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Everything posted by introverter

  1. As noted by others this might only apply if you choose to feed back to the grid. Also as mentioned feeding back in terms of "selling" to the municipality seldome makes financial sense. I think you can basically differentiate 3 types of installs/applications 1) the eskom grid part of your home and the solar part of your home are in some way connected (even if technically "separated" by a transfer switch) - and you want to sell back excess power to the municipality. = most complicated process and one that requires approved inverters, fancy electricity meters etc. (that get installed at your cost most of the time). 2) the eskom grid part of your home and the solar part of your home are in some way connected (even if technically "separated" by a transfer switch) - and you do NOT want to sell back excess power to the municipality. = probably exacly as complicated as option 1 in terms of application/permission process but you should be able to remain on a more sensible tarrif and *potentially* keep your prepaid meter. 3) the solar part of your home has no way to ever come in to contact with any part of the eskom/municipality grid. = simplest process but still need to inform municipailty and usually supply an electrician signed off COC that the install meets all national and local install rules. Even if the municipality does not force a change, there could be a problem with the meter actually tripping. @Bobster's meter goes a bit strange but other meters will trip during a slight unintended feedback (happens when PV is powering a big load that then suddenly switches off - Inverter is slow to respond and for a short while some power is fed through the meter which most will consider as a tamper type event).
  2. Definitely and absolutely no apology needed. (hope my post/s did not imply any nuisance value of your questions). Thanks for reporting back - I will guarantee you that you are not the first and definitely not the last person to go through this but at least your posts will help someone else to track down their problem
  3. Road trip! Best I can do to almost head back on topic...
  4. Suspect lowering convective heat loss is a big contributor of the blankets (blowing on your tea to cool it down vs covering the cup with the saucer and then blowing). In summer it is almost too effective - pool water at > 30 degree C not much of a way to cool down
  5. find this very useful at times https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Wiring-Unlimited-EN.pdf
  6. ... ... I too tilt at windmills
  7. the difference between the german sounding pianos and the wannabes being that anything played in the key of G having a slightly guttural quality to it...
  8. I have a 45 000 liter pool. On roughly 80% of the surface my double garage roof I have (now bypassed) some of these solar "mats" (multiple rows of little black pipes) that are warmed by the sun before the water returns to the pool. I have found a bubble pool cover way more effective at raising the pool temperature. Another major benefit is that I have not used tap water in over three years to top up my pool (do at times add a bit from rain water harvested from the roof) - the cover also helps a bit to keep leaves and crap out of the pool. Just get a cover with a roll up station other wise opening the pool feels too much like a chore. One way to reduce your particular pool pump running time... If looking at other ways to reduce electrcity costs I found the following when looking at the various options: 1) Variable flow pumps (pump runs slower depending on settings - drawback is that these are quite expensive and you pool cleaner may not work on the lower settings). 2) Purpose made solar (PV) pool pumps (normally a DC motor that will start running slowly when solar output is low and then pick up speed as solar output increases then slow down again as solar output decreases - you basically leave the pump to run the whole day. Again also not cheap. Think the bundupower ones are PV DC). 3) PV add-on options for exisitng AC pumps. (normally some variant of a solar controller and Variable Speed Drive - the Speck systems as mentioned by @Richard Mackay should be a variant of this. Again not cheap). I suspect the specks are actually made by Microcare and sustainable still lists the actual microcare options. I normally try to support local but at the time could not get any response from Microcare unfortunately. In the end when I looked at these options the intial cost just did not make it worthwhile in terms of return on investment for me . If I was going to look at this now again, purely with an eye on keeping electricity costs down I would look at my options for a grid-tied inverter as mentioned by @Plaashaas. I would consider splitting my DB and maybe have my pool and kitchen on a "savings circuit" which is fed by a grid-tied inverter which can blend incoming AC (the idea is NOT to export anything to the grid). Having the grid-tied inverter allows Eskom to help start the motor without needing a 5000W+ inverter (which after startup will be running at ~1300W). Having the kitchen on this same "savings circuit" means that at times when the pool is maybe not runnning that my fridges get the benefit of reduced eskom power consumption from the Rxxxx-xx system I installed. I also do not have to worry will my pool motor even work with a VSD, if it does having another component that can fail etc. If some clouds drift past the sun the pool pump does not sound like a learner driver trying to still master clutch control. Part 2 of my blog: The major issue is the startup. My 1.1kW pool pump (actual brand name "Quality".....) with a 7A run rating draws at least 30A in the first 100ms (i.e. 30A*230V=6900W). Even though i.i.r.c. @plonkster started a 1kW pump with a 3kW victron you will likely want to go a bit bigger on the inverter.
