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Everything posted by daniemare

  1. Part of the issue. The guys at Lumax Energy from where I bought my KlipLok roof Brackets and Clamps from will work with me and consider the wind. Might need to do a thin wire cable from the top at an angle.
  2. Standard practice but illegal! Even if B2B
  3. Thanks. I forgot about this site. I normally ignore sites that advertise ex-Vat. If they ignore things like the VAT act that prohibits this, I often wonder what else they ignore - like shipping your online orders As to why. I am researching and considering the vertical installation of these panels in a West (good side) / East (back side) orientation. https://www.ee.co.za/article/bifacial-solar-pv-modules-give-increased-power-output-potential.html#.XncAKyWxUlR I have attached 2 articles as to why I am exploring this. I have limited space and my 6 north facing panels over produce during peak midday times, but I get nothing after 17:00. So I am moddeling my 3 options. - exporting - another battery - late afternoon and early morning production to better match load. So I needed to know the price ofthese things to do the math.
  4. Hi all, I am looking for BiFacial Panels. I want to buy 4 or so (400Watt/11Amp) but can’t find any at the usual online suspects. Plan is to put them vertically an orient them West / East. Any contacts? Thanks
  5. I have the Goodwe ES. Where it differs from the EM is (5kW versions) - firstly the backup ability 4.6kw vs 2.3kw. So if you are on backup (i.e. no Eskom) then those loads you described will trip the Inverter not the batteries. - secondly, look in you manual the Max Aparant Power From Grid. How I understand this is that this is the power it can “pass through” to your backup loads when the grid is present. For the EM this is 5.3kVA vs 9.2kVA on the ES. So even when Eskom is on, the loads you decribe can trip the Inverter potentially if some other things are on. other things, make sure you are indeed on backup or grid tied mode and not off grid mode on the PV master app.
  6. There is a reason why Utility Companies, like Eskom, start out tax payer funded, large and public. (A pity some stay taxpayer funded). It is because they have to be big, and at first, charging only per unit will make it unaffordable, hence the need for tax or debt funds. Problem is with HOAs, that upfront unfairness will be to much to overcome 99% of the time. Never mind the actual complexity of running, maintaining and administering of such a scheme.
  7. Sad thing was that my neighbour’s system MSW inverter power trolly was set up like this. To charge - take plug A (AC feed into inverter) and plug in wall socket labelled “inverter” (in garage). Then, when Load shedding start, unplug plug A take plug B (AC feed from inverter) and plug into same socket. The socket is on its own CB in the DB labelled inverter. My neighbour said the installer gave some other instructions about turning things on and off but he can’t remember. The installer - the a registered sparkie according to my neighbour.
  8. 2 things...... clearly many many many things. Thanks, luckily my neighbour listen to me with my 2 reasons. I will now share the others with him as well. Back to the topic. This type of possible behaviour is why I will definitely not get involved as an HOA. Supplying electricity is not the job of an HOA, and I think @plonkster’s use of the word “die” and “electrocuted” should make that clear.
  9. My understanding: you take a lead with a 3 pin plug on both ends. One end you plug into your alternative source (like a generator or ups), the other you plug into any other plug in your house. You so power all your circuits with this suicide leade (you can turn of the CB of that house plug to limit it somewhat). so 2 things can happen. 1 the lead itself is to thin an can can catch fire. Your DB was desinged on a 60amp supply for example, and that is not a 2.5mm2 house lead 2 Eskom comes back on and sparks can literally fly and those sparks can be your communal inverters
  10. Here is some problems. Firstly you said “some owners” are gatvol. Guarantee this will bring your first problem. Whilst everyone is gatvol, these communal systems seem like a great idea. Like you said, scale etc. But then, loadshedding subsides for a while. Some owners are landlords and want to keep their investment incheck. Other sell after only a year of getting value. Or some start realising that they use power sparingly, whilst your neighbours don’t and you start wondering why did you pay the same. And before you know it you have issues at every AGM. Been there done that. 2 - how you charge, especially when it’s done monthly must be done in such a way that it is not construed as selling electricity, something an HOA cannot do without regulatory approval. 3 - (on this I only speculate), the legality on wiring another grid on premises, but as you said, your problem. 4 - 200W per unit (did I read it right)? What are you going to do with that? Good LED TVs can be up to that alone. What about DSTV, wifi and some lights, although small it adds up. Put at least 600W per Flat and do your calc again. 5 - Liability. This damn plug that the HOA supplied surged and killed my R70,000 OLED TV I bought last week. Please replace. If it was me I will do 2 things: 1 - Spec a good 3kW inverter, 2.4kW/h battery package. An “approved by HOA” of some sorts. 1 Consult, 1 Electrician etc. Then use the bulk buying power of the group of individuals who are truely gatvol to secure these items as 1 purchase. 2 - Find a fairsish way where indiciduals can use common space to errect 1 or 2 panels of their own that feeds their individual inverter to charge the battery and carry some of the backup off grid load. in closing, I just cannot see how a Grid Tried communal backup system will be worth the hassle and regulatory effort
  11. I know, thought the irony was subtle but evident
  12. A lot of people will argue ROI back and forth, including this, exclusing that. For me it was simple. (Below based on my load profile, including opportunity costs of 10% (I am an accountant and can’t ignore that, and 7% Eskom increases) Option 1: Backup Only > No Payback With load shedding a reality, the battery and basic inverter charger that matches your real critical load (eg. TV, Lights, Wifi) is for security and comfort - 2kW Inverter with 2.4kW Pylon. As you charge with Eskom, this can never have payback (unless you have time of use tariffs and can do load shifting like some direct Eskom customers) Option 2: Solar Only, No Battery For me, this would have meant Panels (Limited to 3,6kWp), String Inverter and No export. Thus self consumption of base load. This is the best payback. For me 3 years and increased use of pool pump. Option 3: Hybrid 3.6kWp Panels, Hybrid Inverter, 1 3.6kW battery. 12 years payback. For me that was not acceptable as I do not even known if I will live in my house by then. But, as I was willing to invest in Option 1 regardless, I subtracted the costs of that option. Got me to 7 years with increase use of pool pump over baseline. Note - I did most of the install myself. Bottom line - one can “argue” any which way to justify your decision. And those qualitative factors are very personal. - Batteries kill the ROI - Most quotes I got, the solar middlemen killed the ROI - Do not over invests, as panels can quickly become idle (see comments above) which will lead to batteries which do not have payback. - Export is not an option, even if it is allowed. It is structured in such a way to not make sense. Which makes sense in itself, why will a utility get you to pay zero and have that backup infrastructure coming to your doorstep.
