and less generating capacity remains online and available. Not green is NOT good. Percentages of populations with a grid connection as well as how available or reliable that is. If its not available, it translates to loads being shed or no energy been available for those clients, or worse none at all. It looks like there are huge changes coming, with many forms of disruptions to boot. Look at industries like IT, based on silicon (just look what computers did to cars, both as controller and optimisers of combustion as well as to the design and aerodynamics via CFD, to name a few, there are many more). Energy from Solar PV (also based mostly on silicon and benefitting from the IT technology pure silicon gains and developments) now being the least expensive energy generation tech, Transportation and Space travel with the possibility of living elsewhere, however far fetched it is today. Another big technology being disrupted is that of energy storage. We never before a short few years ago, had the means of Utility class energy storage. Now look at the Gigawatt en recently Terawatt hours battery storage systems. 5 years ago, Utility scale battery storage was not a thing, now it is. And it is cheap and getting cheaper at a very fast rate. Studies show that soon if not already, Solar PV and Battery storage systems will be less expensive to build, compared to traditional systems like Coal or Nuclear, and be far less costly to maintain. Think about superconducting materials and the revolution that has happened there and in materials science in general. Now look at the latest materials technology in Carbon Nano materials. Currently the best known heat and electric conductor known. And the Carbon Nano materials are only now coming online for production use. Now, to prove the point of rapid development and disruption, smartphones are barely more than 10 years old, and see what they have done and disrupted and how quickly, just look at Twitter, Facebook and Google…. And remember when the Telephone was invented, how long did that took in comparison, to disrupt the market compared to smartphones that was doing so much faster. Another example is the car itself, it disrupted horse drawn vehicles and replaced then is just more than 10 year during the beginning of the 1900s. A few pointers on the cost reduction of disruption. IT and Moor’s law, a doubling of transistor count every 18 months. Storage increase of about 50% capacity per year or if you like a density increase for same cost or the cost for same storage capacity halves. Look at battery cost reducing by 20% per year and almost the same for Solar PV panels. In total Solar PV costs reduced 400X since the 1970s already, and it keeps on falling. Networking and digital sensors are being transformed nearly as fast or faster with associated cost reductions per unit. Where does this leave us on the African continent? In 20 to 30 years for us, there is a high probability that ICE cars and motorcycles will be utterly unaffordable if not completely unavailable. At the current trend of not properly maintaining the Coal fired generators, there will no longer be cheap or reliable energy available, if the ideology does not change. The prospects of this and the next generation changing their ideological outlook is slim to none, bar a catastrophic intervention. There is talk of Solar and Wind but I hear noting about storage and to boot, there are currently Zero and Nil Utility scale batteries connected to the grid in Africa. Calculations show that with Current technology, we need Solar PV sizing to be 4x larger than demand and just enough battery storage to cater for between 2 and 4 days worth of demand. With these ratios, we can replace base load generating stations. Imagine the efficiency and the astronomical cost savings. Oh wait, I just remembered, its not about cost savings here, its about contracts awarded to bee buddies at max value and max overrun…. Let’s remember that during the early 1900, the World suffered through an influenza pandemic, not unlike the current one. Not even that or a World war cold stop the Car disruption and transformation. Now today, think how much less you are driving due to the pandemic and why? Other technologies referred to above are aiding and abetting that your personal transportation is less of a requirement, yes even in SA, and more of a luxury. You work online, shop online, chat online etc etc. In summary then, this is just scratching the surface. The IT revolution led to the Energy revolution that includes Solar PV and Battery storage. This will cause in short order, the total decline of ICE cars to be replaced by far cheaper BEV cars. The maintenance on tases BEVs are about a 1/4 of that for ICE cars. This will leave us with a transport issue and shortage of cars since we do not have and are not planning for BEVs nor for a proper legal framework for energy generation to support BEVs. What to do, any ideas or comments? How to solve this or just how to deal with this? Let’s remember that everything is devolving from centralised to decentralised, for example the mainframe to mobile devices, banks to online banking services. Travel by car and plane to online meetings, from shopping malls to online purchases and delivery from warehouses. Nobody owns the internet and it’s distributed everywhere. The same is busy happening to transport and energy and soon food, Worldwide. It’s inevitable that these trends will hit us hard…. Sooner rather than later.
