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Sarel

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  1. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Nexuss in New to Solar   
    Hmm C rating..... Let's look at the system level here. The inverter needs to draw Current as it is a current source, the thing that makes inverters work. If we have a 5kW vs 10kW inverter and a nominal 48V battery the 5kW will draw about 96 Amps at 5000W and 52 battery Volts. If you installed a 10kW inverter, double that current draw. At 3000W it's 58 Amps and 2000W it's 38 Amps, not a big load and a kettle can draw that by itself. This is not accounting for any system losses, just theoretical mind you. With losses it's even worse.
    So C ratings are quite important in sizing a system, especially if you do not want to kill the battery. You have to consider all things battery in terms of what your system is required to deliver and do. C rating will also determine charging time.
  2. Sad
    Sarel got a reaction from YellowTapemeasure in Just have a think, ICE cars and power generation   
    Look at the gap created by decommissioning of coal fired plant....

  3. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from PowerUser in Sizing a string for SunSynk 5KW Inverter   
    On the panel Volts, use the highest one of STC or NOCT and base the calcs on VoC. Most panels should have a temp graph, look that up. The colder the temps (winter early mornings) the higher the VoC. This means that the VoC will rise or get more the lower the temps. The graphs are normally based on standard temps, like 25Celsius. Some panels will show VoC for colder temps on the graphs. Use that to see what the VoC will be at say -5Celsiuc for Johannesburg and figure out how many panels will get you at a reasonable voltage, and not to close to max, say max volts minus 5 or 8% or whatever you like for a safety margin.
     
    The inverter MPPT cannot withstand overvoltages, so stay well clear of max volts, it will smoke beyond max volts.
  4. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from WannabeSolarSparky in How do you mitigate shading issues? Need More Solar Panels?   
    What about feet for the shaded panels?
  5. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from Bobster in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    Other will chime in, only addressing the generator here. Firstly, almost all smaller generators specifications are overly generous, by a lot…. Secondly, stay away from inverter generators, they have their place but not in Solar systems. They are very bad in high demand and fluctuating load scenarios. You cannot easily determine their response as in overload conditions, they prevent the rpm from dropping by just limiting the load. Stick with old style AVR types. Then oversize the generator capacity by at least 20-30% or even more if you can. Battery charging is the toughest loads for a generator to deal with. Oh and small generators are all specced to standby duty, not prime. 
    This is from a generator manufacturer as to their duty cycles:
    Standby Power Rating

    Standby power rated generators are the most commonly rated generator sets. Their primary application is to supply emergency power for a limited duration during a power outage. With standby rated generators there is no overload capability built into the units. It is important to note that standby rated generators, under no circumstances, should run in conjunction with a public utility source.

    Standby power rating should be applied to the unit where public utility power is available. The typical rating for a standby engine should be sized for a maximum of 80% average load factor and roughly 200 hours per year. This includes less than 25 hours per year of running time at the standby rating. Standby power ratings should never be applied except in true emergency outage situations. Predetermined outages with the utility company, under UL guidelines, are not considered emergency outages. Manual load shifts for testing purposes can be performed with most automatic transfer switches.

    Prime Power Rating

    Prime power rated generators should be used in applications where the user does not purchase power from a public utility. Prime power applications fall under two distinct categories:

    Indefinite Running Time

    The prime power rating is the maximum power accessible at the variable load for an unlimited number of hours per year in a variable load setting. It is not advisable that the variable load exceed 70% average of the prime power rating during any operational period of 250 hours. If the engine is running at 100% prime power, yearly hours should not exceed 500. Overload situations should be avoided however a 10% overload capability is available for a 1 hour period within a 12 hour cycle of operation.

    Prime power is accessible for a limited number of hours in non-variable load situations. Limited prime power is intended for circumstances where power outages are expected, such as a planned utility power reduction. Engines in generator sets may operate up to 750 hours per year at power levels less than the maximum prime power rating. In these situations it is important to never exceed the prime power rating. The end user should be aware that constant high load use will reduce the life of any engine. It is recommended that any application requiring over 750 hours per year that the engine be continuous power rated.

    Continuous Power Rating

    Continuous power rating is used in applications where supplying power is at a constant 100% load for an unlimited number of hours each year. Continuous power rated units are most widely used in applications where the power grid is unreachable. Such applications include mining, agriculture or military operations.

