Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.
If you have made a purchase from the Powerforum Store may ask you to please rate us on google reviews: HERE
Your rating helps us tremendously.
- 1 reply
DieITou posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
Need a bit of advice please on the way forward with current install with the max amount of panels I can add.
Currently the system is about a year old. Kodak OG 5.48, 8x Canadian 365w KuMax panels (8s) , 4.8kwh Shoto Lith.
Specs on Inverter: Max PV 5KW, MPPT range 120-430 VDC, max VOC 500 VDC. Not 100% confirmed but max input current on one or two sites 18A
Panels spec on 1000 W/m2: Pmax 365W, Vmp 39.8V, Imp 9.18A, Voc 47.2v, Isc 9.75A
The system is running great, powering everything on essential side, stuff left on non-essential is geyser and oven (got a gas hob). Got a plan in mind for the geyser so thats why the question regarding more panels and helps a bit with overcast.
A friend of mine who installed the same time as me and his panels are out of the same batch as mine is planning to change his 6 panels he has to 450w+ panels.
At last I can get to the question. I'm thinking of taking over his panels and maybe running a 6p2s ( 4.38Kw 18.36A, VOC 283.2v) or 7p2s (5.1Kw, 18.36A, VOC 330.4v) configuration. but with the series config I'll be pushing the input current to 18.36.
Any input will be much appreciated. roof real-estate is not a problem can accommodate parallel strings and is pointing 357 degrees (N)
- 6 replies
zathras posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
I have been lurking in the forum for a while and am considering a grid tied installation.
I would like some advice for or against if anyone has an opinion or experience with these panels above.
I had never heard of them until 2 days ago, but they do seem promising based on what I was able to find from web research, YouTube, etc.
They were suggested by the installer.
See attached link, http://www.znshinesolar.com/product/zxm6-nh144/
The installer I may go with has done some big commercial installations, formed his own company and has done an installation at a family member's house and at his colleagues houses. So comes with a good reputation.
He suggested the Deye 5kw inverter, but I am leaning towards the sunsynk based on everything I have read here.
Other informative details: single phase, prepaid meter, 500kwh monthly usage, johanesburg location, solar geyser, gas stove. Have a separate Ellies powercube ups for router and fibre. Also have the mecer 200ah llifepo4 second Life battery and small 600w inverter to charge laptops for working from home (this was my first trip down the power backup rabbit hole :-). Would like to keep the essentials going during loadshedding and subsequent outages.
- 2 replies
- 68 replies
Second round on today and is a very interesting format with some big racing names involved.
A electric racing SUV with a difference, amazing how they throw them around and how they perform.
The have a 40kw usable battery developed by Williams Advanced Systems.
Just thought this would be of interest for some forum members!
- 5 replies
- 22 replies
Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe has published new embedded generation regulations for public comment, in a move that is expected to help limit the impact of load shedding.
The gazette effectively raises the threshold for embedded generation from 1MW to 10MW, providing businesses and private individuals more room to build their own electricity supply away from Eskom’s grid.
However, the gazette includes the proviso that private groups who plan to use this embedded generation will have to register with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).
President Cyril Ramaphosa previously announced that government would look at increasing the embedded generation limit in his February 2021 state of the nation address.
“Recent analysis suggests that easing the licensing requirements for new embedded generation projects could unlock up to 5,000 MW of additional capacity and help to ease the impact of load shedding,” he said.
“We will therefore amend Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act 4 of 2006) within the next three months to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation.
“This will include consultation among key stakeholders on the level at which the new threshold should be set and the finalization of the necessary enabling frameworks.”
A report published in March by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shows that South Africa now spends more than 10% of the year load shedding, which has serious knock-on effects for business and consumers.
The report shows that 2020 saw 859 hours of load shedding – seemingly the most intense year of blackouts yet.
“In 2020, load shedding occurred for 859 hours of the year (9.8%) with an upper limit of 1,798 GWh relative to actually achieved energy shed of 1,269 GWh,” the CSIR said.
The most intensive load shedding was seen before the Covid-19 lockdown, which accounted for 63% of all load shedding seen in 2020. Most of this was stage 2 load shedding, the research body said.
- 55 replies
I am blown away by how useful the logger on the Sunsynk is. We need some assistance in reducing the consumption.
To give some context, we're four people in the main house where we have the solar solution (soon to be five), and then two in the cottage where my folks live. We've identified some wasteful loads that we can address, but others are a bit tricky to address.