    2 points
  33. I really have to agree with you on this. Their hardware and quality is great. They have obviously tried to be skant on the Logger and software side of things. I had the 7.4kWh battery myself with this logger. I pulled my hair out trying to use their Ai tech to get the Axpert to work properly. I engaged with them on numerous occasions and they basically did not accept the feedback and in the end I sold the battery. I mean you pay close to R4K for that piece of Logger kit. Great battery poor tech rollout and poor system integration on a very simple machine to control like an Axpert. Pi3 and Solar Assistant many months later, my humble Axpert re-invented in the palm of my hands and im sat thousands of miles out of SA. If only big companies took care of the smaller guy. The smaller guy makes or breaks your street cred!! 87
    2 points
  34. Basil, these are good points you have taken out of here. People also forget that there is a healthy second hand market on here. There are guys on here selling some useful LiFePO4 batteries on here. The LBSA & the BSL batteries I have seen for sale. Great value to get here guys. We have to work smart with our funds these days. Quite a few guys also flogging their MKSll Axpert which is the high Solar Charge Controller Charger model. I also have one for sale with no use. New prices have come down a lot these days. So probably a humble good running MKSll can be bought at R5K or so. Couple that to the LFP batteries at R21K. Then you have a system ready to produce some watts. The prices are dropping as Voltronics has released some new models. The MKS4 is also out at 5.6kW & also the MAX2 which is the 10kW model released and available. The MAX2 retails at +-R25k and the MKS4 at +-R13K. It's a great time because loadshedding is here & some guys either upgrading or scratching round for extra panels or projects. 87
    2 points
  35. Sounds like a 24v system violated you and gave you PTSD There's definitely a place for a 24v config and use cases where they work flawlessly. I don't think it's all as bad as you make out, the Axperts I mean. Those modified sine wave mecer trolley abominations are a seperate conversation though. Recommending your config, a multiplus with a bunch of US3000's and 5kw array just to keep lights, a TV and a computer on during loadshedding is an overkill in my opinion. Agree with @hoohloc- for 30k you can set something up that will get you through loadshedding just fine and also help bring down electricity costs.
    2 points
  36. My current system is a Multiplus 5Kva and 3xUS3000C batteries (with 5.4KW of solar also). I am verry happy with it but was asked by a friend what they could expect to pay for a simple inverter to keep on with daily chores and work. He lives alone, 2 bedroom townhouse and i thought the above mentioned system would be a great way to keep the lights(all LED), computer and TV on during load shedding (And allot better than those inverter trolleys that cost 10K already and boil those cheap lead acid batteries untill they eventually explode... i had one afew years back... was not pretty). I also thought a 3kva system would just manage a kettle or microwave, maybe not though. So what i have learnt from this thread... 24V = no-no, stick to 5kva or above and avoid the cheaper axperts.
    2 points
  37. In SA, it's a kak really really bad idea, my personal opinion and I do think that few people do feed in. Until such time as there are legislation in place allowing a separate grid from Government, it will never make sense. A few reasons why I believe it's not a good idea. You spend your capital for the system, they want the energy basically for free You have to jump through arbitrary hoops to get sign off, it costs the council not a dime, you pay them via tax and your council fees, so they just spend your money The money they earn from you does not go to provide services to you Graft bribery and corruption is rife and these laws and rules are abused to their benefit and against you Any meter, old style or new pre-paid can actually meter both ways, why do you think it trips when sensing your side feeding in. Its just set that way in software to discourage you by annoying you and trip, or billing you, same thing, annoying you Some meters will actually read your feed in and bill it as consumption Paying for a special bi-directional meter is therefore a load of kak bs. It's a scheme to discourage you from Solar by making it not affordable to install. It is merely a means to get you to keep on paying for the corruption and enrichment via your energy bill and not endanger the councils biggest income stream accurate enough I trust, no?
