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


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  1. Thanks Jaco, I am strongly considering a West Facing String to match load rather than optimal production. But it appears that I will struggle getting the Volts high enough The actual idea was/is, as it is a flat roof, was to put bifacial panels facing west, while still generating when the east sun hits it. Back to the drawing board.
  2. Stupid question: The maximum DC input votage is 580V and The minimum Startup voltage is 150V Is that PER String, or in TOTAL accross both strings. I.E, if you have a string of 4 panels (North) delivering 160V (40x4) and another string of 4 Panels (West) delivering 120V (40x3) will those be enough to startup the the inverter or is it to touch and go as it so close to the minimum startup voltage?
  3. Reading up allot on “what can be expected” from your PV array, there is a school of thought that says rather than worrying about peak production, rather design to match your load. What is your orientation of your 3 strings? Will like to know what people think about east or west orientation rather than all north?
  4. Hi All, With these 3 weeks in Lock Down, I am aiming to get most of my planning done for my Inverter Install (which will be followed by PV install after Stellenbosch approval). Now, my preferred place to install my Inverter and Battery will not work. I cannot get the necessary Top/Bottom/Sides clearing around the Inverter as per the manufacturer's guidelines (Goodwe). So my question: What are the main points you will consider when selecting the ideal position for your inverter and battery? (please add your reasoning) Inverter Placement: Max Distance from Distribution Board (both load wise and communication wise) Distance from Solar Panels Problems with high install (above finished ground level) Battery Placement: (a single 3.5kw Dyness Unit which is used for backup purposes with max 1 more unit expansion in the future) Distance from Inverter (also max distance that should not be safely exceeded) Pros vs Cons of Ground vs Wall install If wall install; what is the best orientation, flat (i.e front faceplate pointing up) or protruding (i.e front faceplate facing forward) Problems with high install (above finished ground level) My space is limited as this will be situtated in the garage. And as my preferred spot above and next to the DB is not available, the alternate spots (based on above inputs) will even be more space constraint. Thanks for your input Danie PS - my install is focussed on Load Shedding backup, as well as 3kWp self consumption through solar during the day. I have no plans to go fully off grid
  5. Hi All I know people frequently ask about experience with online sellers. And they should, one tend to drop big money with them. I recently bought a Goodwe and Dyness battery from Solaradvice. Part was because they were competitively priced on the items, and part because they had stock of Lion batteries during this time. Apart from them requiring that I buy their total load shed kit from them (and not just the battery I intended at first), they were willing to “make up” the kit with the inverter I wanted (a combo not on their site) and to exclude/swop out some of the standard kit items I did not want or need. Shipping was also immediate, thus their stock records were accurate, but I did phone to confirm beforehand. So thank you Leon and team. Although it will remain uninstalled until after lock down.
  6. That was my intention. see attached for example Also full article of idea https://www.ee.co.za/article/bifacial-solar-pv-modules-give-increased-power-output-potential.html#.XncAKyWxUlR Canadian_Solar-Datasheet-BiKu_CS3K-MB-FG__IEC1500V__v5.57_EN.pdf
  7. Your problem is not how busy they are, but that you are in the Western Cape. At the risk of gross generalisation and offending the handful of great Western Cape service providers (no matter the industry) I have never struggled so much doing anything at my house since moving the the fair cape. Not to mention the rates.
  8. Hi All, As I continue my solar research, I came across the bifacial panel option and I want to sound board my thinking. Traditionally convention dictates a north facing install. Now, as I am installing a Goodwe ES with 2 MPPTs, I was thinking: - Install 1 string of 4 panels (350-400W) north facing on the roof (traditional racking) - Install 1 string of 4 panels facing West. This will help optimising production during my peak usage (Western Cape and late sunny evenings) BUT - seeing that this will be on a flat roof section, which will then require a tilting racking system I am wondering whether Bifacial panels will not be a great option here as I should then get very good production during the morning when it hit the back of the panel? (for discussion assume no shading issues) Secondary question Can one do 2 west and 2 east on the same string and MPPT? (See snippet from article attached) Secondary question Assuming a VMP of 50V, what wire thickness do I need for a string of 4 and 15m cable length. Online calculators give me different answers of 4 and 6 mm2.
  9. I cannot understand this model for a 21st century company. Imagine how rich Jeff Bezos would have been if you could only browse the amazon store but then have to goto a dealer/distributor. Or how many Tesla would they have sold if they had to first build a traditional dealership network (they struggled up first as it was) Yet I cannot press the buy button on many SA businesses websites. Boggles the mind. Just this industry - Microcare: No - BlueNova: No - Freedom One: No And selling inverters and batteries are not “different”.
  10. They have heat pumps without PV and with no intention to get. They just wanted to replace their normal geyser with Solar/Heat Pump. I also have heat pump without PV. True. If you have a normal geyser and then have to decide between the options (heat pump/solar heater/PV), one will probably reach a different conclusion as to a new build which was forced to do Heat Pump or Solar Heat (my circumstance) regardless of PV
  11. Solar geysers also use electricity as many need to top up sometimes during the year. My feeling is just it is easier to fir the heat pumps’s electricity requirement in a PV setup, than a traditional element. But that is just my feeling. Still allot to investigate and research
  12. Yes - Western Cape When I had to choose between solar heating and heat pump for my new build, I got hold of an Eskom study on this matter (my brother in law worked in that sustainability department at the time) The conclusion, winter rainfall areas and some of KZN due to winter cloud cover was better of with heat pumps The interior with high radiation in winter (irrespective of actual temperatures) better of with solar. However poor insulation of the whole system, and/or high demand of hot water after sunset put the heat pump back in favour for those regions as well, especially in areas on the high veld and Free State which regularly go below zero for long during the evenings (hence the importance of insulating)
  13. Anecdotally I have 3 friends that changed their solar heaters to heat pump. All 3 reported significant power savings, most of it in winter off course. This is real life scenarios where they did not change their habits.
  14. https://www.enerflow.co.za/heat-pumps/residential-heat-pumps/circulating-heating-pumps 1.2 to 5 to be precise Your miles may very, but in the Western Cape with its cloud cover in winter, I find that a heat pump works better.


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