  9. unless really wanting all that the sonoffs etc. offer a basic watt/power meter like this could be much simpler to check most plug-in loads...
  10. https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/2556-GX_Device_Manual_Venus_GX/en/dvcc---distributed-voltage-and-current-control.html
  11. @Dirkie Crous, curious whether you managed to track down whatever keeps the meter counting?
  12. out of interest and possible completeness for anyone with a more useful contribution that stumbles on this, @Ingo is your system: ESS consisting of Quattro + Venus GX + Battery + 1 wired temp sensor connected to Quattro + 1 wired temp sensor connected to Venus GX and then also try to add VE.Bus dongle ? Is this on a (Bluenova?) LiFePO4 battery with comms? If so, why the two external temp sensors even before the VE.Bus dongle is added - does the BMS not provide voltage and temp info to the Venus GX? I am curious about the potential role and conflicts of an ESS system with BMS provided voltage+temp info and TWO extra external wired temp sensors (Quattro and Venus) and now a potential third voltage+temp source (VE.Bus dongle). Something in the victron manuals leave me with a hunch that a single source of both voltage and temperature (like the dongle) could be bumped up the pecking order over a source that only provides one or the other. Even then, should this override BMS info? Any other assistants running? @plonkster IF the BMS provides voltage+temp info, I would assume no external temp sensor should influence charge voltage?
  13. I would wonder about your general warm water use patterns. Bath vs shower, duration, frequency, etc. (6 x full, hot baths 6AM-7AM will take some heating where solar benefit could be diminished). Parents/you/teens mostly home during day (assuming non enforced Covid changes)? The bulk electricity use during the day will be oddish (barring the pool pump) if no one is home during the day. Still coming out of winter... electric heaters on big part of the day? Parents making tea often (boiling a full 2L kettle multiple a times to make 1 cup)? Check pool pump flow rate spec and pool water volume and see if you actually need 6 - 8 hours (think general advise is to circulate/turn over the total volume of pool water about once in 24h) . When not using the pool during winter it can likely be even less - even more so if the pool is covered (also very good for reducing water loss...anyone remember that thing called drought?). My pool pump is about 1/2 my household electricty consumption. Something like an effergy can be useful to identify times of increased electricity use. I prefer the basic effergy which is not web based. Put the CT clamp on the mains breaker in the DB for a week, then use the software to check the graphs for spikes (you might then already be able to identify where electricity consumption spikes correlate with certain events). If you have the time, then the/a prepaid meter self can help identify consuming loads. If daily routine is fairly predictable, then one "standard day" check you prepaid balance units, (switch off the pool pump breaker the night before), end of day check prepaid units, next day repeat exercise but allow pool to run - now you have a much more accurate indication (units and R/c) of what the pool pump consumes. If you have a prepaid meter with little light that blinks at a higher frequency the greater the power use, then you can switch off circuits in the DB to see which circuit (geyser / / living room plugs / etc.) contributes greatest to the speed of blinking. Will give you an idea whether maybe the PC running in the study the whole day is using more electricity than you thought.
  14. Maybe not a bad idea. Like I said, Murphy knows where I live, so I err on the side of caution..... same reason a MTB with only half a fork makes me nervous the sonoff people also try quite hard with the basic R3 to ensure that you must be really motivated to tinker with it with that double decker PCB setup..