  13. Hi All Looking at installing a simple 3kW inverter/2.4kW battery UPS system. My DB has LOTS of room. Now the question. Can I install the necessary switchgear in the main DB. It will be (all AC) - CB for feed to Inverter - Changeover switch - CB for feed from Inverter - Earth Leakage (RCD) with the - CBs for the selected circuits I want on Backup (lights and plugs) (reuse current CBs just connected to new RCD) - Required Pilot Lights. The DC stuff (battery cables and fuse box) will be separate. Will this be allowed if adequately separated and so indicated in the board? Seems like such a waist to install another DB if the main one has like two rows 10 DIN spaces each. Thanks Danie
  14. They also didn’t know. But I got the Conlog guy and the Municipality guy to talk to one another. A light went on for the electricity department (because he personally was scratching his head because of 3 tripping case complaints he was dealing with) as he got his answer for the tripping and a way to check to see who applied or not
  15. Didn’t read through all the technical replies. But I spoke to the technical people at Conlog (the pre-paid meter supplier for S’Bosch). Whilst the tripping of the meter is due to the various anti tampering measures in the meter, this specific issue is easily disabled by a meter specific code generated by Conlog. They need a written request and authorisation from the Municipality. Which is now treating this as a practical double check to check if you got your solar installation approved. No approval no code. Funny thing is that the reputable solar installers did not know the cause of this tripping, or the solution when I enquired into this phenomenon as part of my ongoing system research. To such an extent that my neighbour’s system is set to 500W (as opposed to 0) export limit. His power bill is R200 less than my no solar system R1,200 per month bill, after a R210k 14kWh battery investment.
  16. I have one of these https://www.enerflow.co.za 6 years. No problems. Set and forget and from my research at the time, most efficient
  17. This is what I am going to do then. Scenario 1 per my Opening Question. Thanks @plonkster Any chance you can takena stab at my other question regarding the Surge Protection Device wiring?
  18. Hi All, When adding indicator lights (see Hager CVN series link below) to your Distribution Board what is best practice? Do you 1 - Wire the Lights to indicate that power is present. I.E. 1 Light will be on for Eksom (and goes of when load shedding) 1 Light will be on for Inverter (and goes of when Inverter is switched off) Thus lights are on/off irrespective of which source you selected per your change over switch OR 2 - Wire the Lights to indicate which source you currently use per your change over switch selection Thanks for your advice Danie http://www.africa.hager.com/bs/products/energy-distribution/power-control-and-signaling/indicator-lights/indicator-lights/svn122/73131.htm?utm_source=print
  19. Hi All, I would like to add a Surge Protection Device (SPD) to my Sub DB. My main focus is to protect my Inverter from surges from the Main Feed, but if possible have protection the other way too. My Main DB already has a SPD Type II wired in parallel. So I would like to add a Type II device in the sub DB to where the interface between Mains and Inverter happens. I have attached a diagram illustrating my thinking. But comments and directions will be appreciated. PS. When I add Solar PV, that DB will also have a SPD rated for DC to deal with surges from the panels. But that will come later. Thanks All SPD Wiring Diagram.pdf
  20. Thanks What do you loose with the SPF va SPH? In other words, hoe do they differ?
  21. Hi All. I am looking for an easy to understand explanation about the differences between the Growatt SPH vs SPF series. In layman’s terms please. I struggle to understand terms like AC coupled etc. I am particularly looking to understand which one is a true hybrid, i.e. can blend Mains/Solar/Battery at the same time, and off course, switch to Solar/Battery for critical loads when mains is off (load shedding). And for those with experience, what are those. Prices look competitive compared to Victron and Goodwe, so doing some research.
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. 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?
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