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Are electrical Joins allowed in the roof?
Good day,
I have had some additional plugs installed at my house by a contractor.  I am mildly unimpressed with the quality of work.   Being rather handy my self i'm happy that the work however messy and rushed, shouldn't burn my house down. 

However I am not familiar with the legislation and laws around passing electrical compliance. Hence the reason for the contractor.

 

I have several concerns with their install.

1: are joins in the roof allowed? If so can you just twist them with some electrical tape? Or does one have to use a chocolate block in some sort of box or enclosure.

2: Can you run single strand cables in the roof without conduit? I think you can with twin flex.

3: Does color coding of the wires matter? They have used blue as earth on the plugs instead of green? 

 
  • 36 replies

Hi all, completely new to planning solar and have been loving all the info on this site, my plan is to mostly DIY the install.

 

I live in a 3 bed duplex in Umhlanga and can’t do thermal water heating(too difficult to get all owners approval) but can do PV, my usage is +-20KW / day and I have an east west roof at 18 degree angle. Budget of around R100k, I’m looking at:

 

1 x Sunsync 5KW inverter.

12x panels (450 watts or so with 6 panels facing east and 6 west).

1 x 5 – 6kw battery, unsure make possibly hubble as I might want to add another at a later stage.

 

Apart from my oven(hob is gas) and aircons I want to push everything else through the inverter as essentials and link the geyser to the aux/smart port, geyser has full smart control(timing / temp / usage etc), I have installed a 1.5KW element in it and wrapped in a geyser blanket + lagged all pipes, my plan is to heat water twice a day(as currently) with PV heating during the day and then Eskom or battery(is this advisable) in the early hours of the morning if any battery power is left.

 

Any comments on running everything through the 5kw inverter, will make some changes in power usage at home during the day.

What would the best configuration be for wiring panels into the inverter?

 

I plan on placing orders for the main components in the coming weeks as I carry on with the overall design.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 
  • 21 replies

Following on from various conversations with people telling me to take the manufacturer's warranties and info with a pinch of salt, let's try draw some real world conclusions on the life expectancy / cycle life of Lithium Phosphate batteries. I'm especially interested in the veterans on the forum who've probably been running theirs for a number of years.

Please reply to this thread with the following information:
Battery Brand/Model:
Installation Date:
Cycles:
Performance: (add your comments here) 

So mine would be:

Battery Brand/Model: Fusion 4.8kwh
Installation Date: October 2021
Cycles: 70
Performance: no observable degradation

 

 
  • 20 replies

I’ve got 3 x 4.8kwh LifeP04 batteries rated at 80% DOD over 6000 cycles - that is over 16 years of cycles and my warranty period is only 10 years.

When they were installed, my installer set up the inverter to drain down to 30% DOD  overnight before switching to grid and leave 10% in the batteries to cover for load shedding and power outages in the middle of the night.

Now nobody likes paying for insurance and I suggest nobody likes leaving 10% of battery on the table every day for the odd occasion that Eskom goes boom while the sun is not shining. 
So here is my idea. For the odd occasion that I need the extra battery, I’m comfortable draining the battery to 90% while keeping essentials running. I’m not going to be doing this every day - perhaps less than 10 times a year, or 160 cycles in the supposed life of the battery.

So I'm rather going with a 80% DOD every night and in an emergency allowing the battery to drain to 90% before switch off. This reduces my payback period from 7.3 years to 6.4 years instantly.

What do you guys think? Anything wrong with my logic.

 
  • 19 replies

I’ve got 3 x 4.8kwh LifeP04 batteries rated at 80% DOD over 6000 cycles - that is over 16 years of cycles and my warranty period is only 10 years.

When they were installed, my installer set up the inverter to drain down to 30% DOD  overnight before switching to grid and leave 10% in the batteries to cover for load shedding and power outages in the middle of the night.

Now nobody likes paying for insurance and I suggest nobody likes leaving 10% of battery on the table every day for the odd occasion that Eskom goes boom while the sun is not shining. 
So here is my idea. For the odd occasion that I need the extra battery, I’m comfortable draining the battery to 90% while keeping essentials running. I’m not going to be doing this every day - perhaps less than 10 times a year, or 160 cycles in the supposed life of the battery.

