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Good evening all,

I'm new to the crazy world that is solar. I'm looking at getting my first system installed and my word, there is a [email protected] load to learn.

- I stay on the south coast in the EC

- I have an asbestos roof that faces approximately NW and SE. It is a very low pitch, I would guess below 20. The old building plans I found don't indicate what it is.

- I have a large rear garden where I could build a NE facing structure (that could double as an entertainment area). The wall is 8.8m across and there is about 18m of grass to the shed. I can't go too close to the shed because the neighbors have a huge tree there that would block the low winter sun. 

- we use about 26 units a day

- 0.75kw pool pump running 10 hours a day

- 150L kwikot geyser is outside and on a Geyserwise. Running 6am - 9am and 6pm - 8pm and set to 60 C.

- 0.75kw DAB water pump pushing water form tanks into the house.

- home office running about 200W 14 hours a day.

- lots of LED lights. a gate motor, security alarm, etc.

After checking what some friends have installed (all have Goodwe), and how they using their systems, I'm leaning towards:

- 12 x JA Solar 455W Mono MBB Percium Half-Cell Silver Frame MC4

- 2 or 3 x Pylontech US3000C 3.5kWh 

- Sunsynk 5kW Hybrid Inverter

I'll split the house on essential and non essential circuits. Essential would be home office, all lights, fridge, alarm, gate motor, water pump that get used day and night. Non essential would be all plugs, geyser, pool, oven, stove, dishwasher, washing machine, etc. I hoping that there is excess solar, then it can be used on the non essential circuit when the sun is shining.

1. Do you think that the system above would work nicely?

2. I assume the non essential circuit must still go through the inverter if I want excess solar to go into it? This would mean that I need the 8kw Sunsync?

3. If Eskom goes down, would the solar still be producing power or does it kick over to batteries? 

4. I can get one of those Geyserwise Titanium PTC elements if it would make a difference? It is just 2 and a half people showering every day, and washing dishes once a day.

Your opinions would be greatly appreciated. If I'm way off, please let me know. 

 

P.S. I still don't understand the neutral / live bonding thing on the Sunsync/inverters. That is a story for another day... I need excess brain power for that.

 
  • 12 replies

Hey all,

Happy Christmas Eve!

Wish it was happier for us....

We were tricked into purchasing a 5kVa Growatt and selling it to a Pastor Wesley Solomon at Founders Memorial Congregational Church in Coronationville.

 

He claimed to have been scammed too many times that now only did COD and would not pay a deposit.

 

Hubby delivered the Inverter, ther grounds keeper signed for it and produced a cheque. 

Cheque was completely legit, problem was it was donkey years old and the account didnt exist anymore.

Conned out of 10k the day before Christmas.

Be safe and careful guys, these people really dont give 2 hoots what position you in and what your family is facing.

December has us R22250 down so far and a R21500 loss on a vehicle due to age....

 

Down and out but we managed to get the kids at least a lil something.

 

Merry Christmas all, take care.
  • 15 replies

Victron DIY Install
Got the sign-off from CoCT about a month ago, so my DIY solar project is finally done and dusted. Thanks to everyone on the forum that provided advice - I probably would have stuffed it up if it wasn't for you.

The whole project took about three months of evenings and weekends to finish, and was a welcome distraction from the current state of the world.

 


4 strings of 4 Canadian Solar 400Wp poly panels in series, facing NNE.

 


Another string of 4 Canadian Solar 400Wp panels in series, facing WNW.

All five strings are paralleled together for a combined 8kWp.

 


This is my main DB. CoCT installed a new split prepaid meter. According to the technician that installed it it has built-in reverse power blocking. I have tested it to see what it does when I try to feed in power in to the grid, and it charges me in both directions. That is perfectly fine in my opinion - much preferable to it tripping when there is momentary feed-in.

Grid power is measured by an ET112. There is a breaker that connects the main DB to the solar installation in the scullery:


Top-left is the AC DB. Top-right is the DC combiner box. Bottom left is the Multiplus II 5kVA inverter, and bottom middle the SmartSolar 250/100 MPPT. The SmartSolar was initially running a bit hot for my liking, so I mounted it on a 6mm thick aluminium plate which brought down peak temperatures from 82C to 65C. Bottom-right is the Victron Cerbo. The battery cabinet on the floor contains 5 PylonTech US2000 batteries for a total nominal capacity of 12kWh. I've set it to 80% DoD:

 

 


Close-up of the DC buses.

