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Everything posted by Bobster

  1. Ja, I have limited desk space so need to share the input devices as well as the monitor.
  2. Thanks. It does seem that the Pi4 doesn't do well with switches, but I'll try looking in config.txt. If I can find an HDMI switch I'd have to replace my monitor as well. And I'd need a VGA -> HDMI converter for one machine
  3. That's very low. OK... you have gas for cooking and water heating. I'm guessing you don't have a pool (or at least a pool pump) and don't use a lot of convenience appliances such as a kettles and microwaves. What about a dishwasher? Still, it's a low figure and shows what you can get down to. And when you're down to a number like that then solar is cheap and easy. I've used 7.67 kw/h so far today, but a good chunk of that will have been water heating. The pool pump doesn't run today. My "background noise" during the day ranges from 400 to nearly 700 kw/h. And I thought I was doing well.
  4. I was looking for some info on my Kwikot heat pump recently, on the Kwikot site they say that if you want to reduce the amount of power that your geyser uses, and don't want to replace anything then 1) Turn the thermostat down (they say 60, we have 55 in our house and find that satisfactory and we don't have to blend in any cold) 2) Take showers rather than baths 3) Take short showers They think timers don't make much difference in terms of consumption because when the timer does kick in the water is colder and takes more heating. They think blankets aren't necessary on new, SABS compliant geysers. You can also try fitting water saving shower heads. There are lots of rubbishy ones around, but good ones (eg RTS) have some clever innards that generate multiple small but powerful jets of water whilst restricting flow. That doesn't directly affect the geyser, but it means you let less hot water out of it. These are the things from which domestic sulks may arise. I decided to give an RTS head a go a while back and the wife actually found it superior to anything we'd had before. So I bought another for the 2nd shower. They lasted us about 15 years and last year I replaced them. The new ones can be set on a really miserly setting. They come with a special key for fitting them, because in Germany people used to nick them from the B&Bs, so they were modified so that a regular spanner is no good and vice grips will mangle them. The fitting with the key also means that unless you have the key or are willing to leave a visibly mangled shower head as evidence you can't change it from the aforementioned miserly setting to merely restrictive.
  5. Interesting article on the BBC web site. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57738681 housing needs to change as the environment changes. In the UK the emphasis used to be on making a house warm, but now it has to be able to be cool as well. The house they examine also has mitigation against accumulation of rain water. Interesting to read about the ground source heat pump.
  6. I think that's marginal - speaking from my own recent experience - though it depends on how hot you want the water to be. You're more likely to succeed if you can give it 4 hours solid. Whilst you're changing the element, change the anode to extend the life of the geyser.
  7. Necro post. This is still happening and the trigger for the big jump in SOC (usually from mid 70s to 100) is when SOC drops to the 40% that I have reserved for load shedding. But now this morning I see this for the first time - a sudden DROP. In this case from 48 to 40. There is a spike in the load there, but not unusually high for this time of day in my house (kettle being turned on whilst the heat pump is still running) and the spike was 3.2 kw. Note that later on I get the sudden big increase in reported SOC. I don't know whether to worry or not.
  8. Yes, a good clean a couple of times a year is a good thing. Thinks: is this a factor to take into consideration when planning an installation? Ease of access for cleaning?
  9. Well was it dropped? The tariffs are finally in the public domain. The first 350 kw/h that were going to take an under par increase to help out poor folks and other low consumers has actually gone up by 17% - over par. This will hit all users, so whilst there won't be a R200 surcharge on the bill, they will extract extra from everybody with a pre-paid meter. Also there is talk of domestic properties with embedded generation and that are net consumers having to switch to the TOU tariff.
  10. It depends on your consumption and the capacity of your system. I know that if I have 100% SOC at 16:00, then I am good until 8am as long as we don't use certain appliances (hair driers for example). This includes water heating - heat pump instead of a geyser element. So for me that time slot is not an issue. On a sunny day I don't worry too much. If it's overcast then problem slots for me are mid morning (battery hasn't fully recovered) or mid afternoon (battery may not have 100% SOC by 16:00) so I set the system to charge from grid ahead of the shed. Coming back to my first point, by observation you will learn how far into the night/next morning your system will go with your usual use, then that will inform you as to strategy.
  11. Most modern inverters will give you some sort of interface that you use to monitor the inverter and how much power is used. I can do that with my Goodwe, and it's by no means uncommon functionality. I know for each day how much power my property consumed and how of much of that power was provided by the PV and how much from the grid. So depending on what equipment you are using, you may not need a meter. Your municipal meter will tell you what you used from the grid. The solar system itself has to provide the rest of the data.
