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Bloemfontein Install - Semi DIY


JoeSlow

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After my introduction thread I decided to now finally make this post to update where I am with my install.

This is a semi DIY install and the appropriate qualified persons will do final connections and inspections. 

Disclaimer: I appreciate advice from all with actual experience of Solar/Backup Installs. Keyboard warrior comments not welcome. If you don't like the way I'm doing something but it is not a health or safety concern, please hold it for yourself.

Okay that out of the way.

I live in a two storey house divided in two dwellings. I live upstairs and have the left yard and the roof whilst the bottom dwelling has the right yard with no roof maintenance.

Since I live upstairs there are brick built stairs. I decided that this will be the perfect place for the "Power Room"! It is around 8 to 10 degrees cooler than the outside temp and has concrete/plastering on all 6 faces.

System:

Sunsynk 5.5

JA 540 x 8

2 x Hubble AM-2

 

The "Power Room" has no current power feed and thus no light or such:

IMG_20211107_181212.thumb.jpeg.e1f7ac5952f7db5eea558aa6d45b21a8.jpeg

Installed a light switch and extractor fan switch:

IMG_20211107_181241.thumb.jpeg.ac694289049cefdeb3604d46527ed7b3.jpeg

 

IMG_20211107_181219.thumb.jpeg.bf1388952660f62fa345d6e1a1271355.jpeg

Ball cover wil be added.

IMG_20211107_181232.thumb.jpeg.f48686ac5dbc689f69456091323b6ac6.jpeg

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@Nexuss Indeed the heat could be a concern if no ventilation available. Hence the extra switch wired in for potential Extractor fan to be installed in the door.

Waiting to see the room temp to decide on Extractor size. Do you think that will be sufficient to get the hot air out? Then will also look at ducting or something to channel the airflow in the room. 

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Made some progress on Friday and saturday. 

Just took 100km driving around and 3 trips to and from home to find the 20mm hole saw I needed. Finally got the saw bit but then I did not have the correct adapter for the bit. Arrgg to the hardware store again. 

Finally got started with everything. 

Friday:

DC Fuse Disconnector

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100x75 truncking

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Keep going, we are all watching, and always enjoy new installs with pictures.

A lot of the "fun", is in the install and fiddling with the setup.

It's always satisfying to stand back and behold a job well done. 😁

It is also great to see your "power plant" produce too, especially when Eskom is taking a break during load-shedding.

Now come on friend, lets get done.....    🤣😂🤣

...and well done so far...  👍

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I learnt something about small spaces and ventilation ... put the fan at the bottom of the door blowing into the room and put a vent at the top of the door. 

use a temp probe or timer to control the fan.

Filters on fan are great for keeping the dust out ... however I have found people tend to forget to the clean the filters ... resulting in more damage. 

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22 hours ago, isetech said:

I learnt something about small spaces and ventilation ... put the fan at the bottom of the door blowing into the room and put a vent at the top of the door. 

use a temp probe or timer to control the fan.

Filters on fan are great for keeping the dust out ... however I have found people tend to forget to the clean the filters ... resulting in more damage. 

100% with you there. If you aim for a positive pressure environment then you can control what goes in and filter it first. Far easier to maintain than negative pressure where it sucks dirt and dust in from every crack and crevice.

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On 2021/11/30 at 6:09 PM, JoeSlow said:

I did not mean to keep anyone from saying anything with my disclaimer 😅

I am enjoying this install, like I do all installs. Thank you for sharing.

It never fails to amaze me how innovative and visionary people are, to find and repurpose what is ostensibly some of the craziest places to house an inverter and batteries, and then when the install is finished, it looks like it was custom made specifically for it. Well done, it's looking great so far!  

Edited by YellowTapemeasure
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Why do people mount the batteries below the inverter? 

I would imagine with lead batteries it might have had something to do with the weight and the discharge of explosive gasses while charging being heavier the air, however with batteries like these new boxed lithium batteries you could mount them up against the ceiling out the way and the cabling can run with the PV cables. 

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15 hours ago, isetech said:

Why do people mount the batteries below the inverter? 

I would imagine with lead batteries it might have had something to do with the weight and the discharge of explosive gasses while charging being heavier the air, however with batteries like these new boxed lithium batteries you could mount them up against the ceiling out the way and the cabling can run with the PV cables. 

Batteries are heavy, so I suspect that it has something to do with avoiding a hernia 😆

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16 hours ago, isetech said:

and the cabling can run with the PV cables.

You're not actually supposed to do this. The whole "AC and DC cables cannot be in the same trunking" is actually two different things:

  1. AC and comms cable, which is usually DC or DC-ish, should be separated because of interference. Properly shielded cable mitigates this.
  2. Cables with different insulation requirements should be separated, i.e. your AC operating at 240V should be away from your DC operating at 48V, unless the 48V cable could also safely handle the 240V in terms of isolation.

Your PV cable, which could operate at 600V or 1000V on certain inverters, has a much higher isolation requirement than your battery DC or AC, so it should actually be separated from both of those.

Again, you don't have to do that if all the cables (including comms) are rated for the highest voltage (and required shielding is in place), but it's still good practise, together with labelling everything nicely.

(If only your comms cable is a problem, you can stick it inside a flexible conduit inside the trunking. Surfix for AC is also fine since it is practically in its own conduit then, which is also why you're mostly allowed to use it as-is in roof spaces. Twinflex is not okay since it doesn't have the sheath, so it needs an additional conduit. But all of this is complicated and usually works out more expensive than just using separate trunking.)

You don't want to make maintenance in 6 or 12 months more dangerous than it needs to be because things that kill and don't kill aren't super clear.

 

Edited by MariusM
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16 hours ago, isetech said:

discharge of explosive gasses

This is 100% correct, but the "below the inverter" result is the wrong thing to do: those same explosive gasses are also corrosive in a lead-acid battery (and not necessarily heavier than air). So you don't want to mount it below the inverter, as the gases will get inside and either corrode the components or build up and explode.

So you want good ventilation for lead-acid so those gases can dilute to harmless levels into the atmosphere.

For lithium you can mostly do what you want, except for heat and in some cases mounting the battery on its side is also bad, since that could put more stress on the internal cell links as they are usually not designed to carry weight. Depending on the battery, they could break off internally, but the manual will tell you what's allowed.

Edited by MariusM
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11 hours ago, MariusM said:

This is 100% correct, but the "below the inverter" result is the wrong thing to do: those same explosive gasses are also corrosive in a lead-acid battery (and not necessarily heavier than air). So you don't want to mount it below the inverter, as the gases will get inside and either corrode the components or build up and explode.

So you want good ventilation for lead-acid so those gases can dilute to harmless levels into the atmosphere.

For lithium you can mostly do what you want, except for heat and in some cases mounting the battery on its side is also bad, since that could put more stress on the internal cell links as they are usually not designed to carry weight. Depending on the battery, they could break off internally, but the manual will tell you what's allowed.

Literally every single battery install on every forum I open has the batteries mounted "below" the inverter. I have noticed a few installer are starting to mount the lithium batteries above the inverter.  By the way we talking domestic installs. 

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11 hours ago, isetech said:

Literally every single battery install on every forum I open has the batteries mounted "below" the inverter

I believe you, but with LA that is dangerous and shortens the life of your equipment. Luckily it seems like most new installations are lithium.

In some case practicality might trump other considerations, but that doesn't make them untrue.

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Quick-Install-Guide-MultiPlus-12V-24V-48V-3000VA-50A-EN_outlines.pdf

1712187279_Screenshot2021-12-06at08_14_45.png.4334e146ae815cda0ad9f12558d8b032.png

 

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