 


Close-up of the AC DB, with and without cover.

 



Close-up of the DC combiner box, with and without cover.

The geyser and oven, as well as the swimming pool DB are connected to the main DB, so those are unpowered when there is loadshedding. The AC DB in the scullery is connected to the output of the Multiplus, so all the essential loads stay powered when grid power goes down.

 
  • 14 replies

Hi Guys. My new installation. 24 x 390w JA Mono solar panels with an 8kw Sunsynk inverter and 2 x 5kwh Bull Lithium batteries.  More pics to follow soon...
  • 169 replies

This poll is designed to generate useful and engaged information from both consumer and installer. With the developing hype of super capacitors, we want to investigate and determine the right conclusion as to where its role is in South Africa presently and potentially in the next 4 years.

Please take the poll and share so we can all benefit from the results.
  • 0 replies

Hello guys, I am a Swiss highschool student and I would like to buy a solar panel 100W, 12v.



I am very curious about this field and I really would like to use in the future 100% renewable energy.😊<br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;"><br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;">So I need to go step by step and my first step is to buy a 100W/ 12v solar panel to can charge my laptop and my phone.So this solar panel is enough to charge a laptop right?




Here are my other questions:
For a 100W, 12V solar panel, do we need a charge regulator, a 12V battery, as well as a 300W voltage converter, from 12V to 230V (for example), to be able to charge a laptop ?

If the solar panel produces less than 12V due to little sunlight, does the battery not store anything anymore because it is a 12V battery or can it still store? If it does not store, that would mean in this case, that I should take a battery with a lower voltage such as 6V for example? Can it then store enough energy or is it “full” very quickly?
In this case, would that mean that the charge regulator and the voltage converter must also be able to accept 6V? How can I mesure the voltage of a battery?

How long does it take ~ for a 12v battery to be fully full without using it at all?



<br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;">Also, I am not sure I understood everything about the inverter, which kind of inverter should I use for a 100W/ 12v solar panel? (I prefer the inverter than the DC power supply because it seems easier). Can it be like that if I want to charge my laptop? (Sorry it is written in french...)<br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;"><br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;"><br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;">Also, so for the battery I have better to choose a 6v battery for my solar panel like this one?<br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;"><br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;">Or it isn't a good idea?<br style="background-color:#fefefe;color:#000000;font-size:15px;">( I would like an inverter and a battery cheap but which work quite well even if they are not expensive, if it is possible)
Last question: How do you link several batteries together?
These are my main questions and I apologize for bothering you with them.



 



Have a nice day!🙂
  • 26 replies

I'm new to lithiums after recently replacing my lead acids. I have 2 x 3.5kW Pylontechs.

I'm looking for the sweet spot where I will get good battery life as well as maximum utilisation of the bank at night. I do understand the technology is new so there's no real data out there.

Currently I'm drawing down to 25% before switching to grid, but the Axpert powers itself from the batteries so this causes a further slow drop of a few %. Never goes below 20% which is my personal comfort zone limit. I'll likely modify this strategy for load shedding to leave a little more in should I need to go back to battery at 4am.

What's the feeling on this? Am I cycling too deep, or not maximising ROI?
  • 20 replies

I am new here, been building up my system for some time now.

Started with the following a bit more than a year ago purely for loadshedding backup. System started as follows:

1. Axpert 5KVA (Mecer)
2. 4 x Vision 200ah AGM's

After a year I started having problems with the batteries and decided to upgrade to Pylontech and also at the same time bit the bullet and ordered the panels to start producing own power. Connecting the Pylontech's to the Axpert I realized that communication between batteries and inverter was not going to work, so also ordered the Raspberry PI with ICC software

System currently as follows:

1. Axpert 5KVA (Mecer)
2. 2 x Pylontech US3000
3. 6 x Canadian Solar 365W Poly KuMax
4. Raspberry PI with ICC software

Will be adding two more Pylontech US3000's (for total battery backup of 14 Kwh) as well as 6 more 365W panels in the next month or two

I will probably be asking a lot of questions as I have been lurking these forums as a guest for a long time looking for answers to all of life's power questions

Attached a few photos of my setup
  • 12 replies

In this video we asked Keith several questions about Sunsynk and its role in South Africa. Keith is based in China and sent us an excellent and informative video to our request. This video interview offers you a strong insight into Keith’s thinking, design philosophy and the journey he took to create Sunsynk and its development.