    Elevations and Temperature’s Effect on Power Rating

    Elevation and temperature are factors to consider before rating the engine. The engine may be operated at 3,000 ft. of altitude and at a temperature of 100° F without deration for standby power rating. For prime power rating the engine may be operated at 5,000 ft. of altitude and at a temperature of 100° F without power deration. For continuous duty operations at higher altitudes, the engine should be configured to limit performance by 3% per 1,000 ft. of altitude and 1% per 10° F inlet air temperature.
  6. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from Bobster in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    More better later, is now We continue with the models. Also, as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs….
     
    Energy flow and the typical usage for a home. In the below we can see when, on average, people use energy in comparison to when Solar energy Is generated. Above the Zero line is generation, and below it is consumption. This makes it clear why battery use is so important. The grey parts of the graph is energy consumption that cannot be satisfied by either Solar generation or battery supplied energy. This means the following, If you have only a few panels and the grey part of the graph overlaps with the yellow Solar part, you do not have enough panel. Early morning and late afternoon this is normal as the Sun is rising or setting still. During nighttime the only way to not be a net consumer (ie from the Utility grid) is to have alternate generating capacity other than Solar, or battery storage of sufficient size.
     
    Compare the barebones system to the off-grid one above to see the effect of enough Solar panels and battery capacity. These two parameters were the only changes between the two systems affecting energy flow.

    For Winter below, in comparison to the other seasons above, we can see that the energy usage pattern differs a lot. During Winter use, we have almost no excess energy (export) for the Barebones system and 44% less energy excess during the daytime.

     
    Here we are looking at the financial comparison. The difference is clear. Remember that Values below is actually your future savings projected to today in today’s value of your money. The blue on the flows are battery capacity being used to carry the loads above the Zero line, below the line is battery charging.

     
    Again I need to stress, this is not a systems design. You cannot use this system, any one of these two designs, to build your solution as this is far too simplistic and was only put together to ba able to this comparative modelling. It is merely done to give you the insight what to look for and how to got about YOUR planning. We will show you how to do this planning in a future post, but you need to do that planning, or pay someone to do that for you, or ask on the forum here for advice etc. You need to find the equipment  brand at a suitable price to make this work for you.
    Also important is how you look at off-grid. You have to make a choice on a few things. Do you want to spend anything on a monthly bill? Do you want to keep the Utility grid and still consume energy from there? Are you looking for just blackout protection to ride out the Utility grid failure? All these items have a material influence on how you approach your design. For some people it's simplistic and their requirements will be different from yours or my requirements, only you know what your requirements are. There are a number of pre-packaged solutions and DIY systems out there, all of them are based on some requirements.
    The only thing you have to base your decision on are your requirements, so better get to know that intimately. If that is not the first thing asked, about your requirements, assumptions were made and those assumptions in your case may very well be incorrect, resulting in a system that may not be suitable to varying degrees.
    Next time, Alternate fuels and ways to reduce the electrical loads.
  7. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from Tim003 in Micro grids   
    WHAT IS A MICRO GRID?
    A micro grid is a local energy grid with generating, control, storage and load management capability, which means it can connect and disconnect from the utility grid and operate continuously and autonomously. There are other types of non utility class micro grids as well, we will ignore those for now.
     
    HOW DOES A MICRO GRID WORK?
    To understand how a micro grid works, we first have to understand how the grid works and what are the issues with it.
    The grid connects energy consumers to central power sources, which allow us to use appliances, heating/cooling systems, machines and motors and other electronics. But this interconnectedness means that when part of the grid needs to be repaired, or are damaged, everyone is affected. In the local case, Eskom, because of reasons, are unable to provide a stable grid or supply enough energy when demanded.
    This is where a micro grid comes into its own. A micro grid generally operates while connected to the utility grid, but importantly, it can be isolated (islanding) from the utility grid and operate on its own using local energy generation and storage, for reasons.
    A micro grid can be powered by distributed generators, batteries, and/or renewable resources like solar or wind or hydro. Depending on how it’s generated and how its requirements are managed, a micro grid might run indefinitely.
     
    LEGAL FRAMEWORK
    In South Africa, there are almost no micro grids. This is because of the ideology and moronic outlook of the policy makers. As we all know, we have some serious issues with the national generation and distribution of energy in SA, let’s leave it at that.
     
    Because the Utility and the policy makers cannot see the forest for the trees, the deck gets stacked against private generation and distribution. No competition allowed, no matter the cost to society, the environment or you. The collectivist centralist ideology and outlook of the state, as well as cronyism and graft is a toxic mix that produce the inevitable failures as we witnessed to date.  
     
