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Introduction - I just made the largest home purchase of my life!


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Good morning,

Thought it might be appropriate to introduce myself. I have been a lurker on the forum for the last couple of years and have gained so much knowledge from the wise folks on this forum. I am an IT Technical manager for a small IT company in PMB. My background is in IT Enterprise hardware, from storage, compute, and hypervisors.  Since I love to tinker, I have a deployment of home assistant running, with all my lights, gate, and garage door automated.

After years of procrastination, I have made the single biggest purchase for my house. (To put this into perspective, my kitchen remodel was about half of this cost). 

I have purchased a Synsynk 8KW inverter, 2 x 5.5 KWh Hubble AM2's and 10 x JA 540w panels (2 strings, east west.) We tend to use quite a bit of electricity in the house with two AC's running constantly during the summer here. 

My idea for the install is as follows:

All loads are going to be classed as essential. The invertor will blend from Sun and grid to power the whole house. When grid is not available, I can trigger a node red flow to switch of the Non-Invertor AC, Geyser, pool pump and other heavy loads. All my lights are already LED, but I will trigger a flow to only turn on lamps when running on batteries. Since I had a couple of Raspberry Pi's, I have purchased Solar Assistant to integrate with my home assistant. 

Any thoughts or suggestions from the members here? 

I will document the install process and will post pics once the install has been completed.

 

 

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Welcome, and congratulations on a great choice, all of it!

You can do it without node red too, if you just place the heavier loads (geyser, pool pump etc.) before the inverter, and set the inverter up to feed them when there is excess solar power, and down when the grid fails. This is a far simpler solution, a single management system and interface and does not require extra hardware and comms. It also means that you will be up and running a lot quicker, so you get to experience and "learn" the system. If I were you I would do it this way as phase 1, home automation as phase 2. But if you really want to use node red from the outset, then by all means do it, there are many other great uses for it.

Please remember to post lots of pics of your install, we love them! 

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Welcome to the party, your life and electricity bills will be changed forever.:)

I'm also in PMB, and with a similar system. Just need more solar panels, especially with rainy weather.

With the system you're about to install, you will definitely be happy.

The satisfaction seeing the sun supply ALL your power needs is amazing.

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1 hour ago, ggza said:

When grid is not available, I can trigger a node red flow to switch of the Non-Invertor AC, Geyser, pool pump and other heavy loads.

This is exactly what I have done, makes sense for me because then I still have the option of turning things on when the grid is down. Whereas if you have them on the non-essential side they are off when the grid is down, even if you have excess solar to power them. Node Red turns everything off so that I'm not caught unaware but I then still have the option to turn things back on manually.

What I would like to add in node red is power monitoring. i.e. only turn the oven off if its drawing over 0.5 amps. Then I wont have to go around resetting clocks unnecessarily. 

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11 minutes ago, Robbo said:

This is exactly what I have done, makes sense for me because then I still have the option of turning things on when the grid is down. Whereas if you have them on the non-essential side they are off when the grid is down, even if you have excess solar to power them. Node Red turns everything off so that I'm not caught unaware but I then still have the option to turn things back on manually.

What I would like to add in node red is power monitoring. i.e. only turn the oven off if its drawing over 0.5 amps. Then I wont have to go around resetting clocks unnecessarily. 

If this is an issue, then the other alternative is the Aux port, can use excess solar even when the grid is down.

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4 minutes ago, YellowTapemeasure said:

the Aux port

That was the theory of the aux port but I don't know if in practice it ever worked fully? (that's an honest question)

Its worth searching on the forum for references to this aux port because I remember members having to turn on a kettle in order to force loads over a certain level in order for the aux load to run? I'm speaking under correction here so please do your own research!

I'm reserving my aux for a backup generator, so not really an option for me.

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1 minute ago, Robbo said:

That was the theory of the aux port but I don't know if in practice it ever worked fully? (that's an honest question)

Its worth searching on the forum for references to this aux port because I remember members having to turn on a kettle in order to force loads over a certain level in order for the aux load to run? I'm speaking under correction here so please do your own research!

I'm reserving my aux for a backup generator, so not really an option for me.

i have played around quite a big with the AUX port, It works brilliantly once the two parameters are met i.e , SOC and pv production, BUT lets say cloud cover moves over and pv drops below what you set it at and SOC drops below your set cut off, AUX will switch off, BUT the problem is when you meet the two set parameters AGAIN ( the same day ), AUX does NOT switch on automatically and you have to resort to manual intervention, like switching on a big load momentarily or using "Always on grid on ", to kick start the system. have chatted to Keith Gough ( ceo) numerous times, but have not been able to get my point across

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Hi Guys

Thanks for all the comments and re-assurances. Will stick with node-red for now, since I have full control over the process. The idea is to make it as simple as possible, since the wife hates it when she must fiddle to make something work. Will add more panels at a later stage once my wallet recovered from this initial expense. 

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Can recommend these breaker switches for use with Node Red. 

https://www.robofactory.co.za/smart-switches/167-63a-1p-smart-circuit-breaker-with-monitoring-ewelink.html

They run with the Sonoff app and work well with node red and handle up to 63A.

They also have the advantage of having power metering in them so you can cycle your loads when they stop pulling power (geysers mostly)

You can get them quite a lot cheaper from Banggood as well if you are prepared to wait a few weeks for them to arrive.

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26 minutes ago, Sc00bs said:

Can recommend these breaker switches for use with Node Red. 

https://www.robofactory.co.za/smart-switches/167-63a-1p-smart-circuit-breaker-with-monitoring-ewelink.html

They run with the Sonoff app and work well with node red and handle up to 63A.

They also have the advantage of having power metering in them so you can cycle your loads when they stop pulling power (geysers mostly)

You can get them quite a lot cheaper from Banggood as well if you are prepared to wait a few weeks for them to arrive.

Thanks Scoobs. I have purchased some CBI Astute's. They are rated for 30 Amps, so should be good for the geyser. No Tasmota on them though....

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The current version is a bit buggy. Switching works and power works, but the energy side she is broken…

  • Entity sensor.asc_wi_fi_ver_2_3 from integration tuya_v2 has state class total_increasing, but its state is not strictly increasing. Please report it to the custom component author.
  • Entity sensor.asc_wi_fi_ver_2_2_4 from integration tuya_v2 has state class total_increasing, but its state is not strictly increasing. Please report it to the custom component author.
  • Entity sensor.stoof_3 from integration tuya_v2 has state class total_increasing, but its state is not strictly increasing. Please report it to the custom component author.
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