So I'm rather going with a 80% DOD every night and in an emergency allowing the battery to drain to 90% before switch off. This reduces my payback period from 7.3 years to 6.4 years instantly.

What do you guys think? Anything wrong with my logic.

 
  • 19 replies

HI All

 

Thank you for a great forum and guidance, lots of posts that help a lot.

 

I currently have the following system:

 

1x Deye 8kw Inverter

2x Pylontech 3000C batteries

8x Jinko Solar Panel Tiger 545W Mono-Facial

 

The system works really well, but I just want to make sure that my I have the correct settings for on the inverter to charge the batteries. Currently the solar panels charges the batteries at an avg of roughly 2.3kwh per day. I know things like cloud coverage etc will have an impact, but even on sunny days it does not really go above 2.8kwh. 

I have prepaid power, so can not push back to the grid which is unfortunate, would have liked to have this saving.

 

The way I use the inverter at the moment is to let the panels charge the batteries and run most of the house except the heating appliances during the day when there is enough sun, at night I run from the batteries until 45% SoC and then switch to Eskom. If there is a shortfall on the panels it obviously also gets power from Eskom.

Is there any changes I should make, or does the config look ok?

 

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

Thank you for your input.

 
  • 8 replies

hi guys, i just joined the forum yesterday and am in awe at the valuable and insightful information that is shared by the members. i came across the forum thru my search to install a solar system, and decided to go for the 5 kw Sunsynk inverter to expand my current grid tied APS micro inverter system ( 6 x 250W ) which i had  installed in 2013 with a Goodwe 1.5Kw inverter, that went faulty, after 3years.  i am very pleased with the micro inverter system and can monitor each panels production. see attached

i am planning to purchase: ( Invest Solar) - downtown JHB

1.  5kw sunsynk

2.  4.8kw battery 

3. 8 x 455w ja solar

any suggestion /thoughts on my choice of equipment will be appreciated and any contacts of reputable installers of the Sunsynk around the East Rand (Springs)

 
  • 14 replies

So after ALLOT of thinking and pondering the time has come to stop my laziness and do my own solar setup with the help of

a friend "Marius" an Electrical Engineer from VUT.

Marius will be doing 90% of the wiring and commissioning. Runs his own Solar business over weekends.

 

Main equipment list:

16x Canadian Solar 540w Hiku6 Mono PERC Panels. (8 Per string in Series)

1 String facing NE

1 String facing NNW

 

1x SunSynk 8kw Inverter

2x Hubble AM-2 5.5KWh + Cloudlink

 

Busy Designing the stainless (304) roof Brackets for the Renusol Rails as i have my own cnc plasma Cutter and 60 ton 2.5m press brake.

 

Let the Fun begin.....

 

 

 
  • 11 replies

After my introduction thread I decided to now finally make this post to update where I am with my install.

This is a semi DIY install and the appropriate qualified persons will do final connections and inspections. 

Disclaimer: I appreciate advice from all with actual experience of Solar/Backup Installs. Keyboard warrior comments not welcome. If you don't like the way I'm doing something but it is not a health or safety concern, please hold it for yourself.

Okay that out of the way.

I live in a two storey house divided in two dwellings. I live upstairs and have the left yard and the roof whilst the bottom dwelling has the right yard with no roof maintenance.

Since I live upstairs there are brick built stairs. I decided that this will be the perfect place for the "Power Room"! It is around 8 to 10 degrees cooler than the outside temp and has concrete/plastering on all 6 faces.

System:

Sunsynk 5.5

JA 540 x 8

2 x Hubble AM-2

 

The "Power Room" has no current power feed and thus no light or such:


Installed a light switch and extractor fan switch:


 


Ball cover wil be added.
  • 51 replies

Hi folks

So I've done a bit of reading up on the benefits of Mono over Poly panels and vice versa. 

If I understand correctly, mono should give you an advantage (albeit slight) over a poly panel, however, I've tried to find evidence of this on the internet, from actual owners, and the more I read up, ironically the opposite seems to be true, that poly often outperform mono.