    2 points
  38. JoeyhZA

    Growatt Dongle

    A proper good guy. Good chat and all the best with your solar adventure. Thanks again @Morne SBR
    2 points
  39. Forgot to mention, make sure its the latest version of grafana that fully supports transformations
    2 points
  40. Thank you Sir. When I started to do research even before I joined on here in 2019, there was in general a certain difficulty to decipher the spec sheets of equipment and nowhere to get concise design information about Solar. I then set out to skill myself a little on the subject. Not unlike yourself, I got involved in maintaining TV broadcast equipment, IT equipment and fairly sophisticated crypto radio systems (kinda like Tetra but also frequency hopping with forward error correction) but that was many moons ago. One thing I promised myself was to give back to the community that silently helped me understand. Main reason for documenting my system, it's just one way to go about doing such a system, was to have the info available so others could refer to it. Hence the fact that I documented the why as well as all the rest of the design stages to the fully build system. I am at the current time working on a short design document that will be easier to read and digest.
    2 points
  41. See, I fixed that for ya PV is costly, but absolutely worth it in this country, especially with load shedding, poor not maintenance and forward not planing of infrastructure. You welcome
    2 points
  42. You can safely over wattage the Inverter, there is a video on the Sunsynk youtube channel about it as the Inverter can control the amperage going through it by adjusting the resistance of the inverter. It will not draw more than the rated amps from the panels. The thing to be concerned about is the voltage. The inverter cannot lower the Voltage so you need to make sure you stay well clear of the maximum voltages and take into account spikes due to cold panels etc. Otherwise you can expect flames and smoke! I have 12,740Watts of panels on and East/West split on my 8kw Sunsynk Inverter without any issues.
    2 points
  43. The system in SA, what really are planned (or rather NOT planned) for the future of Energy…. And how this will affect Life and Transport in general. This is not any type of advice at all, it’s an informed opinion piece at best. If you are not moronic ( I assume you are not), do your own research to prove or disprove my opinion for yourself, at you leisure, it may indeed be informative. Get off the grid at any cost! You will save tremendous amounts financially by 2030, and help to bring this Energy madness to an end. This is the only way we can ensure energy independence from the CancERous scammers, and from them bleeding you dry. Energy, Transport and Life is inextricably linked. It seems nobody is really talking about any of this? Hear me out on this. All the regulations and laws around PV have nothing to do technically speaking, with what is connected to the Utility grid, period. If it had anything at all to do with technical requirements, what technical requirements have changed to require new laws, none? IEC standards are in place, just follow those then, or some EU standard or some such. In saying this, it’s not a free for all, we should have standards, technical standards that is, not criminal behaviour and racketeering standards. If its off grid, it’s your business anyhow, apart from wiring and safety, got nothin to do with anybody else. Why in SA, do Escam or the Munics not pay a fair amount for feed in? Unlike in certain places of the World where you can feed in at the same as the billing tariff, you can bank energy there, or buy cheap and charge your battery and sell back at a hight rate, but nobody really wants your energy in SA. You are competition, you reduce their gravy train income stream, you will cause them to not have a Job soon. This is because it is a sure way of preventing Escam and the Munics from fleecing the public, and pilfering the funds. To them, you are the gravy train and they ride you hard! They have salaries to pay and money to waste, to be kind. Most equipment available for sale in SA, conforms to international standards, so you cannot really buy anything that is not conforming to some technical standard or the SA standards. NRS-097-2-1 Code for Grid Connection of Embedded Generators for SA NRS-052-2-2:2012 Photovoltaic Systems for use in individual homes, schools and clinics. SANS-10142-1:2009 The Wiring of Premise – Low Voltage Installations International IEC62446 standard There are no real enforcement on the importation of said equipment, so it is feasible indeed that non conforming equipment are imported and connected to the Utility grid. Caveat Emptor. It is after all your responsibility to ensure you are compliant. Get that CoC for whatever that may be worth, it may be just be a cover your own ass situation in the future. Buy equipment that are safe, so conforming to a standard. Look, the only reason laws are changed, is to allow the CancERous scammers to scam. Red tape are put in place to allow local