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My project,hobby or money pit??.(not sure)


Piper
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It is a very expensive hobby, ill tell you that. If your goal is to make the system work for you (not the other way around) then I like to think of it as a long term investment into your comfort and self sufficiency in the future. Have a chat around the forums to learn about components people like... dislike etc... and be warned, your (Wife/husband/partner) will not be impressed with your account balance 🤣

Huge fan of the Pylon batteries(Owner of 3 US-3000C's ), cant speak for those inverters, know nothing about them, 

Edited by Basil Katakuzinos
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11 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

It is a very expensive hobby, ill tell you that. If your goal is to make the system work for you (not the other way around) then I like to think of it as a long term investment into your comfort and self sufficiency in the future. Have a chat around the forums to learn about components people like... dislike etc... and be warned, your (Wife/husband/partner) will not be impressed with your account balance 🤣

When I bought my system I did a calculation on a little piece of paper and figured a 7 year payback (given annual escalations > 10% by Eskom). That was the cost of the system against what I wasn't going to run up on the meter.

I know longer think that will happen (for one, stupid me didn't factor in overcast days), at the very best I will break even just in time to splash out on new batteries. However, this doesn't mean my wife is unhappy. Firstly the savings increases year on year as the tariffs increase. Secondly, since installation we have always had power, the lights have always been on, the fridges and the deep freezers stay on and so we don't lost contents (and I can always get a cold beer), we never miss Strictly Come Dancing. These are things that we can't attach a rands and cents value to and so set off against the purchase price of the system, but they surely are worth something.

So I think in pure rands and cents terms - where the only saving you can measure is on your meter - it's difficult to balance the books, but there's the advantages that I've described above, and if reducing your carbon footprint is worth something to you then there's another thing that is worth something.

Edited by Bobster
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2 hours ago, Bobster said:

When I bought my system I did a calculation on a little piece of paper and figured a 7 year payback (given annual escalations > 10% by Eskom). That was the cost of the system against what I wasn't going to run up on the meter.

I know longer think that will happen (for one, stupid me didn't factor in overcast days), at the very best I will break even just in time to splash out on new batteries. However, this doesn't mean my wife is unhappy. Firstly the savings increases year on year as the tariffs increase. Secondly, since installation we have always had power, the lights have always been on, the fridges and the deep freezers stay on and so we don't lost contents (and I can always get a cold beer), we never miss Strictly Come Dancing. These are things that we can't attach a rands and cents value to and so set off against the purchase price of the system, but they surely are worth something.

So I think in pure rands and cents terms - where the only saving you can measure is on your meter - it's difficult to balance the books, but there's the advantages that I've described above, and if reducing your carbon footprint is worth something to you then there's another thing that is worth something.

I think most people work out the payback wrong.

Panels: These babies generate power. So they can pay themselves back.
Batteries: These do not generate power without putting power into them first. So how can they pay themselves back? They really can't but they can increase the power generated by your panels.
Inverter: Required but again doesn't generate or store power, just switches between power sources.

So for me, the panel will pay themselves off fast.

The inverter+batteries is for convenience, or as you say, the advantages you described. 

Panels are to pay themselves back.
Batteries and inverter is there for my convenience to enjoy life as I should have before Eskom started their interuptions. 

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3 hours ago, Tinuva said:

I think most people work out the payback wrong.

Panels: These babies generate power. So they can pay themselves back.
Batteries: These do not generate power without putting power into them first. So how can they pay themselves back? They really can't but they can increase the power generated by your panels.
Inverter: Required but again doesn't generate or store power, just switches between power sources.

So for me, the panel will pay themselves off fast.

The inverter+batteries is for convenience, or as you say, the advantages you described. 

Panels are to pay themselves back.
Batteries and inverter is there for my convenience to enjoy life as I should have before Eskom started their interuptions. 

In principle, yes, but some mods.

Panels, an MPPT and pure DC-to-AC inverter are needed to generate power. Either standalone components, or try to estimate the value as a percentage split of MPPT and inverter within a hybrid device or within a grid-tied inverter. These cost items can show a return on investment, like shares and property.

A charger, batteries and DC-to-AC inverter are needed to store and retrieve power. Either separate components, or as part of a hybrid device. These don't have a return on investment, but are similar to insurance, or maybe more like cash savings in the bank with a negative interest rate. The value is having it when you need it, either for convenience or for vitally important things like security or to keep businesses running.

Hope that makes sense.

 

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19 hours ago, Piper said:

So the plan is to be able to use as little Eskom power as possible but to stay connected for in-case.

At this stage I instaled the inverters ,some db boxes and so on.

Below the plan.(feel free to comment or give advise)

530886783_SolarDiagram.thumb.jpg.afd89d9520b8f184393e242938892fcb.jpg

IMG_5555.JPG

It can become and expensive hobby when you get sucked in. For example the panel are like a car you will benefit from them the inverter and batteries they like fuel you need it to make the car move. I think the only time it's really effective when you totally off grid , that when you can safely says the system pays for itself but a costly affair for that part. Just my thoughts.