    More to the point, micro grids in South Africa are severely restricted. You are only allowed to consume energy on the same property where it was generated. You are not allowed wheeling energy at all. Grid feed in may be legally and technically possible, but it is severely dis-incentivised. Firstly by the low tariffs paid (theft if you asked me) and the secondly by some of the ridiculous arguments made as to why it will damage the grid infrastructure. Also tax disincentives are used. Think the proposed tax on SSEGs…. In countless other countries, grid feed in works and is not a problem. The UK is a good example, it may have its own issues yes, but you are incentivised to feed into the grid.
     
    This incentive can happen by tax rebates, tariff incentives or by other means. It actually assist in stabilising the grid. Alas here we are.
     
    POWER SOURCES
    There are a few potential sources available for use to generate the power. Solar PV, wind and hydro being of the more popular type. Most of these sources are intermittent. This poses some challenges.
     
    STORAGE
    There are two economically viable storage systems, batteries and hot water. There are others. Batteries are the most sensible for the bulk of storage as it can supply loads at any time. Hot water storage makes sense as it is easy to store lots of energy for later use as hot water.
     
    DISTRIBUTION
    Buildings are already wired and loads can accept electrical power from the grid. Micro grids can plug into the utility and/or building so can support the same loads. We are really concerned with consuming the energy generated locally so we disregard the grid for now.
     
    EVENTUALLY, MICRO GRIDS
    A multitude of Micro grids can strengthen utility class grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances as well as function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery. Some micro grids ma do the opposite. Unlike grid tied systems with no storage, when micro grids are allow to feed in to the utility grid, they can support utility grids… take that….
     
    Micro grids are an excellent way to ensure resiliency and energy independence for their operators.  Micro grids are also ideally suited to critical infrastructures. Generator sets, gas or petroleum fuelled, can support micro grids and further bolster resiliency. Black start capability is vital for micro grids. This ensures that depleted storage systems will not result in a deadlock preventing startup of the system. A micro grid consists of a battery backed inverter charger, similar to an off grid system or hybrid system. To this we add a String inverter, same as for a grid tie system. 
     
    So what you ask is deadlock then? Glad to explain. Picture this:

    The inverter charger above in the middle, consume energy from the battery to generate a grid locally at 50Hz. If it is tied to the utility grid, it will synchronise with the utility grid and switch to the utility to support the loads. When the utility fails, it can normally function as a UPS and switch over to its own local grid and continue to function as normal. This transition may be seamless or not, it depends on inverter architecture and configuration.
     
    To the left of that are the Solar panels with the String inverter. Take note that this is not fed by the utility grid directly, but via the inverter charger. When the utility grid fails, the string inverter will continue to work as its supplied by the inverter charger’s grid. This is really where the magic happens.
     
    Now under utility grid failure and continued load support from batteries, we deplete the storage system. If we rely solely on the utility grid and solar to keep the batteries charged, we may encounter issues. When the batteries eventually runs out of energy due to no charging, the inverter charger will shut down. This in turn will trigger the string inverter to also shut down as its grid dissapeared. Since the string inverter depends on a grid to function, it will cause a deadlock when the Solar PV system cannot start because the batteries are drained and the inverter charger cannot be powered on, so no grid and no charging of batteries. In this scenario, we have to wait for the utility to return. Our energy independence is non existent. 
     
    Solving the deadlock problem can be easily done. Use a generator to supply the grid to the inverter charger and the system will start, called black start capability. Eskom suffers the same issues and there are only a few plants that have this black start capability. We do not know if the procedures are in place, hence the dread inside the utility to loose the grid, and the rolling blackouts.
     
    The generator solution is however not ideal. It is mostly manual, even if you have an automatic start generator, and most small systems are manual start anyway. A better solution is to provide automatic black start capabilities by adding a Solar PV charge controller and a few panels to directly charge the batteries. In the above picture, it’s the Solar PV system on the right with the charge controller. This system will start charging as soon as we have Solar available.
     
    A combination of Solar charge controller and generator is the most robust solution as even during prolonged dark days because of the weather, we can keep the batteries charged, irrespective of utility grid. Energy independence gained, complete.
     
    Micro grids can be very efficient as most energy from the string inverter are directly converted and used by the loads. Batteries are always charged by the charge controller and the energy is produces as a DC voltage/current and used to charge the DC battery. The excess string inverter energy can also be used, with less efficiency,  to charge the batteries as well. These are called AC and DC coupling. Either may be used independently, or in combination.
     