government people to accept bribes or you are left in limbo, indefinitely. You have to grease the palms to make it work, the African way of sorts. This happens all day every day, even if not directly by the owner, then by proxy. If you were to be caught to be in breach of the law, on any technicality, you are fined or even jailed. They will only go after people and business that are not part of their scheme, it’s a protection racket. They will spend your tax money to prosecute you. See the amaB picture below, we know this is happening on every level, even local government. Case in point, all these laws and standards are only applicable to you, it’s not enforced in places where illegal connections are rife. You can steal as much energy and overload the infrastructure, no problem. For some munics, the stolen energy amounts to more than R20 Billion Randelas…. or about R30-35 Billion combined. And no end in sight, we had a 7 fold increase in price since 2007 already, but that is only applicable to non thieves, talk redistribution hey. Nobody are held accountable at all, nor are the illegal connections ever removed or people making them, prosecuted at all, if we look at this behaviour, its endorsed and encouraged in fact by their lack of action. All they do is make you pay more year after year. Even Escam employees are in on it, there are documented cases on this. Same goes for infrastructure theft, documented involvement of Police officers and Eskom and Council employees in cable theft, to name a few. Prepaid electricity, yea right, there are syndicates (well known by authorities, mind you) that are selling tokens from stolen equipment and they are not blocked from selling, ask yourself why? A simple audit of the legal machines will show the stolen ones. https://amabhungane.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/210712_Karpower-slide_desktop.pdf also a complete index: https://amabhungane.org/stories/special-report-tenders-and-powerships-all-amabs-stories-on-the-rmi4p-emergency-power-bidding-process-karpowership-sa-and-more/ The below is a competitor with another Gas generation bid, and they are suing. Look at the issues with the Karpowerships (hopefully the EIA will finally kill that madness). Let’s unpack a few facts. Eskom’s storage systems, currently mostly pumped water, are not co-located to generating facilities, yet the new bidders for RE and the 20 year long emergency procurement, were required in terms of the bidding conditions to co-locate their storage at great cost. There are no laws for this type of co-location. Yet at the same time, Escam new battery storage proof of concept systems (there are a few in planning and being constructed) are also not co-located, nor will the production units be co-located. See below picture. Escam allows for unlimited wheeling of energy, but nobody else are practically allowed. Now hear the reason for not allowing wheeling, its accounting. Escam recons its too difficult to reconcile wheeling!! This as per the bidding documents for RE bidders. Also you are not allowed to charge the battery banks from Eskom grid. Yet see this: There were other rules too that hamstrung renewable bidders in comparison to Gas power generators: generation units and batteries had to be “co-located”, there would be no “wheeling” by transporting power through the Eskom grid, and batteries could not charge off the grid when there was spare capacity. Eskom defended imposing these rules on the tender, even if they frustrated or eliminated the renewable sector. This was, Eskom told us, to prevent “arbitrage” where a company could buy power cheaply from the grid and sell it back at Eskom at a higher price. “Future batteries may be treated differently,” Eskom said. “Although Eskom did not specifically ask for co-location … the rule for not taking power from the grid was required. This rule for not charging from the grid, effectively mandates co-location! Apart from the arbitrage issue, the complexity in the reconciliation required and the wheeling arrangements to be put in place would make this difficult to administrate.” Per Eskom from amabhungane.org And see this as well: The battery energy storage system (bess) for Eskom. In total, the battery system will comprise 360MW of energy storage at 90 sites in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. These will be container based systems deployed at 90 of their substations for the aforementioned places. Where are the co-location at generating plant now Escam? Keep in mind that we already know that battery prices are dropping by 16-20% per year, about the same for Solar. By 2030, SWBs (Solar Wind Battery systems) will be less to build and operate, than any of the traditional energy generators Operational and fuel costs alone! Yellow dot are the sites for bess. See the BYD battery containers below. Now finally, where does all this leaves us? Between the Coal plant decommissioning and the gap left after the future predicted growth in energy consumption, how will the ideologues fill this gap? This is from the “Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry