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Elbow last won the day on August 7 2019

Elbow had the most liked content!

About Elbow

  • Birthday October 19

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  • Location
    Cape Town
  • Interests
    Solar, Digital control, IOT, Software, smark home

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  1. yes, that’s how mine ended up hooked up. it’s not perfect because if my grid browns out then the inverter isolates but there is still enough volts to hold in the commutator. but 99% better
  2. They are coming tomorrow to install mine. What I will do is turn the oven and and off at one minute interval and see if there is an issue - that big swing in load will be enough to trigger a bit of feed-in while the inverter tries to follow the load swing.
  3. For your info my infinisolar inverter allows the neutral to float when it is isolated from the grid and providing power to essentials via the panels or batteries. That is, the inverter does not tie neutral to earth when operating in that isolated mode. (When the inverter is grid tied the neutral on the essentials side is connected to the neutral on the grid side which is tied to earth back at the council connection point so there is no issue there). What I did is that I used a contactor - the contactor coil is powered by the grid mains - so normally the contactor is held on. I have a normally closed contact on my contactor that I put across neutral / earth on the essentials side. So when the mains power disappears the contactor releases and the neutral / earth on the essentials side is connected. Its not perfect since the mains voltage can (and here it does) brown out at the inverter can isolate but there is still enough volts to hold the contactor in. But its better than nothing.
  4. My install was DIY. At the time I did mine in 2019 it was my responsibility to prepare circuit diagram, to provide info on the equipment, a COC from an electrician and also a test / signoff report from a Professional Electrical Engineer. I did all that and sent in with the forms and got the commission approval in return. Nobody from the electricity department has ever been here to look. Steve
  5. Yes - my commissioning letter contained the same info - I discussed it with @Rautenk at the time. It seems they took a year and a bit to get around to it in my case. Steve
  6. I did ask Daniel at SSEG South about switching to a full grid-tied install. Sadly it seems they treat it like a new application and my inverter - which was on the 2019 list - is no longer on the current list so they won't accept the application. So I'm stuck as I am except if I buy a new inverter
  7. Good luck with the fun project. I think I was among the first 10 people to get a DIY system all signed off and approved by council thanks for fantastic help here on Powerforum and from some fantastic help from others.
  8. That is my main concern. It seems my inverter does quite a poor job of stepping back its generation when the house load goes down suddenly. My existing meter doesn't have this "reverse flow = tamper" option enabled so doesn't care that there is some feed-in (its less that 1kwh / day typically but there can be a burst of say 2kw if a heavy load like oven or geyser goes off suddenly. You don't have your inverter installed yet? I'd love to see someone who has a grid-tied setup flip their oven on for a minute / off for a minute repeatedly and be sure that it doesn't trip. Where did you get the info on the benefits of the Ontec unit? Thanks, Steve
  9. Hi All, The CTCC and a company called Elex Khanyisa have left me a note saying that they want to replace the electricity meter in my house where some may remember I have an all signed-off and approved SSEG setup with grid-tied hybrid inverter but with grid feed-in blocked. Now my inverter is a Infinisolar - branded Renesola. My inverter's regulating of feed in is not perfect - inevitably, if a big load goes off in the house - eg the stove thermostat opens and the oven elements go out - then my inverter will be making a couple of kilowatts too much and looking at the data it looks like the inverter takes up to a minute to reduce feed in and during that time power does go out to the grid. Here's a chart: You can see that 3.5kw of load disappeared and the inverter took a minute to throttle back and during that time you can see that we did reverse feed power to the grid. Now I suppose this is inevitable, but this inverter does seem slow to respond. My existing Landys&Gyr Sabre ED meter seems fine with this - the anti-tamper flag about reverse power is not enabled. My understanding is that the meter actually bills me for this power as if it was forward flow - so if anyone is losing its me. But I'm obviously worried that a new meter may not behave the same since I've heard of the meters tripping "permanently" into a tamper mode with reverse power, and I'm just imagine how little the council will understand or care about this, and how tolerant my family won't be with this behaviour. I already queried sseg.south with a fairly detailed explanation of my concern and they breezily said "since the meter is upstream of your SSEG system it can't affect it", so they didn't even understand my concern. I had a little exchange with Karel Rautenbach and we thought maybe to bring the issue up here. Is anyone engaged with this? They've said I must respond, can't say no or they'll disconnect me, and etc. Right now it seems like my only short term option is to allow them to do the replacement - try to make it "tamper" while they are here and attempt to refuse them from going until its working properly. If they can't make it work for me then to put the old meter back in the meantime. If it is OK then I carry on as is. If it does cause the new meter to tamper I will have to disable the hybrid mode where power is pushed to the grid side entirely. This will cost me about 5kwh generation per day or R350 rand or so. In the long term my options seem to be: Replace inverter with one proven to work OK behind a Conlog with the tamper mode enabled. R25k cost maybe? Move the thermostatic loads - geyser, stove, and? so their usage isn't seen by my ET112 smart-meter that regulates the inverter - losing generation Some complicated design so that when reverse flow is seen I immediately dump it to a waste load, or to the geyser - complicated, touchy Just switch to the CTCC feed in tariff, pay for the fancy meter and embrace feed-in - R10k for the meter, and the council makes you do the whole approval process again. Anyway - frustrating since I don't know what the council gets from switching out my meter.
  10. The inverter will only What I did was to make a "forecast" with the help of NodeRed and a weather API. This helps me show a "potentially available" solar power. I actually made a bar graph display and put it visible in the kitchen so its easy to see, ideally, when to run the appliances This also gives me an idea as to how much solar power goes "to waste". It makes it clear that I need more batteries.
  11. Hi, I'm late to this thread but with the same ambition - which is to be able to manage when my geyser runs via software control. I have any number of Sonoff smart switches - my thought was to use that to switch the coil side of a contactor and actually switch the geyser with the contactor. Am I supposed to switch both live and neutral - there is already a 2 pole isolator switch. The other part of this is to be able to measure the water temperature in the geyser. What options to do that? Again - easy to hook up a probe and get a reading back - but how to get the probe into (or near enough) the water?
  12. 2014/5 used i3 BEV can be had for the R350k price point and will do something like 120km with care. Certainly you can thrash it and certainly still get 60. Choose the REX and you can go much further. OP did say new but I'm not sure why.
  13. It's 9S1P. 7x335W panels, 2x405W. The inverter max voltage is 500V Steve
  14. Hi all, Here's the question: I want to upgrade my system - currently its a single string of 9 72-cell CS 335W panels going into an Infinisolar hybrid. I have in mind the Sunsynk 5.5 machine - which has two solar inputs. So I'd put the existing string on the one input and then build a new string for the other. Only the 335W panels aren't in stock. So I have a quote for 405W panels. Now I have two spare 335W panels - so my question is if anyone has practical experience with putting 2 72cell panels at 335W together with 7 405W Electrically I don't see why it wouldn't be fine. Obviously I need to check the total Voc. and confirm the short circuit current of the bigger panels is OK for the smaller ones. Its only 2 of the smaller panels so that would perhaps slightly decrease the total current flowing since their internal resistance must be a bit higher? Are there other effects I'm not thinking of. I guess it saves me say R5k so I don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish! Thanks, @Elbow
  15. I think back to back with the old board is a great idea - I guess the trick is to chisel through without damaging the cabling. For ours we put the new board on the side but it did require extending many of the tails to reach. Back to back the cable lengths wouldn't need to change.
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