    SUMMARY
    This is a serious simplification of a micro grid. The micro grids we are discussing here have a single source and are owned by a single person or business. There are numerous items we have not looked at. Most of the control and monitoring of micro grids for our application are build into the equipment. They take care of Voltage issues like droop due to load, frequency drift are compensated for and can be manipulated to control other equipment. These micro grids are distinct from other types such as distributed micro grids where there are more than one source and many different consumers.
     
    Micro grids are always a custom configuration and or design for each user or community
  8. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Tim003 in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  9. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Blowdart18 in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    @Bobster, I have seen this repeated so many times, and it’s sad. We all have to pay our school fees but it is so easy to be prevented by a little forethought. Hence this series of posts. I consider it my contribution to this community. Hopefully it will help many more with some insights into how to approach Solar PV.
  10. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Bobster in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    @Bobster, I have seen this repeated so many times, and it’s sad. We all have to pay our school fees but it is so easy to be prevented by a little forethought. Hence this series of posts. I consider it my contribution to this community. Hopefully it will help many more with some insights into how to approach Solar PV.
  11. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Blowdart18 in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  12. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from 87 Dream in Would a system like this work to beat load shedding?   
    I have just uploaded a new post where I modeled a house with 6 panels and a 5kW inverter and one battery in “New solar planning guide” on here. Do not want to hijack this. It may prove insightful and helpful for this very purpose.
  13. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from JoeyhZA in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    In SA, it's a kak really really bad idea, my personal opinion and I do think that few people do feed in. Until such time as there are legislation in place allowing a separate grid from Government, it will never make sense. A few reasons why I believe it's not a good idea.
    You spend your capital for the system, they want the energy basically for free You have to jump through arbitrary hoops to get sign off, it costs the council not a dime, you pay them via tax and your council fees, so they just spend your money The money they earn from you does not go to provide services to you Graft bribery and corruption is rife and these laws and rules are abused to their benefit and against you Any meter, old style or new pre-paid can actually meter both ways, why do you think it trips when sensing your side feeding in. Its just set that way in software to discourage you by annoying you and trip, or billing you, same thing, annoying you Some meters will actually read your feed in and bill it as consumption Paying for a special bi-directional meter is therefore a load of kak bs. It's a scheme to discourage you from Solar by making it not affordable to install. It is merely a means to get you to keep on paying for the corruption and enrichment via your energy bill and not endanger the councils biggest income stream 😬accurate enough I trust, no?
     
  14. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from Basil Katakuzinos in Would a system like this work to beat load shedding?   
    I have just uploaded a new post where I modeled a house with 6 panels and a 5kW inverter and one battery in “New solar planning guide” on here. Do not want to hijack this. It may prove insightful and helpful for this very purpose.
  15. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from WannabeSolarSparky in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    In SA, it's a kak really really bad idea, my personal opinion and I do think that few people do feed in. Until such time as there are legislation in place allowing a separate grid from Government, it will never make sense. A few reasons why I believe it's not a good idea.
    You spend your capital for the system, they want the energy basically for free You have to jump through arbitrary hoops to get sign off, it costs the council not a dime, you pay them via tax and your council fees, so they just spend your money The money they earn from you does not go to provide services to you Graft bribery and corruption is rife and these laws and rules are abused to their benefit and against you Any meter, old style or new pre-paid can actually meter both ways, why do you think it trips when sensing your side feeding in. Its just set that way in software to discourage you by annoying you and trip, or billing you, same thing, annoying you Some meters will actually read your feed in and bill it as consumption Paying for a special bi-directional meter is therefore a load of kak bs. It's a scheme to discourage you from Solar by making it not affordable to install. It is merely a means to get you to keep on paying for the corruption and enrichment via your energy bill and not endanger the councils biggest income stream 😬accurate enough I trust, no?
     
  16. Like
    Sarel reacted to WannabeSolarSparky in Grid tied string inverter on output of charger inverter setup, micro grid   
    Not quite the same as what you are asking.
    I have my old inverter 1000W low frequency type with a 200AH 24volt battery bank and 1040watts solar and new 5000w high frequency with 200AH 48volt lithium and 2140 watts solar.
    The old one is has the ac input not connected to the grid (i.e. it is standalone battery and solar only), the ac output from the old inverter is connected to the ac input of the new inverter. So the old inverter is the new inverters "grid" The new inverter is set to only draw 4 amps AC from the old inverter so as to not overload it past 900watts.

    So when the new inverter needs a bit of top up charge from the "grid", then it is getting it from the old inverter via the stored energy from the old battery bank.