by the DMRE”. By 2030, Solar PV will only be 6.3% of energy contribution in spite of the plan for all the coal plant being removed. There is a gap…. And 0% Battery storage planned And this is the gap…. And how Eskom proposed to fit the gap vs CSIR’s re-optimised vision. And mind you no freakin battery storage to be seen…. anywhere! And Wind preferred. We already know that battery prices are dropping by 16-20% per year, about the same for Solar. Not pivoting to SWBs ASAP is a clear indication that the Ideology trumps common sense and market forces, its the same with how Residential and Commercial Solar are treated. Its not about what’s good for SA, only what’s good for the CancERous scammers pockets. Running a monopoly means the customer does not feature at all because of no choice. It also means any charge to the customer is accepted. This pricing was already known in 2015! Artificially introduced limits, only to Solar and Wind. Battery storage does not even feature! Just look at them black horizontal lines representing where we will end up at. This is what happens if you fcuk up your LCOE and other predictions, but especially the LCOE, and they really screwed up! So now the future planning is way way off. New tender requests requires the wrong sources so the future commitments are all BS, and hence our gap in energy as per the above images. LCOE or Levelised Cost Of Energy simply means cost comparison for various sources on equal terms. So how will SA life and transport be affected? Get off the grid at any cost! You will save tremendous amounts financially by 2030, and help to bring this madness to an end. This is the only way the ensure energy independence from the CancERous scammer from bleeding you dry. The portion of our income we will spend on energy (and by definition on transport) will get alarmingly large, if it's not that already. As the rest of the World pivots to renewables and EVs, we are going to have a tough choice to make in SA. In another thread on here I discussed EVs and Energy specifically. By the end of this decade, we going to be at the abyss from an energy standpoint. in 10-20 years, all the stuff that we know today is going to be different, for sure. Glad the hear your opinions....
    2 points
  44. Hi @JoeyhZA and @Antonio de Sa Unfortunately I cannot help, I imported a few SACOLAR inverter (basically the growatt ES) The aftersales service I received was atrocious to say the least, been begging them for months for inverter boards and eventually I had to pay for new inverter board even though they are warranty claims. Even after I paid I had to keep begging them, telling them that my customers are pissed at me and inadvertently my service. They just keep saying they don't have stock, basically it is more important to them to sell more units instead of aftersales support. Eventually it just came to a point where I offered all the customers a refund if their inverters popped. I would never in my life recommend a growatt/sacolar inverter to anyone ever again. Unfortunately the fact that the AC breaker input trips is not a battery problem, HOWEVER, try turning the AC output breaker off. this is what happens with my system at home. The growatts ignore the commands not to charge the batteries from AC, they start charging from AC at max power and power your house in bypass mode and the result is an overcurrent on the AC input breaker. At my house the AC input breakers are always turned off, if my batteries get flat i switch over to Eskom manually and then the next day when the batteries have charged and I get home from work I flip back to the inverters. Hope this resolves your issue. If you have the bucks for it, get a LuxPower inverter/Same price range as the Growatt, recently tested one, man o man, what an improving of an inverter over Growatt. I actually listens to you if you tell it it can only charge of AC at 1a for example, also has allot better monitoring and the settings of the inverter over the web are actually allot better. With the newest firmware update of my battery you can get the AH of all batteries connected in parallel also displayed on the inverter.
    2 points
  45. Hi @Vaal, That was actually a response to another user that was extremely rude, so rude that the moderators deleted his comment, that should say plenty about the quality of the other users comment? I was simply asking why the battery was being sold and then I get a sarcastic and rude comment from a user that has nothing constructive to add.
    2 points
  46. TimCam

    My Standby Power System

    Once you're complete with your install, Eskom won't load-shed for months to come.
    2 points
  47. My 5kw went from 9.9amps to 11 amp per mppt after software update. There was some discussion about this somewhere on the forum. the amps is not really the issue as the inverter would just clip it if it went over (of course within reason). Usually you have to look at the Isc of the panel. On rainy \ cloudy days when the panels are cold and sun comes out you could even exceed the panel rating for short periods.
