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Suggestions for hybrid / solar system


superdiy
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After reading various posts on this- and other forums and downloading product manuals and browsing online shops I would really appreciate some suggestions and opinions.

 

I would like to add PV panels to my home in order to bring down my monthly consumption and municipal bill.  Currently the household is using between 400 & 550 units per month.  Grid-tie and net-metering is apparently an option (waiting for more info from municipality), but from what I've heard is that you have to pay R400 per month for the grid-tie option and you don't get anything for the power you push back into the grid (negative usage).  Since my basic/connection fee is about R240, it would mean that during higher usage months (winter) I might end up paying them more than I currently do.  Therefor, at this stage I am not thinking about grid-tie as an option, but if I can get an inverter with that feature as an option I might go for it.

 

Currently I have a 3KVA UPS and a 300Ah 48V battery bank.  I would either want to add PV panels and a charge controller OR PV panels and a hybrid +- 5KVA inverter (maybe with grid-tie option).

 

The UPS I'm currently using is an APC smart-ups and although it is and was working perfectly for the past few years, it has a few drawbacks (high no-load current consumption) and therefor I'm thinking of replacing it with a (more powerful) (and effecient) hybrid.

 

Mike mentioned the Imeon which I've also found on one of the online shop's listings, but I think the price is a bit steep for me.  The Infini, which he installed recently, looks quite good and then I've also found the Axpert, but I haven't found much information and any resellers of the last two.

 

Any suggestions to preferred brands / suppliers of PV panels would also be appreciated

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superdiy

 

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread as I'm also in the process of planning a system.

 

Since you already have a battery bank in your shoes I would have seriously looked at the infini solar and go hybrid.

 

The down side off infini solar is that you only get a 3kw unit but I also can't find too much on them but the upside is that you can hook up your battery bank from the start.... According to the spec sheet there should also be a 5 kw infini single phase unit but can't find anything like that on the net...

 

If you want some software to use for planning, download sunny design 3.0, just use a sma inverter for the exercise, it's quite nice to give your yield for your system with the panels you want to put up and also for the panel orientation and so on.

Choose a relevant inverter from their list that will be more or less the same size that you want.

 

http://www.sma.de/en/products/planning-software/sunny-design.html#Downloads-9366 

 

What you mention about the R400 per month for the net metering account, that's as far as I know only or specifically for the City of Capetown. I'm not sure under which municipality Paarl falls.. Well worth it to look into but then again since you already have a battery bank infini or imeon and running hybrid might be a better option for you and skip the net metering.

 

Do you have a prepaid meter or old style disk?

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Hi Willem,

 

The down side off infini solar is that you only get a 3kw unit but I also can't find too much on them but the upside is that you can hook up your battery bank from the start.... According to the spec sheet there should also be a 5 kw infini single phase unit but can't find anything like that on the net...

 
I also saw that on the spec sheet (http://www.solarwholesale.co.za/InfiniSol%20Spec%20Sheet.jpg) but on http://www.voltronicpower.com/ only the 2, 3 and 10 KW models are listed...
 

If you want some software to use for planning, download sunny design 3.0, just use a sma inverter for the exercise, it's quite nice to give your yield for your system with the panels you want to put up and also for the panel orientation and so on.

Choose a relevant inverter from their list that will be more or less the same size that you want.

 

http://www.sma.de/en/products/planning-software/sunny-design.html#Downloads-9366 

 

Thanks, I'll have a look at that.
 

What you mention about the R400 per month for the net metering account, that's as far as I know only or specifically for the City of Capetown. I'm not sure under which municipality Paarl falls.. Well worth it to look into but then again since you already have a battery bank infini or imeon and running hybrid might be a better option for you and skip the net metering.

 

Do you have a prepaid meter or old style disk?

 

I fall under Drakenstein Municipality - according to this article http://www.pvigroup.co.za/cape-town-solar-power-net-metering-can-work-sa/ For this service the Drakenstein municipality charges the consumer R400 per month.  I'm still waiting for a reply from the municipality on this.