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On 2021/09/23 at 11:37 AM, Tinuva said:

I think most people work out the payback wrong.

Panels: These babies generate power. So they can pay themselves back.
Batteries: These do not generate power without putting power into them first. So how can they pay themselves back? They really can't but they can increase the power generated by your panels.
Inverter: Required but again doesn't generate or store power, just switches between power sources.

So for me, the panel will pay themselves off fast.

The inverter+batteries is for convenience, or as you say, the advantages you described. 

Panels are to pay themselves back.
Batteries and inverter is there for my convenience to enjoy life as I should have before Eskom started their interuptions. 

I hear what you're saying, but I still have to try and recover the cost of the entire installation. Saying my panels are paid off but the batteries will still take a while still leaves me with the same spend to recover/justify. 

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  • 2 months later...

Time for an update.

Panels installed all hooked up and currently testing.

Ran into a snag trying to get a COC. Everyone closing for Dec or finishing final jobs for the year.

As you can see I'm using multisibcontrol via 2 usb cables and the little usb to rs485 converter.

Mounted the rails directly to the IBR roof with some good old tex screws.

Batterys on a boltless shelf.

All the pv cables in flex conduit and kept it simple .(+ with +) and (- with -).
 

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On 2021/09/23 at 8:52 AM, Bobster said:

When I bought my system I did a calculation on a little piece of paper and figured a 7 year payback (given annual escalations > 10% by Eskom). That was the cost of the system against what I wasn't going to run up on the meter.

Given recent requests for tariff increases made by Eskom, I may still break even at some point. "Break even" is a moving target.

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its an interesting topic, the value of solar

I think there's a point where solar does make sense, for instance my w&l used to R4.5K off per month, now its not.

The R200k is used as a baseline because its more or less in line with the project mentioned above, with the added cost of a borehole, and maybe an air to water device for the kitchen.

scenario 1.

I have R200K just sitting around, using it to offset a R4.5k monthly expense while adding substantial value to my property does seem like a good investment.

rate of return is 27% per annum but also increases per year, if needed assets could be unloaded with maybe a 20% loss of initial capital.

scenario 2.

lets say I accessed my bond to get R200k for solar and borehole, thats R2K per month I'd have to pay in, offset against R4.5K I was paying.

scenario 3. 

I took my R200k and put it into long term investments at say 10%, I would receive R1.6K per month, hardly covers the R4.5k

but here is a list of what to expect from investments, buyer beware as they say, I went with the guaranteed capital option.

    Column A Column B Column C
    1-year average annualised performance 5-year average annualised performance Sector maximum drawdown rates over five years *
1 Money market 5% (top fund) 3.88% (average) 7.22% (top fund) 6.62% (average) – 0.19%
2 Short term income 10.53% (top fund) 5.32% (average) 8.47% (top fund) 7.48% (average) -0.31%
3 Variable income 26.54% (top fund) 14.34% (average) 9.72% (top fund) 7.61% (average) -14.54%
4 Multi-asset income 17.81% (top fund) 7.46% (average) 10.25% (top fund) 7.22% (average) -3.48%

in conclusion, I'd say financially, solar is a good investment as long as you do the math, additionally it allows uninterrupted lifestyle (read as not using candles and tripping over dogs in the dark)

compare this to cars which devalue substantially over the 5 yr period of ownership, yet its accepted as the norm.

However there is a minimum threshold of w&l monthly amount where the decision to go solar or not comes into play. 

Edited by Nitrious
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now for the financials of my actual install against my R4.5K w&l monthly account.

5kw inverter - R7k

8x 200ah batteries - R12k (I get them at scrap value of the lead, slightly more maybe and replace as needed) - 8 units power available.

12x 465w panels = R29K (planning to go to 16x panels for 4kw available at 8am once my mppt protection device is available in the next week or two)

1x heat pump with installation - R10K

1x gas hob - R4K

misc - say R3k,

borehole - R40k

Total - R105K.

Rate of return - 51% per year.

sure I'll likely spend another R100K on a better inverter, and li ion batteries in the future. assuming a 10yr lifetime at 27% per year with yearly increases, still ahead. 

Edited by Nitrious
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7 hours ago, Nitrious said:

its an interesting topic, the value of solar

I think there's a point where solar does make sense, for instance my w&l used to R4.5K off per month, now its not.

This is an important point. Before I converted to solar, my property was averaging under 500 kw/h a month. Even at current pre-paid tariffs that's under a grand, and so I can't make the big saving. So for me, although  I see a far off point at which I will break even, it has to be about not just the financial savings but also the softer issues you mention - the continuity of lifestyle. I don't know what that is worth, but I know it is worth something, and after a year like 2021 (the most load shedding ever) I am glad to have had that continuity.

 

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