Key Takeaways

Kieth is a certified Electrical Engineer


Sunsynk started in marine outfitting mainstream shipping and yachts.


South Africa is marked as a major market


Sunsynk is over 10 years old


Sunsynk is developing large scale inverters up to 100kw with imbalance modes


Parallel up to 15 Sunsynks together
  • 0 replies

Sunsynk Install in Sedgefield
This is my install done by Suidsee Electrical & Solar.
The attached pictures was taken over the 5 days of the install, so this is not the final picture. Those pictures I will take after I did some rounding off work (paint, cover for battery, etc)
Take note, the installation is mostly done by the owner of Suidsee himself, which you can hand your house keys to and go on holiday.

Here we go:

 
  • 15 replies

Good day Good people, I recently installed an Inverter with lithium ion Battery. I have also already mounted the Mounting brackets and rails for the 4x 365W Canadian PV Panels to be mounted, However I have not yet mounted the Panels, as I still need to submit the application forms and gain the permission from City of Cape Town to do the installation. This is the first time I have done this and I am having a difficult time with the completion of the application forms. Is there please anyone that can assist me with this? I would really appreciate it and I am also willing to pay for the assistance, maybe a regular solar installer that is familiar with this procedure.  
  • 5 replies

Just installed a Sunsynk 8kw inverter DIY and want to share some info.

We use about 1000kwh (units) per month in our house so about 33 per day with about half in the day and half after PV hours. This is about average for a family home I recon in SA.

Already have 2 Solar geysers, gas plates and all lights LED.

I wanted to be independent from the grid as much as possible which weighed heavier than economics although my return is still acceptable and higher after tax than any risk free investment. The whole house runs through the inverter including oven, the solar geyser AC elements, all plugs etc. Only the 4 Aircons is supplied before the inverter but with the Sunsynk CT which fit over the supply line the inverter will push electricity to them too if sufficient PV and battery power are available. I have one normal plug before inverter for if I have to weld or use heavy machinery.

I Installed:

Sunsynk 8kw  Brilliant inverter easy to do DIY and with help from Powerforum posts.

Jinko Mono Cheetah 400w panels * 18 - Connected in 2 series - 9 each. 9 panels in series match perfectly, max voltage around 410V real life in October (Sunsynk specs max 450V) and producing 97% of rated panel watts (3500w per string) max.  Fitted on aluminium rails on tile roof. Fitting the brackets under tiles is quite a job got my son to do that. 6mm PV cable running in PVC conduit from panels to inverter.

One set is facing West and the other facing North. I think if you can get East and west facing panels that is ideal, as you need PV power early in the morning to charge low batteries and then you want to produce as late as possible in the afternoon to have full batteries going into evening. Although not the ideal orientation PV panels are cheaper than additional batteries.

Pylontech US3000 * 5 These batteries when 100% charged at 5pm run the whole house through the night (have about 20 outside lights 3 pc's etc) and start to charge at 6am from west panels on around 30% SOC in October.

By 11:30 am the batteries are normally 100% charged, then I boost the geysers through Geyserwise on free electricity to increase their temperature so that they are still warm in the morning.

PV protection DB with fuses, surge arrestors and DC isolators.

Fuse and isolator between Batteries and Inverter

Grounding ROD and all earth wiring.

AC CB and change over switch etc in AC DB with relay for earth neutral bond

 

Total cost about R 210 000 (ex own labour) except for heavy overcast days I am not using any power from Tshwane, bill was about R1800-R2000 per month.

The feeling when the kettle and iron etc are on during the day and you know that it is not costing you anything (yes i know it is kinda) is priceless.

 

 

 
  • 41 replies

I am doing my first install and basically want it setup as per Victron ESS system. it will run on battery / PV expect if it gets to 20% SOC. i have looked at the seetings and manuals but i am a bit puzzled . Can anyone help me ?
  • 27 replies

Hi

Dreaming about solar... not because of Escom, but because it's cool stuff. Never got so far to make the jump. The >100K always found another place where it was spend (sometimes on very big white elephants).