  12. Am I right in saying that the Kodak is a rebadged axpert? I think this is a good study to undertake before you spent your dosh - assuming you understand all the terms and the implications. Having joined this forum shortly after my system was installed I have noticed that there is very little chat these days about Goodwe and Victron. It seems that Sunsynk fairly quickly gained a dominant position. Your question about cost of a typical installation is, IMO, unanswerable because there is no typical installation. If you are well advised or well informed you will analyse your needs and then everything flows from there. In my home we were using 400 to 420 kw/h a month before installation. That is not that much. If you have heated fish tanks that you want to back up or you're bitcoin mining then your needs are very different from mine. Also some folks just want to get through a load shed, some want to go all the way off grid. Because needs vary so much, there isn't (or shouldn't be) a typical installation.
  13. If you're in Gauteng, consider the Woodrock shelter near Centurion. They are somehow very well funded, have great volunteer staff and you will 1) give a new home to a dog that lost a home 2) get a healthy, well cared for animal. Take your current dog. They will put the two in a secure area, with observers, to see how they get on. They also like to do the same with you, see if the dog shows signs of taking to you or particularly not liking you. https://woodrockanimalrescue.co.za/ or see their facebook page. NB! They reserve the right to inspect your property before handing the dog over.
  14. I already have two windows lap tops on my desk. One is mine, one is the one I use for work. Because I have limited desk space and don't want to be moving peripherals from one machine to the other I got an old fashioned (VGA) KVM switch. This works fine for the two windows machines. I can toggle between them using the keyboard. What doesn't work is my Pi 4. If I connect the monitor, mouse and keyboard directly into the PI then everything works, but I can't use it via the switch. The connection for the video is a bit messy, because the monitor on my desk is an old VGA unit. So the connections from PI to monitor are Micro HDMI to standard HDMI adaptaor HDMI to VGA converter Output from the converter goes into the monitor. And all that works When I connect to the KVM switch then the chain lengthens a little 3) Out from the converter goes to the switch 4) Switch connects to the monitor Then I get no video. The signal path for my work windows machine is 1) HDMI output into HDMI to VGA converter (different brand than I use with the PI) 2) Output from the converter to the KVM switch 3) Output from the switch into the monitor So one less link in the chain because I don't need the micro to standard HDMI adaptor. Any ideas as to why the PI doesn't seem to work through the switch? Or seems to not work? With no video I can't tell.
  15. Checking back through my emails I find I did mail Dave at [email protected] and this was rerouted into a help desk system. I never heard from Dave. The mails I got, and the replies I sent, all used [email protected]
  16. I think I am starting to see some light here. The battery in my energiser works in pulses. It is not running flat out all the time. So the charger doesn't have to match the maximium output of the battery, it just has to do enough to keep the battery more or less charged over a period of time. So the fence probably couldn't run effectively on just the mains, because the charge circuitry is not designed to cope with the peak demand on the battery, it matches the average demand, In which case that cell that @Vassenmentioned might be a good long term investment. It costs more, sure, but will last a lot longer and will be less likely to fail every 2 years or so just as I am sitting down to watch Strictly Come Dancing on something of similar importance.
  17. The Nemtek literarure says their energiser is battery powered, and a pap battery just caused me hassles, so really I have the answer there. The other boxes... Well it would help if I knew what they do. They are not branded so I can't Google, unless maybe I took the PC boards out and hope to not blow anything.
  18. Thank you for all of that, and you are right about weighing up the risks. But I need an answer to the technical question. Since you didn't say something like "it must have the battery or it will blow up" can I assume that the answer is "yes, they can run without the batteries"?
  19. I used them earlier this year. I first tried an email to Dave Havenga who had been very helpful in the past. I got no response. Maybe he doesn't work there anymore. Then I tried the generic address on their web site. They replied promptly and then followed up with an enquiry as to whether or not my problem was resolved.
