I am new! I am in Jo’burg and I want to make my life better by investing in some backup and solar power for my house.
I have done a bit of research but I now need to get into action. I am planning to install a system according to the following steps:
Backup for load shedding and power interruptions: 5kW inverter and 5kWh LiFePO4 Battery with only essential items on the system.
Start generating own solar power, gather more information and start to optimise: Add two strings of solar panels in different locations. Move some loads over.
Increase storage and panels: Add a 2nd battery, increase PV panels, reduce loads and reduce peak consumption. Move more loads over.
Go off grid: Add a 3rd battery, a 2nd Inverter and more panels if required. Off grid!!
Final setup expected to be something like: 2x5kW Inverters in parallel, 3x5kWh LiFePO4 batteries, 4 strings of PV with approximately 10kW of panels.
The inverters should have own charger, MPPTs, smart load, gen connection, battery interface, WiFi, protection, etc. Batteries should interface with inverter and have own BMS.
I have decent roof space but the biggest part of the roof is not facing perfectly North, more like ONO. Other smaller roof sections face NNW or are flat. Some shading on most parts except for the flat part.
My idea for where the batteries will fit is somewhat restricting and that influences the physical dimensions of the batteries I can choose from.
We are 5 people living/working/studying from home. Current consumption is about 24kWh per day with a rare peak of up to 8.5kW.
Big consumers are: Electrical backup for Solar geyser (4kW with Geyserwise mostly required only in winter), Pool pump 0.75kW for many hours, Electrical Oven max 4.2kW, Borehole pump 1.1kW and various other smaller users.
All my lights are already LEDs, stove plates are all gas, other geysers are gas,
I also have a 2kW generator which I can use in case of poor PV performance or other problems – currently my load shedding backup.
I do not have the funds to install everything at the same time but I need backup power asap to allow working and studying from home.
To achieve full saving on municipal power I hope to eventually disconnect to have no Service charge or Network charge anymore.
I plan to do most of the installation myself and only get in the professionals for final connection/change over and commissioning.
Apart from the above solar solution I also plan the following:
Reduce peak power use as much as possible by reducing and staggering loads.
Install a 3kW PTC geyser element rather than the standard 4kW I have now.
Pool blanket to reduce pool pump running hours.
Move some consumers to sunshine time to reduce battery need. E.g. pool pump, borehole pump, geyser,
Geyser on Smart load (only receives power when battery full and PV power good) or heatpump or more solar collectors or a another solar geyser for winter in series to the current one.
Now I have the following questions:
Any advice or inputs on the above plans?
Any experience with similar setups which can be shared?
Looking at my steps and my final setup – do you think it is going to work out?
Any other recommendations for optimisation or improvement?
Any recommendations on specific equipment? My current favourites are Deye Inverter and Freedom Won batteries.
Are there any forum members who would be willing to send me a quote for supply of equipment and/or installation?
Are there any forum members with advice on where to get good prices for any of the above components?
What are the requirements for such a system? Standards to comply with?
What are the approvals I need before I can start with my plan?
Thanks in advance – I see there is lots of good advice on this frum and I hope to learn a lot.