Today, I made the dive and transferred the payment of my first solar system. (With luck on my side, I will be dead before the panels read their end of life)

Sunsynk 8


6.4 BSL Bull


JA Solar 405 Mono's


and all the other related goodiest
 



A very big thank you to the guys from Power Forum Store for the good prices, good courier costs and excellent service.

I will start a post on my build so that other can see how a newbie tries to figure out all this nice goodies.


 
  • 16 replies

Looking for suggestions on someone to install a rainwater system in Deep South, Cape Town.

I'm on a hill, top of the property is about 30m higher than the bottom.

 

House 1 (lower house)

I have a 2500L tank already fed from the roof.  (Probably could do with another tank or a much larger one as it fills to overflowing when it rains!)
Would like to feed the water into the toilet and use the rainwater for flushing, and for it to be fairly hands off.

Any people you can recommend?

 

House 2 (upper house, same plot; still being built)

I have a small stream of water coming down the mountain and ending up in the basement/garage.  Would like to save some of it, instead of using gravity to get rid of it (a hosepipe currently, dripping away day in day out).  It's not much water, but it's continuous, and seems to last a few months into summer, then gone till next winter.
I have plenty of space on the plot, and am not adverse to adding more tanks as needed.

Give me ideas!

 

 

 
  • 21 replies

Hi Guys I am new to the forum. I need some help here I am based near Alexander Bay. I am on a farmstead on the river my electriciry bill and loadshedding is killing me... my montly usage is average 62400 units of electricity per month I do a little farming but my main power consumption is my hatchery this has to run 24 hours per day I breed Austrolops and Rhode Island white chickens and a couple of quail breeds some are imported and not common in SA my main problem is power consumption and loadshedding I have lost a lot of eggs!! This is costing me a huge amount of money in losses and income... I have been following the forum for a couple of months and decided to join as a member. I have a limited budget of arround 500k I know its not a lot but thats my limit. I need a solar power solution with battery backup to save my farming opperation. I have read a lot about Sunsynk inverters and Victron inverters on the forum also the pylontech batteries. The problem I have is that Iam close to the coast and we have a lot of cloud cover through out the year and I don't want to waste my money I need a sound solution I would even consider wind power some times the wind can blow strong here I have looked at Tessup and EKalahari wind turbines I must say that the Vertical axis turbines by Ekalahari look very tempting to me. So with all this said I need some quotes on solar equipment and wind power and what would be advisable a local company in Alexander bay has quoted me for a system and they seem very expensive so good sound advice would be appreciated. I also need advice if I should try to install the system myself or do you recommend good installers. I have lots of north facing steel roof space available and my eskom power connection is three phase I run the hatchery and a borehole and basic houshold appliances my main power consumption is the hatchery my house only uses 18 units per day the rest is for the farming opperation. Thank you I am a desperate farmer..
  • 17 replies

I'm liking the new VRM Portal interface.

Do i need to run some updates on my venus, inverters and charger after the portal update?
  • 7 replies

Newbie-ish
Been following this forum from the shadows and quietly watching and learning. Finally I took the plunge!

Bought 120kg of laptop batteries ( areal leap of faith!), 3 Liitokalla Battery capacity tester, 4 lithium battery chargers, pliers, soldering gun, solder, PVC piping (initial battery holders), 5x4 18650 holders from china, 7s BMS from china, server cabinet, multimeter, glass fuses and the list goes on and on!

The hardware at hand was, 24V 2400W inline UPS and an unlimited amount of foolhardiness. I will post some pictures of the current temporary setup, was forced to put it in production to keep the lights on! The house has not burnt down just yet so i will push on in getting the system properly assembled and connected to the DB.
  • 48 replies

After 5 years (yes one of those back burner projects) I am communicating with my Axpert using my own scripts. A Czech Axpert user, Josef Kriegelstein  has a pair of commands MNCHGC1497 and MNCHGC1498 to cause the Axpert to go into standby mode and revert to normal. They look more like charging current commands.

I have used them to no success, getting a NAKss response from the inverter. Anyone had any success getting a inverter to switch off. I have a pair of inverters and after 6pm there is not much sense having both running.
  • 30 replies

Powerforum Store Is Open!
Dear Everyone

I hope my post finds you well. The Powerforum Store is open! Please do find our attached price guide and contact details attached. We are fully able to assist with installations great and small to the highest standards and quality. We would love your support as it very much assists us with the upkeep of this great community. Thank you everyone!