    2 points
  48. Let me explain to you that I understand that a heat pump is "better" than geyser and let me take on the battery systems as well. Something you have to understand I agree there is a place for heat pumps and there is a place for batteries I am not arguing that. What I am saying not in my home I do not like expensive white elephants that keeps on demanding attention. A frien of mine installed a power wall and all. Over the R200K and they all ready have fancy battery issues.... These systems ask more money and attention than "skelmpie.". The cost of a heat pump: R 15 000 AND HOW LONG DES IT LAST and what is the cost to fix it? In my case my electricity bill was more than R3K not sure how much it will be today and my water bill was > R 2000. Today my water is 0 and my electricity is < R 0.00 That is a tax free savings of more than R5500 per month. Some facts: My computer is on 24/7 I have a 60 000l koi pond/reservoir I have +/- 17 000l swimming pool. 4 fridges 3 large size TV's A geyser and ... In this winter I was building stuff and used only +/- 50% of my solar system . Let me also mention this that for all practical purposes its two families and the most my electricity was R884 for July. Two families each pays R440 if you wish. And I give my neighbor free water. All from my solar system You must understand I do not do this "digging" I will die of boredom. So I dig and scratch my hobby is my work and my work is my hobby. So I play. I listen what people say do a test bed and then see what is the most "COST EFFECTIVE" solution. Therefor my statement if you can afford R 100 000 for batteries then obviously don't listen to me. The question is how many live in A > R 6M house and wants to save on a few Rand's of electricity. Some one very dear and close to me install one of these fancy products and by luck his geyser was set correctly and there was no change. This person listen to a salesman and at the end there was no savings. Trust me it was far more than R1000 the cost. Therefore my main aim for these debates are to show people you can start small expand and then start using the councils money to build your system. You do not have to spend R 40 000 to start saving. Therefore it would be far better for a person to install a solar geyser with some sort of collector than to buy a heat pump at a huge cost. The reality is for +/- R 2000 and a bit of labor you can convert your own geyser and have an immediate impact. Or even better take the R 900 as payment towards a gas hob and immediate you will see the difference. Telling people you need R 50 K batteries, R 30 K heat pump and then R15 K fancy electronics to sound and look smart put it out of reach of +/- 90% in SA. But a gas hob of R 2000 is in reach and its an immediate saving. That is then the first brick of the power saving lego blocks. The next is to do the geyser and will cost +/- R3000 and all of a sudden for R5000 and no fancy electronics the savings are noticeable. I saw a advert on gumtree for R1000 as the person wanted to upgrade. It is a vacuum tube system ... It is this what I thought this article is about. Not to spend money that a lot of people can never reach. But once you spend it on the right stuff then for sure in 4/5 years you will be able to afford batteries and what ever and then you get either the council or the sun to pay. I am sure that this person who asked the question is looking at a better priced system or solutions rather than spending R150K on equipment that you will never have a ROI with an account of R 1500. Therefore my "aggression" towards fancy electronics and gimmicks that makes sale people look smart. Remember I live and eat electronics so I am not anti that stuff. We should be realistic and help people to start get out of the grip of those that steel from us and that is my aim. Do I have anything against a heat pump no. I just can't see how on earth am I going to get R20K back in 3 years on R 1500 electricity account. I assure you this person if he installs a gas hob he will immediately see the difference then he will be exited for the next step and then before long he will have his own solar and ... Once people realize you can by a starter and expand more will go this way. But how on earth do you tell some one start by spending R20K on a heat pump, R 50K on batteries and you have not saved a single penny? There is absolutely no logic in it. Does this mean I am anti some of these devices no not at all. Therefore what I am trying to achieve is to have a path from where a person can see the end goal and achieve step by step success with out hurting monthly expenses. PLEASE I DO NOT THINK YOU CAN'T AFFORD FANCY STUFF. I am only trying to lay out a basic plan from where the most money get wasted and then you can build on with other blocks and pieces and listen to those and then waste money on geyser wize, batteries and heat pumps. But first get the basics in place that you waste council money and not your own. Yes batteries has it place, heat pumps to but only for those who can afford it and who wants to waste their hard earned money.
    2 points
  49. Hi thank you 0012! Yes it does matter indeed. That is not the optimal way to mount this from a cooling point of view. I am making a rather large aluminium plate to bolt the MPPT too. That will have a much larger surface area and use heat sink compound to help with the interface heat transfer from the heat sink to the plate. It will be better even than the heat sink alone mounter the normal way.
    2 points
  50. The biggest advantage is making them work properly with the C version. We deal with a lot of the installers, suppliers and en users out there, and we have noticed a situation where B's and C's in a mixture ends up giving an error, which (thus far) seems to be resolved when all of them are on the latest firmware. If you don't have that situation, then the default principle applies: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    2 points
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