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Thank you for the great forum, Safe Driving over the weekend. Sincerely Jason


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  1. Just a question on this, seeing the laminated wood backing for the DB's and inverter etc. Is this to code? I have a very old setup in my pantry, with the council provided metres and breakers mounted on a wooden panel as well. After re-doing my DB's I was considering mounting them on a piece of wood as well, to cover the hole-in-the-wall left by the old bulky DB. Is this OK ? No issues with compliance ?
  2. This seems logical as well. I don't see any particular reason to have to "plug in a light" into a socket, in order to not have lights and plugs mixed. It provides no protection above the normal CB? Of course, earthing for plugs are important, so I suppose that is a "general" reason for not mixing them, but if a circuit is fully earthed to the point of a plug, and then powers a light from there-on, I don't see how it would be different from having a non-earthed light circuit with a seperate CB ? Again, not an expert around wiring code, but it seems logical to be able to mix lights and plugs on a CB, as long as all the plugs are properly wired with an earth ? As for the mixing of wire-guages, it also seems sensible that if a single CB protects different guage circuits, that it has to be rated for the thinnest guage wire.
  3. Thanks so much for confirming! This is indeed the case. Each phase is split to seperate DB's and each (non-mixed) phase only powers a certain set of CB's. Now, to add to a bit of the line of questioning (many thanks for your feedback so far). Is it OK for sub-db's hanging off the individual phases to also have an Earth leakage CB? That seems logical as well...
  4. So, a question around this specifically, if I have two separate DB's on two seperate incoming phases (serving completely different CBs) can each DB simply have it's own Earth Leakage, or must there be a shared Earth leakage between the two incoming phases and neutral ? E.g. a three-way EL breaker (L1, L2, and N) ? In my case, I have a DB for "critical load" with an inverter setup, and another DB for "general" load, geyser, stove ETC, fed from two different CityPower phases, with a shared neutral. My split is simply two DB's one fed from each of the different Live phases, and each DB with it's own Earth leakage, and mains disconnectors. This seemed logical to me until I read GerhardK83's comment.
  5. I'm using an Axpert King 5KVA. Today again grid voltage dropped to ~170-180 volts, and the inverter worked overtime to keep the regular voltage. Until the batteries ran out. I live in Greenside. Joburg North. This wasn't a few hours, it was pretty much the whole afternoon. When eventually I put the inverter in bypass mode, the LED lights were at ~50% luminecence. @Adri it seems to be a regular occurence. Every day from aroud 6 till 10pm.
  6. Has anyone else noticed serious voltage drops at various times during the day, esecially at peak times? My Axpert King has reported grid voltages as low as 160V at times, at which point things like my microwave (not on attached to the inverter) becomes basically a device that creates dizzy food, but doesn't actually warm anything up. I'm in Joburg northern suburbs. A sign of what's to come posssibly ?
  7. 10 year warranty, and 6000 cycles at 80% depth of discharge. Meaning if you only discharge them to 80% each night they will last you approximately 15 years, give a single discharge cycle every night. The Pylontech's are of Lithium iron phosphate (LifePO4) chemistry. For the life of me, I cannot find the graph now, but when I did the research an Australian battery testing crowd compared a lot of different batteries in some really interesting graphs regarding cycles, remaining capacity after time etc. I selected Pylontech's for my recent installation based on days and days of pondering, and research. I'm certainly no expert but these batteries do seem to be great value for money and quality. It is important that your inverter "understands" the batteries, so most modern batteries come with a communication cable that allows the inverter to determine the exact state/charge of the batteries rather than just relying on the voltage of the batteries. It is of course possible to use them in an inverter system that doesn't have the direct communications cable.
  8. I had 190v coming in during Sunday's window of loadshedding, and it went back to ~220 after the loadshedding window. So technically I wasn't "shed". Had the same ~190v low's this morning around 6am too. I have an Axpert King, and I'm not 100% sure what the inverter does, but it does seem to augment to the low voltage with battery. Whether it's using the battery exclusively or not is a good question.