    I have ordered a small 3.6kw grid tie inverter from segen to try exactly what you are asking
    Will give some feedback on how that works out.
     
  17. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from JacquesV in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  18. Thanks
    Sarel reacted to WannabeSolarSparky in Loadshedding - Simple Python Script To Influxdb for Grafana   
    Very Simple Python script to send loadshedding status to influxdb for use in grafana on raspberry pi
    Tip: If not already installed add the nano editor to your system, its just easier to use
    Now Create file called loadsheddingcheck.py
    You can do this i your home directory or anywhere you like to load your scripts, just be sure to change/edit the cron according to your preference.
    touch loadsheddingcheck.py Then
    sudo nano loadsheddingcheck.py
    Add (copy paste) the following code to the file and save (ctrl x y)
    from urllib.request import urlopen import json from influxdb import InfluxDBClient import datetime url = "https://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/LoadShedding/GetStatus" response = urlopen(url) data_json = json.loads(response.read()) print(data_json) theLoadsheddingChecker = [{"measurement":"Loadshedding", "tags": { "Country": "South Africa", "Utility": "Eskom" }, "fields": { "Stage":data_json } } ] influxdbClient = InfluxDBClient( host = 'HOST', port = PORT, username = 'INFLUXUSERNAME', password = 'INFLUXPASSWORD', database = 'INFLUXDATABASENAME' ) influxdbClient.write_points(theLoadsheddingChecker) Then add a cron to run every 30 minutes to check loadshedding status (or whichever check interval you prefer
    open cron editor (will ask which editor, use nano as its the easiest)
    crontab -e Then add the following line to the bottom at the last open line and edit to suit your requirements (the example below is for every hour).
    * */1 * * * /usr/bin/env python3 /home/pi/loadsheddingcheck.py > /home/pi/loadsheddingcheck.log 2>&1 ctrl x y to save
    Now in grafana add a Stat card and edit the settings and add some value mappings to show the correct stages.

    End result


  19. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from 0012 in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  20. Thanks
    Sarel got a reaction from Deon in ZA in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  21. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from MdF in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  22. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Antonio de Sa in New Solar planning and design guidelines   
    The can o worms…. 🪱
    So you want to go Solar, good choice. But you want to go off-grid? Why, it’s the first question, oh and there is no wrong answer here by the way. Before you even think of answering that question, this is going to be a ‘buckle up buttercup’ question laden thread. Consider this the valley of a thousand questions. So here we have the first real question for ya, why don’t you buy shoes that are half the size you normally wear? See we start easy Let me answer that, because you cannot use them and it will be a waste of money. Facts don’t care for feelings…. Now with that out the way, let’s get the tongue out of our cheek. (or should that be shoe 😬)