  15. Not necessarily faults. Actually occured to me that the most likely source of that idle consumption could be the fan/s, but I must say I doubt I would notice a 0.5kWh increase in daily electricity consumption! Hopefully some of the members with kodaks, axperts etc. will have more clarity on the frequency of the fan coming on. (also have a look through the forum for topics like Axpert inverter settings, Axpert and Pylontech etc. to get a comparison of what kind of settings/options there are and how that compares to this particular install) slightly off-topic, but I suggest familiarising yourself with the CoCT approved inverter list, SSEG requirements etc. before hooking up inverters and PV for a client - when PV gets added into the mix where Eskom/City of Cape Town utility power is also involved the levels of complexity/rules etc. go up quite a bit. hang in there!
  16. @David27, had a look at some of your other posts and seems like you are quite new to the solar/inverter thing but know your way around conductors and such but are in bit of tight a spot. So my quick 2 cents. with the inverter currently running basically as a UPS there are a number of things that can still affect the inverter drawing power but you will likely need to post some of the current settings for those more knowledgeable about the Axpert type inverters (which I am not) to identify what (if any) the actual problem might be. Most likely the 0.4kWh is the inverter's idle consumption to keep itself going (maybe explain to the client that in the absence of solar power the inverter is still powered from eskom to "stay awake"). It could be things like a battery voltage settings that continually keep charging the batteries. The inverter might actually be set up to use the grid more easily than you think. If the grid is unstable (voltage/frequency) the inverter possibly disconnects from the grid and starts inverting for a while (even if power does not actually go off) and then charges the batteries (probably very unlikely at that small consumption level). Unfortunately I have no idea how often the fan will come on, if at all, while "idle". I suggest posting more detailed info about the install (single / three phase, inverter settings like SOl, SBU etc, any other peripherals (ICC monitoring/control), install location (small unventilated cupboard under the stairs) etc.
  17. At first I thought to suggest as penance that you have to read a Jodi Picoult novel before you are allowed to read more firmware () - then I noticed that I actually referred to a 3000kVA fictional inverter to power a couple of residential CCTV cameras... so it is more appropriate that I stare blankly at some firmware for a while and then also read a Jodi Picoult novel for all the bad thoughts while staring at said firmware. You sir are correct. Units matter. The end.
  18. My batteries are also bit of test case. Off-topic, but bluenova info does vary a lot - maybe because the internet has a long memory. Bluenova actually have a "customer self service portal", where you can access battery manuals etc. and the "MPS series" guide from there shows 13.9V float any case, I will see in time what happens (and if I start messing with the charging circuits I know the magic smoke will be released from somewhere...)
  19. temporary hijack.. thanks for the balancing voltage info. Is your alarm in essence now floating at 14V? I decided to be happy with a 13.6'ishV since the alarm battery is actually used very little (truly a "standby battery") so spends majority of the time floating. Wonder which will have the most effect on shortening lifespan - not balancing often or sustained higher voltage?
  20. Wonder how warm/hot that relay gets when powering the geyser? Bit bigger box could maybe be safer? Pic is obviously not final install position but if tempted to just toss the box ... (sounds wrong!)... next to the geyser - the closet sparky in me thinks MCB's are generally not rated/approved for any position other than vertical...