  9. This exactly, saved my life. Also set with the same error after upgrading, and the display just showed fault code 32. I thought it was bricked, but it still responded after a few presses to go into the USB OTG upgrade mode.
  10. (Yes the post title is spelled as intended ) So, after several weeks of planning, and getting the basic gear from mecerinverter.co.za, and a bit of a hackathon this weekend, I'm finally starting to disconnect from the grid. Well, becoming less dependant on it, shall we say. Ordered a 5kw Mecer Axpert King, and 3 x Pylontech US3000's from Devan @ EnwayPower/MecerInvert.co.za My order was fulfilled within 2 days, and Devan is definately highly recommened. Their google star ratings show it, and I was happy to give them a 5 star rating too. In fact my colleague ordered the day after me, and was also fulfilled in 2 days. As it goes in the current economic climate, and budget constraints, my plan was to first just get rid of loadshedding, so --basically I have an inverter, and 3 x Pylontech US3000's setup just to avoid having to run outside to startup the portable generator during loadshedding (which I installed around 2008 with the firsrt loadshedding bouts). My general critical load including fridges, TV's, a boatload of PC's, TV's and some lights and plugs is generally around 1200watt. I split my DB board for the critical load back in the generator days. I used surfix 2.5mm rated at 23Amps for connecting the mains feed to the Axpert King, as well as back to the critical load DB. I put the surfix inside PVC conduit as well, as it's easier to manage/get straight (Yes, a bit OCD). I used some basic 20Amp breakers to protect the Surfix wires from my City Power feed, to the Axpert and from the Axpert to the critical load DB. When I redo the main DB I'll add some changeover switches to be able to augment City Power with the generator, but for now, the generator is out of the loop. I'm loathe to reconnect it until I've confirmed what I can do about the potential VOV situation and earthing issues. I haven't installed any DC fuses yet between the batteries and the inverter yet, but that's next. The Axpert didn't want to communicate with the Pylontech batteries using the supplied cable, so I went through the firmware upgrade process via USB On-The-Go, and a flash drive. Bricked the unit when I thought the upgrade had hung, then booted back up into Error Code 32, nothing else showing. Used the USB OTGagain, and realized finally that the upgrade does take some time. Simply press the OTG button a couple of times until the upgrade option show again (Had a bit of a freakout). The inverter came with a BMS (RS485) cable for the batteries, but the pinouts were simpply straight-thru. After some digging on these forums (thanks guys!) I recrimped the RJ45 to create a crossover cable, and eventually with the 71.86 firmware flashed, and the proper pinned out RJ45 cable, the batteries and the inverter were talking. Then cabled everything up, and working now on batteries or mains, depending on the AC input. I've also ordered ICC software for my Raspberry PI2, and am busy flashing it as we speak. Thanks for this great local product, and happy to support local dev's and expertise! I really want to thank everyone on this forum for sharing their experiences, and creating such a body of knowledge which is google-able, and for everyone taking the time to answer questions. It really reminds me of the old days of MyBroadband.co.za. The next steps for me would be to get a PV array up, convert some of my geysers to GeyserWise with DC/AC elements and panels, as well as a smaller inverter setup for my fishpond. Soon, I will be able to cut the cord entirely, and keep a basic prepaid City Power service available in case of emergency. Herewith some PIC's, and once again thanks to people like @Coulomb and numerous others that makes this such a great forum.
  11. Hi All! I've embarked on phase 1 of my project, batteries (Pylontech) and Inverter (Axpert King 5K) but I'm having real trouble finding an online store for ordering my sundries:Fuses, breakers, new Distribution board, etc. I've tried now for weeks to-and-fro with ACDC.co.za after them not activating my account (even though the activation email was received) to the site now not displaying prices when I'm logged in. It all seems a bit of a mess, yet ACDC's site seems to be the most comprehensive compared to others such as Voltex, ARB etc. Perhaps I'm being too lazy by not wanting to pickup the phone, but this seems like it should be a solved problem? Online shopping for electrical supplies? Who/what do you guys use ?
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