Sincerely

Jason Back (Energy)

Pwer Forum Store Price List (1).pdf
  • 40 replies

New member and Fresh solar system
Hi Guys,

Let me start by saying this looks like an awesome forum. Tons of information here. Also the community looks like a bunch of epic people.

 

Now let me also start by saying what system I have installed and how its currently running:

 

330W X15 solar panels.

RCT - Inverter 5kva MK2

Polytech 2000 battery

BMS box - Has not been setup.

 

I want to system to run as follows:

During the day it must run on solar and at night I want it to run on eskom. I only want to battery to be used/run off when we have load shedding.

 

Currently its using the battery and solar during the day and thats fine with me as long as the battery does not go below 60%.

I have yet to setup the BMS box as I have no clue on how to do this.

 

Would any of you mind the recommend settings for my inverter giving the above scenario.

Currently my house uses about 2000w constantly during the day and at night time 1300w. There is the odd jump to 4000w when we turn on the kettle or vacuum machine.

I did order a pi from icc with the software.

 

Anyway any help would be awesome.,

 
  • 20 replies

Firstly hello to everyone on the forum i'm really glad to have found a lot of oke's willing to share their knowledge with everyone. I have been looking into doing my own solar setup for some time now for even though the diy route seems daunting . I'm looking into a system to firstly help me combat load shedding and run as an UPS. I do not want to feed power into the grid or go full off grid. For now i only want to power an essential load of a 1000w that needs to run for 4-5 hours in the event of grid failure. The initial system will be without solar only drawing power from the grid. I will install solar at a later date.

I've made the jump from buying an growatt inverter to rather getting a hybrid inverter as well as  choosing Li-on batteries instead of AGM and because of this my budget is wrecked!

My first choice is the Deye 5kw inverter but after reading very good reviews of the Goodwe ES 4.6kw inverter i'm wondering if it is not worth the extra cost? What are the main differences between the 2 and is the Goodwe the more reliable inverter at the end of the day? Can either inverter when solar is installed be set to switch from the solar directly to grid and not use the battery except when the grid is down?

My second conundrum is choosing between the Dyness 3.6kwh and the Pylon tech us3000 3.5kwh. I see most forum members use the pylon tech and that the dyness is a newly established company (2017) So i guess the pylon is the best choice? Will 2 of these be enough for at least 4 hours at a 1000w draw?

Thanks 

George 

 

 

     
  • 48 replies

I have two US3000 Pylontechs (3.5kw each).  My Deye 8kw inverter was default programmed to run down to 80% DOD then moves to grid power.  I get maybe 2/3 hours of battery use after sunset before switching to grid.  Questions:

- What DoD can I safely set the system to without damaging the Pylontech batteries - would like it to last 10 years!

- Lowest DOD that is recommended for these batteries?

- The Deye BMS is configured for Pylon Li batteries - does it automatically choose the rate of charge at the optimum level - the inverter settings only ask for the max charging amps

 

 
  • 38 replies

i would like the alarm system to switch on the outside lights if an alarm is triggered. The alarm system (Paradox) has programmable PGM outputs (12V 700mA) i could use to generate the required "on" signal. How do i use this signal to switch on the lights? The system would have to operate wireless. 
  • 15 replies

Good evening everyone,

My finger is hovering over the button to buy my home solar system and I'd really appreciate some informed opinions. The basics consist of 12 x 340W JA panels and 2 x 2.4 kWh Pylons, with a hybrid inverter - and I've narrowed the choice to either the Deye (Sunsynk) 5kW or the Kodak 4.6kW Hybrid.

The Kodak would seem to be a South African product, appearing nowhere else in the world... That's not comforting. I believe that it is a rebadged Solis; should that calm my nerves?

What about their relative reliability? Supplier / manufacturer support? If anyone has experience to share I'd be very grateful.

Whilst I'm here, any thoughts on installation costs? It is a fairly simple install, panels on a single pitched corrugated roof with clear access to the main db and plenty of space for the inverter and batteries within 3m.

Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen, would be valued.
  • 34 replies

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