The main house consumption only deviates a little bit as we have a gas stove and geyser. During the day we try to introduce the heavy loads only when there is sufficient sun and battery capacity to handle the peaks. The cottage has an electric stove and geyser.
1. Stove / Oven - we're looking into a modern gas stove / oven (not the gas stove electric oven combo). We should have that installed in a few weeks once we've decided on a model so this isn't a major concern.
2. Then there is the geyser. I have a number of ideas I want to try, but for the most part, I don't know how to get rid of the thing. So far the best I've come up with is a thermal blanket as it's insulation is very poor. And then of course a timer to shift as much of the load to the day. I would have liked to install a gas water heater such as the one we have in the main house, but the old folks don't like 'personality' of the gas heaters and I don't want my solar hobby to become a point of contention.
I would appreciate some ideas to solve this problem without diminishing their enjoyment and convenience of hot water. I also looked at solar geyser, but I know too little about this at the moment, and I am concerned it will just shift the power problem to the winter when sun is not sufficient to heat the geyser.
3. Small loads that add up to a lot of power. We still have to identify these little buggers. They're all over the place. For example, I have three fridges and a freezer, and then the fridge and freezer in the cottage, plus the fridge in the caravan. Just switching off the fridge in the caravan noticably dropped our usage over night but we're still hunting for other items to disable. We're between 450W and 850W the whole night (excepting the geyser of course) which still depletes the batteries way before morning. But we'll carry on hunting for these culprits.
So my main concern at the moment is how to reduce and shift the geyser consumption as much as possible. Thermal blanket and timer are a start, but do we consider a solar geyer or heat pump? Or even a modern electric gas water heater with electric control etc.? I would very much appreciate your perspective on this.
- 59 replies
I have put together a few solar systems for a few lights and charging cellphones.
However I need to put a system together to run a fridge and a few lights for a few hours.
No idea where to start.
What solar panels to get, inverter needed, solar controller etc.
Any advice appreciated.
- 6 replies
Gremlin posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
- 12 replies
Trev501 posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
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,
- 6 replies
JohanM posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
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.
- 30 replies
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!
- 21 replies
In total 60 panels, 3x Sunsynk 8Kw inverters and 3x 30 Kva Freedom won batteries. I can’t find any info how to program Sunsynk to run master and slaves.
- 20 replies
- 408 replies
Kerry posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
- 16 replies
Just a quick post with some pictures on what the popular Pylontech batteries look like on the inside vs the latest Hubble battery. Big difference on the quality. Some corrosion already occuring on the Pylontech. Hubble has BYD NMC prismatic cells and its 1C.
- 230 replies
The RIOT Cloudlink is causing a stir in the market currently and we were hoping to announce in the next month more about it, however we have been inundated with questions and we have been asked to release a sneak preview for discussion.
WHAT IS RIOT
RIOT Systems with Hubble Lithium have developed a A.I. comms device that enables the Hubble range of Lithium batteries to have full CAN Bus and Cloud monitoring capability.
The RIOT device is an optional addon to the Hubble X and AM range of products and will allow your Hubble to integrate with almost any CAN bus Inverter including SMA, Victron, Growatt, GoodWE, Sunsynk, Deye inverters on the market. This is made possible by the RIOT CAN bus protocol, which encapsulates 5 CAN bus protocols.
The RIOT is in Beta testing to add Axpert and Phocos inverters for full communication and cloud monitoring for the Huble range of Lithium batteries. What this means is that there will be 2 way communication and full integration released in the next few weeks with a firmware update OTA for your RIOT device that will enable full Axpert integration with the AM Range, and X-200 batteries. (The X-100 is not supported for 2-way Axpert integration. Only monitoring).
We will release the Phocos Any-Grid firmware update OTA in the next 7 days for full 2-way integration between the AM-2 and the Phocos inverters. Our partnership with Phocos to integrate the Hubble range of batteries have been a priority since 2020.
14 days after that we should be ready to release Axpert MKSII, VMIII, KING & MAX Protocol firmware updates to enable full 2-way communication.
Where can I get a RIOT?
The Powerforum store will be a distributor of the product.
We are looking forward to their review of the product.
More information will be made available in due course. You can read more here or see a demo of the Cloudlink Dashboard in Action on the following link: https://www.hubblelithium.co.za/riot.html
- 23 replies
coachpotato posted a topic in Starting In Solar? Feel free to introduce yourself,
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.
- 45 replies
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.
- 21 replies
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.
- 50 replies