  21. First poviso: Safest is to check with the manufacturer/supplier. If you are in sunny RSA I assume you are referring to the "lead acid drop in replacement" type LiFePO4 batteries - locally bluenova or freedomwon (based on 7.5 as opposed to 8Ah most likely freedomwon). The batteries can be connected in series or parallel. The batteries should already each have an internal BMS to protect against over/under voltage, short circuit etc. so you do not actually need a BMS - you could however need a battery balancer to help prevent the individual batteries to become too "out of sync" in terms of charge levels. Without the balancer you likely will not blow anything up, but the total life time of the batteries could be lower This is the bluenova info I have in terms connnecting series: For Series configuration preparation: Charge each battery individually till they are all fully charged. Connect all batteries that will be in the same series string in parallel, and charge together till they are full.( draw less than 1Amp from the charger if this can be measured). Connect in series and charge with your series configured charger. Please take note of the batteries charge voltage and current specifications on our website, as this would be crucial for your warranty Something the bluenova info does not mention is that each battery normally has a sticker on with a "batch number". Ideally you should only connect batteries from the same batch (117-2 and 117-5 is okay, 117-2 and 118-2 not really okay). This is the info I have for freedomwon (but might not be current so check with them) (the emphasis/bold in the following procedure is freedomwon's own): Should a 24V or 48V system be required it is possible to connect the 12V units in series (up to four), however this application is not covered by the Freedom Won warranty owing to too much reliance on third parties for proper installation and operation. Should the user at his discretion decide to connect these batteries in series the following is essential for proper operation: 1. Each battery must be charged separately up to exactly 14.2V on the same day prior to being connected in series to ensure that they are equally charged (balanced) prior to use. 2. The cables connecting each battery to the next must not be shorter than 200mm to reduce heat transfer from one terminal to another. The interconnecting cables must all be the same size and length and the size must comply with Table 4.1 above. 3. These batteries must be fitted with a battery balancer (or three as in below 4 series example) when connected in series. 4. When operated in series the maximum current values provided in the specification sheet must be de-rated to 70% to cater for series connection dynamics between the batteries e.g. Different battery internal resistance values. 5. The max charge voltage setpoints must be set correctly to ensure that none of the batteries reach its maximum cut out voltage: 5.1 Two in series – 28V maximum charge voltage 5.2 Three in series – 42V maximum charge voltage 5.3 Four in series – 56V maximum charge voltage some other things to consider: if possible check the actual startup and running current of the motor. Unlike some of the bigger 12V lithium batteries and the pylontech etc. type batteries the bluenova 7Ah type battery is only rated 1.44A continuous and 7.2A burst for 30 seconds (not the expected 1C continuous and 2C surge). The freedomwon spec sheet still shows 1C continuous and 2C pulse <3sec - again confirm with them (the bluenova info is dated August 2020 but freedomwon info is older and specs could have changed). For some refernce the hungrier of my two Centurion X-Tracs draws about 2.66A on the initial "pull" - this is for a single alluminium sectional door - type of door (tilt, sectional, roller), weight, condition of springs, balance, lubrication, motor spec etc. will all influence that number). The lamp accounts for about 0.5A. When just sittng there looks like the unit draws about 0.1A. You may need to replace the connectors on the existing garage motor battery wiring. The bluenovas I have, have 6.3mm connection tabs, while standard lead acid 7Ah batteries tend to have 4.8mm tabs.
  22. Know what you mean. Gets even more fun when having multilingual keyboard options and forgetting to change the language before starting your message.. but trying to set an example for political leaders the world over, I can unfortunately not blame anyone else or even my phone - mistake was all mine have a heart, we are still adjusting to the shock of having electricity for two days in a row and now you want us to use correct units and technical lingo. Je bent een strenge leraar (if I recall correctly from a previous post you have some non-Aussie lineage) . ... I actually just realised considering current world events (movements?) that "Units matter" can actually go in a whole different direction as a conversation and even if tongue-in-cheeck will likely get me banned, so back on topic and to upset the more technically inclined: @JustAsking 3 kVA is 3000VA...which is sort of like 3000 Watt (or 3kW) - it gives you an indication what the maximum load is that the inverter can power (you size an inverter for the peak load that you expect - not the average load).
  23. No man, slaapstad already has the mountain and almost everything else - you guys can't also have the highest basic fee - leave something for the rest of us (was totally unclear from my post but the R429 is not for CoCT... aim a bit west...EDIT: mean east).. at one stage it appeared to me that google indexed more documents/conference/indaba info about setting SSEG tarrifs and the impact on municipal revenue than info about technical standards and incorporating SSEG to the grid.... anyone bored enough can scan through here for instance
  24. maybe relative to a leap year it could also be a normal year... aaahhh a normal year...would be nice to have one of those again.. * we are not getting into the math of time it will take to travel 4 light years..
  25. I suspect even if/when they can purchase from IPP's little will change in terms of trying to not lose the revenue stream. Even if assuming the more nefarious motivations are absent, the income from electricity sales, other than electrical infrastructure upkeep/expansion is potentially also used to fund various other projects (roads etc.). To some extent I think the better your local municipality appears to be run the more likely it is that the lost revenue from electricity sales will not go unnoticed... Try R429 per month basic fee...having to remain a net consumer and municipality purchasing at a lower time based rate than you are paying (to remain net consumer)
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