Does anyone have any take on that? Does it actually just come down to which one blends in better with your house? 😉 

Thanks,
J
  • 6 replies

Sunsynk 8kw paired with 2 x Hubble AM2s and 16 x 540w JA Solar panels. 
  • 54 replies

Hi

 

Starting to look at maybe installing a Sunsynk inverter and maybe a Hubble or 2. Problem I have is that I don't really have anywhere to install this that is close to the DB. I could install inside a built-in cupboard in a games/ computer room. I would have to install an extractor fan or 2 from the cupboard into the ceiling to circulate the air. Does this sound okay. The distance from this cupboard to the main DB is +_ 9 meters.
  • 26 replies

Hi Guys

Total newbie here.  I am about to get the following system installed on Monday:

8 x JA Solar 540W Mono


Sunsynk 8K Hybrid


2 x Pylontech US3000c




I am doing this through an installer as I need this done before the next big Eskom madness hike and the next lot of breakdowns by an inept parastatal.  I opted to get a bigger inverter to enable me to expand.

I already have most of my lights on LED's, my geysers on solar (one tube and one panel) and also on timers.  My Hob is gas, not my stove.  I have brought my consumption down from 56-59kw/day to 42kw/day.

What software can I use to monitor the system?


Is there a way to automatically and remotely switch power-hungry systems?




kind regards

Aubrey
  • 23 replies

https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/snypers-solar-farm.1161046/
  • 7 replies

Hi all

Thought I’d introduce myself and take you through my current experience with solar. We have moved into a new house and the family is big - 8 people and the electricity bill was getting completely out of control - in winter we were doing in excess of 80kW per day. I live in Johannesburg and City Power’s tiered electricity costs hurt bigger households. Borrowed money out of the mortgage at 7% interest and figure I can make the money back with interest.

I didn’t do enough analysis up front, but just decided to go with
8kW Deye inverter
18 x 540W JA Solar = 9720W 
3 x 4.8kW LifePO4 (80% DOD) 

The whole household and two cottage are on 4(!) solar EVT geysers. I bought these first and then got more ambitious. In retrospect, I’m wondering whether they I needed them with proper timing (not running all at same time) - maybe I could have got away with just using the solar panels to heat the water (see load graphs later). We have LEDs and gas stove.

Bought the whole set up from SolarAdvice and their installers did a great job, no complaints.

They flicked the switch on on Monday. I think my night time load is a problem because we don’t get through the night - mostly because the household still thinks cooking is for night time. We have a fish pond pump that may be an issue.

It’s a bit desperate to see all the power after 12pm going to waste because COJ doesn’t want our electricity or won’t pay for it. And I can’t see it on the graph as it has nowhere to go, so I don’t know the potential... Natural answer is to spend more money on batteries. 

Also some lifestyle changes required.

I’m setting the battery to discharge to 25% leaving 5% for early morning load shedding.

My questions

Have I sized the solar too large? It made sense to me to max out the inverter. 


How bad is winter in Johannesburg (% difference in solar production in your actual experience)? 


Were the solar geysers a waste of money? I feel I should have got these second and not first as everyone says... I see geysers as batteries (rather poor performing) as they store energy for later use


I’m thinking of allowing the excess solar power I have during the day to contribute to the heating of water, to guarantee max temp at sunset. Anyone doing this?


What is the current situation with grid tied in Johannesburg with City Power. Does it exist? Anyone done it and is it worth it?


What should I do with this extra electricity from 12pm-5pm? Bitcoin mining?




I will attempt to answer these questions over time on this thread, but appreciate any input.

 

Typical sunny day in JHB


 
  • 24 replies

Good day everyone.

I am convincing myself i need an inverter, batteries and later on solar as well. I have no idea where to start. Who to contact for quotes on parts and installation etc?

Can anyone give me some guidance? Installers and suppliers i can contact.

Below i have attached my current usage as measured over the last 2 years with a Engage Efergy meter. Could someone make out from the below what i would need to include the whole house on an inverter and batteries. I have 2 x 200L geysers. At the moment i am using a generator to power the whole house except the geysers in load shedding or power outages.

Thanks in advance


 


 
  • 42 replies

Hello

New guy here. I have 2 (almost ) full days of research under the belt and tired to absorb as much knowledge as I could muster. I'm a complete noob with no electrical background, but have been toying with the idea of becoming self sufficient when it comes to electricity supply, or at least make a start towards that goal.