    Your mind is made up, your budget cast and you have a good waf/haf (wife acceptance factor). So now is the time to hold them hosses, don’t get em cart out in front of them hosses…. Question time then, you guessed it, many many more q’s.
    Why, where, when, how much budget, how much consumption, how much diversion (more on this later) and a bit on time warping. OK ok, I just want solar and be done with it already. Well maybe stop reading then and go buy some stuff as this might then not be for you. Or maybe not, Solar has no instant gratification like instant coffee but it can boil your kettle for a cuppa while you think. There is no one size unisex fits all here. Each and every one of these systems are unique to you, so the better you understand you, the better you will understand your requirements and therefore be better informed when having to make choices for better outcomes. If you too lazy to apply your mind, be my guest.
    Consider firstly why do you want to install Solar PV? Are you building new or are you not connected to the Utility Grid (be that Eskom or via your Municipality) or do you want a reduced monthly energy bill? What about just being energy independent and not suffer another blackout, or even most of the above?
    What does it take to go off grid? That depends, but one certainty is lots of money, frequently more than you want to spend or even can spend. That is just a fact. But lets unpack what a household would need, roughly. I will make em numbers easy so you can calculate along at home. Before we even get there, ha and you thought this was quick an easy…. What can you change to allow you not to consume so much energy? A new kettle o fish to consider as it’s less costly to not consume the energy in the first place, rather than to buy equipment to support that extra load in and off-grid system. Maybe off-grid is not viable and a compromise is needed. This is easy and maybe suitable for you.
    So let’s look at the process for going Solar. We have to start by doing all the below, even though it may not be formally, it’s still done, even if only mentally and not really consciously.
    Requirements Energy assessment Assessment in light of the combined above Planning Modelling Optimisation Design and more planning Procurement & Logistics Build (and the inevitable realisation that you did a piss poor job of planning) Configuration and Programming if required Testing Commissioning Tweaking (you always do this even if you don’t want to) Maintenance. Upgrades and additions The biggest consumers of energy is water heating by geyser, then kettle, ironing, stove plates and ovens, microwave, underfloor heating, pool pump and spa pump and heater. During Winter it’s space heating and Summer time Airconditioning. Tumble dryer, washing machine and things like Air fryers, hair dryers and coffee machines can have quite a load but their use is less frequent. Can any of these things be reduced or changed to alternative fuels like Gas (diversion of energy sources)? For Petes sake, don’t try and get your women folk to not use the hair dryers please…. Are you willing to change appliances if they not yet working on Gas or solar water heating? That will cost money, but maybe investing here is a bit more palatable then spending the money on batteries for nighttime use. Remember, we asked what it will take to go off grid?
    Do not forget about the CoC and other approvals and all the paperwork to be done. For interconnected Grid tied systems vs off-grid systems, there are differing requirements. Starting out, your electrician will most likely have to split the Distribution boards and neutral wires to accommodate the Solar install. All these things take time and money. Don’t be surprised for all the issues your sparky will uncover with the house wiring and general state of affairs, or the costs involved. Over time, your house loads may change, Murphy dictates that this will be an increase of loads. Consider this when planning your system, or later when you are faced with issues during operation. The national codes for House wiring and Solar PV systems are in place for reasons.
    What’s to come then (likely each topic will be a post):
    Intros, this bit here and now Setting the scene and asking the questions Model an average household and see what a reasonable system is capable of, and if it can take you off-grid. A few panels, Inverter, Battery etc. really bare bones. Model the same household for off grid if the above does not quite make off grid and see what it takes Do some modelling as to costs and payback and savings, all them boring Financial stuffs Briefly discuss alternate fuels Look into the questions and answering all 1000 What goes into planning and how to do so (Fail to plan, and you surely plan to Fail) Based on the previous, plan a system’s PV Panels Plan Inverter and battery systems Monitoring and managing the system Fallout, do the time warping thing or get your spouse and kids in line hehehe Living with Solar How much energy do people consume monthly. Well as always it depends. To make things easy, see my promise earlier, I will use 500kWh per month apart from 3 winter months that will be 1000kWh consumption. This is so you can easily extrapolate and make it work for whatever your numbers are. For electricity kWh costs, I used a number as it varies all over the place depending on supply and where you are and pre-paid or other wise.
    So more to follow, all them questions....
  23. Haha
    Sarel got a reaction from Basil Katakuzinos in Geyser ROI's. Electric vs Gas vs Solar and all the options and opinions in between   
    See, I fixed that for ya ☺️
    PV is costly, but absolutely worth it in this country, especially with load shedding, poor not maintenance and forward not planing of infrastructure.
    You welcome 🤠
  24. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from 87 Dream in LiFePo4 BMS Comms with inverter Argument   
    Thank you Sir. When I started to do research even before I joined on here in 2019, there was in general a certain difficulty to decipher the spec sheets of equipment and nowhere to get concise design information about Solar. I then set out to skill myself a little on the subject. Not unlike yourself, I got involved in maintaining TV broadcast equipment, IT equipment and fairly sophisticated crypto radio systems (kinda like Tetra but also frequency hopping with forward error correction) but that was many moons ago.
    One thing I promised myself was to give back to the community that silently helped me understand. Main reason for documenting my system, it's just one way to go about doing such a system, was to have the info available so others could refer to it. Hence the fact that I documented the why as well as all the rest of the design stages to the fully build system. I am at the current time working on a short design document that will be easier to read and digest.
  25. Like
    Sarel got a reaction from Bobster in LiFePo4 BMS Comms with inverter Argument   
    Thank you Sir. When I started to do research even before I joined on here in 2019, there was in general a certain difficulty to decipher the spec sheets of equipment and nowhere to get concise design information about Solar. I then set out to skill myself a little on the subject. Not unlike yourself, I got involved in maintaining TV broadcast equipment, IT equipment and fairly sophisticated crypto radio systems (kinda like Tetra but also frequency hopping with forward error correction) but that was many moons ago.
    One thing I promised myself was to give back to the community that silently helped me understand. Main reason for documenting my system, it's just one way to go about doing such a system, was to have the info available so others could refer to it. Hence the fact that I documented the why as well as all the rest of the design stages to the fully build system. I am at the current time working on a short design document that will be easier to read and digest.
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