  20. I have a Nemtek Wizord 4 energiser for my electric fence. This started playing up yesterday and the problem was traced to a dying battery. Swop the battery out and bingo! Everything working properly again. The question is do I need this battery given that I am unlikely to suffer a loss of mains to the energiser? I recently had my garage and electric motor serviced. The guy says to me the battery is flat as the proverbial, but that's only a problem if you lose power and you have all these panels on your roof. We discussed. He said OK... fine... we run it without the battery. I don't know if he changed any jumpers in the control unit. He removed the battery completely, didn't leave the pap one in place. But these batteries never seem to last. I have three that I know of in my security system. One of the energiser, one for a box that makes clicking noises when we press a panic button, and one that... well I don't know what that box does (it has an external power supply too). Life would be simpler and cheaper if I can just remove all these batteries. They were once useful for keeping things going under load shedding, but now we have protection against load shedding so do I need these batteries?
  21. Is this to replace the municipal meter, or is it going to set between the property (or part thereof) and the municipal meter? If the former then work with the municipality. They will know that a meter with a certain serial number is installed at stand (whatever your stand number is). If they find any other meter they will presume that monkey business is going on.
  22. Backup mode does indeed charge the batteries very slowly. General mode will be better, but charges from PV. Or you can use economical mode. The latter permits time based rules so that you can charge the batteries from grid, if available, at a certain time. Be sure that you set the charge %age correctly. This is probably less than 100%. Confirm with your battery manufacturer. This charges way faster than backup mode. Rules can be to charge for a certain time period or to discharge for a certain time period, so be sure to set it to charge. Usually, on a clear day, my batteries hit 100% SOC around mid day and stay that way until at least 16:00. So I have a rule that says to charge from grid every day from 15:00 to 16:00 - with charge percentage as advised by my vendor. If the battery is charged then this makes no difference. If it's been a cloudy day then I get a late afternoon boost. This sends about 2.7 kw/h to my battery. Outside of the hours specified by this rule, the Goodwe behaves as if it is in general mode.
  23. Just to underline what's already been said, there should be no problems. I have an LG top loader of similar age. No issues with using it with the solar system. We always run a cold wash. You are prudent to consider such things, but I don't see a problem here.
  24. Ok... My first advice would be to work with your installer. Let them look at logs and check settings. It is not necessarily the Goodwe. Check the data on SEMS portal next time this happens. Check the load, check SOC. Don't assume what those figures are, check what the inverter is seeing and reacting to. I won't talk about pylontechs as I have zero experience with them. The goodwe has two settings that govern how far it will allow the batteries to discharge. One for off grid, one for on grid. Check those settings and remember that they do not reflect SOC, they reflect depth of discharge. If you set the off grid number to 10 then that is telling the inverter to allow 10% from fully charged then shut down. IE it will shut down not when there is 10% left but when there is 10% expended, IE at 90% SOC. I attach the relevant settings from my inverter. The first limits discharge to 60% whilst there is grid power - so there should always be at least 40% left when the grid goes down. If there is grid and SOC gets to 40% then the system draws from the grid. The second is the limit that is applied when there is no grid. Now it allows discharge of 90% IE until SOC is 10%. If there is no grid and the SOC gets to (100-90) ie 10% then the system stops drawing from the batteries. All of this based on SOC reported to the inverter. But if the installation is fairly new or if you're unsure about changing settings, call in your installer.
  25. This all sounds quite reasonable to me. Manufacturers should provide a warranty, but there should also be some responsibility on the other side that the equipment is being used reasonably and correctly. It's been a long time, but I used to work on a bench servicing various types of electronic equipment made by a big name Japanese company. They were proud of their reputation and made sure that even a small (for them) operation like the South African franchise holder honored warranties and ran their workshop to the required standard (we even had a specification for solder, they didn't want just any old solder being used on their gear). But we had a constant fight going on because people used to do the most bizarre things with equipment (I have some lovely shaggy dog stories about this, including the one customer who complained that his watch stopped every time he got angry). Or they would get repairs or service done by some fly by night operation, or they would actually get the wires mixed up and put the negative where there positive should be. I now work in software. In a previous job we used a particular database product on a particular operating system. The vendor of the database product was not happy because their product was not certified on that operating system and threatened to withdraw all support. We said "but it works! This is our company's bread and butter system and we're not going to run it on any old pile of junk. Trust us. WE tested it." Their position (now I no longer have a dog in the fight I think it not unreasonable) is that they had not the opportunity to stress test their product on this particular operating system. Usually they would do this and then either just certify the vanilla product for that OS or modify the vanilla version to run on that OS and would ensure that you ran matched products. Their reputation was at stake as well our money, and whilst our combination did work and was very close to other combinations that they had certified, why should they allow the precedent of running their product on any old operating system and risk reputational damage?
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