From all my researching, and recommendations, I have my heart set on a SunSynk 8K and either a Hubble AM2 or Pylon 5K battery to start off with to at least initially help with load shedding, but ultimately, in addition be 90+ % self sufficient if not 100%. I know I have a long journey ahead of me, and I have SO much to learn, especially not being as clued up as many of you are, but I need to start somewhere.

My daily draw is about 25-30KWh. It's a new house with all LED lights, A Heatpump ( 5Kw ) with 2x 200L Geysers and a 100L geyser for the kitchen on Solar already. I have two aircons installed, but have hardly used them so far. I have a water pump for my two water tanks ( 1KW ) , a Kettle 2.4KW and the usual Washing machine, dishwasher etc. Also have Gas hob and Electric stove combo.

So I guess the typical household of 4/5

Now I know may will sya- just geta small inverter and battery to cover loadshedding, but I have more in mind - looking to the future, because it doesnt look like things are going to get any better, in fact , i think it will just get worse, so I want to go BIG ( or at least as BIG as I can from the outset ) and grow from there.

I'm in two minds if I should go for a 8K or 5K SunSync, but I guess the 8K will be more future proof ? The Solar Panels can come later, so I may just get a couple initially. or hold off till funds permit. Same with batteries.

 

Anyway - glad to be here. Hope to learn a lot from you all.

 

Cheers
  • 23 replies

Geyser ROI's.    Electric vs Gas vs Solar and all the options and opinions in between
Hi

Please excuse my terminology as I'm am not in the industry. 

I am paying close to R2000 a month on electricity in winter and R1500 in summer.

Currently I have  a 150l Kwikhot geyser + Geyserwise + Flat plate collector/solar panel.

I am staying in a 3-bedroom house, just me and the wife but the might be a baby on the way soon and I am also looking at building or buying a bigger place where my parents can come and stay with us, two or three years from now.  Not sure if it will be in the house or in a garden flat yet.  We both take a 5 to 8 minute shower in the evening and a slightly shorter one in the morning to wake us up before the caffeine has fully kicked in. 

I've done some minor research and it appears to me that a gas geyser might be the best option for heating water especially with current electricity tariffs. I'm paying between R2.72/kWh and R3.14/kWh at the moment in my area depending on monthly consumption.

Has anyone done a ROI or savings calculation on the below to options assuming it is a newbuild and everything would have to done from scratch or is there any existing posts or articles on this that anyone can recommend. I am also considering installing gas geyser on current house for nest 2 to 3 years if the ROI justifies it.

Electric Geyser VS

Gas Geyser VS

Electric Geyser + Gesyerwise + Flat plate collector VS 

Gas Geyser + Flat plate Collector, where the gas only needs heats up the shortfall to +-50 deg C

Thanks
  • 121 replies

Can anyone help me.

My dad has 3 phase power at his plot - his usage in total is about R800 a month, but his bill is about 4-4.5k a month.
How do I get him off 3 phase - Eskom refused to help in anyway to find a solution. We asked them to remove the power completely, they wont

He doesnt have an income, so the cost is killing us. We want to try put in a small solar system, but no point if we cant get him off

Any suggestions

 
  • 11 replies

Hi Team, i am looking to go for a 5KW OFF GRID option for a rural home to power basic appliances like energy efficient fridge, lighting & entertainment. What could the best budget options on offer, i was thinking of a Voltronic 5KW VP inverter coupled with PylonTech UP5000, i already have 8 by 330W canadian panels. Could this the best inverter/battery option? I am new to solar. Kindly assist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  • 15 replies

As the title says - do the positive and negative cables from the battery to the inverter (through the fuses) need to be the same length? What do the experts say?
  • 28 replies

Interesting the concept now starting to take shape in SA means that soon I will be allowed to sell to my neighbor and don't have to sell to COCT or buy from my neighbor.

Thus I can sell my excess @ let say R 1.20 and do not have to sell to a munic or Esdom.

Also means I will be able to buy from any generation connected to the grid.

Pretty much how USA & UK ... works.  Ever wonder why Esdom created a third leg called distribution or networking.  For this very reason.
  • 18 replies

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

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

We also work from home full time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 
  • 17 replies

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

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Your rating helps us tremendously.

Sincerely

Jason
  • 1 reply

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