 

I still have the old rotary meter installed.

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For that R400 grid export is not worth it I would think.

 

With the rotary meter however if you do not export huge amounts in order that you export more than you pull from the grid then your meter will only reverse but won't go lower than the previous months reading.

The R400 pm is really pathetic, they want to make sure that they don't loose money by you putting up solar...

 

On the infini solar, I think the 10kw is a 3 phase if I'm not mistaken... so a bit useless for single phase...

 

Could you perhaps find anything that indicated that you can put more than one infini hybrid inverter on one system and have them communicate? So that you can effectively double your inverter size to 6kw with 2 x 3kw? I know with the SMAs you can link a few devices and they will intelligently work together... again as far as my limited knowledge goes...

 

I know it's probably a bit illegal but I'll be very temped to use the municipality as a ''battery'', even if it's just a little bit, until I've got real batteries in operation...

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the Inteli plus is the baby you want. allows 4.5kw of panel. also you can program it to use pv first, then grid and if no grid then use battery and not to export to grid becuase of some muni's idiotic principle of R400 service fee. Swartland has been good, we pay R144 plus usage and credit us with up to and equal to what we import...the balance they get free of charge.

I can vouch for the Axpert KS and the MKS models - off grid only. have installed a few. they are available in S.A. next week or so there will be 200 x KS model, not sure how many of the others..

 

By the way,....with a rotary meter...i know its not legal, but feeding back will reverse it nicely... i know of quite a few people that have done that

 

I can get you Jinko panels 235w at R7.99 excl per watt, then also Yingli 255w panels at around R8.90 excl

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The R400 pm is really pathetic, they want to make sure that they don't loose money by you putting up solar...

 

On the infini solar, I think the 10kw is a 3 phase if I'm not mistaken... so a bit useless for single phase...

 

Could you perhaps find anything that indicated that you can put more than one infini hybrid inverter on one system and have them communicate? So that you can effectively double your inverter size to 6kw with 2 x 3kw? I know with the SMAs you can link a few devices and they will intelligently work together... again as far as my limited knowledge goes...

 

I know it's probably a bit illegal but I'll be very temped to use the municipality as a ''battery'', even if it's just a little bit, until I've got real batteries in operation...

 

Yes, the additional R400 will most probably ensure that my monthly bill is higher than it is currently.

 

Yes, the 10KVA model is 3 phase.

 

I cannot find anything indicating that you can connect more than 1 unit together to increase the output.

 

I've heard of people using the grid as "a battery" - you should just never go into a negative meter reading...

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Hi Mike

 

Can you get the Inifini 5KVA as well or is the 3KVA Infini Plus the only model available in SA?

 

Am I correct if I say that the Axpert inverters can draw from the grid, but not supply to the grid?

 

Infini inverters: Looking at the separate grid and AC load connections and reading through the manual I am confident that the answer is yes, but can you confirm if they will still supply the load with AC power (generated from solar or batteries) when configured as grid-tied and in case the grid fails?

 

Can you supply a SNMP card for the Inifini inverter as well?

 

Thanks 

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Hi Mike

 

Can you get the Inifini 5KVA as well or is the 3KVA Infini Plus the only model available in SA?

 

Am I correct if I say that the Axpert inverters can draw from the grid, but not supply to the grid?

 

Infini inverters: Looking at the separate grid and AC load connections and reading through the manual I am confident that the answer is yes, but can you confirm if they will still supply the load with AC power (generated from solar or batteries) when configured as grid-tied and in case the grid fails?

 

Can you supply a SNMP card for the Inifini inverter as well?

 

Thanks 

morning,

the 5kw &10kw units are due on the following two containers, will have to confirm dates.

You are correct the Axpert can draw from grid and not export to grid.

The infi - yes you are correct, they will supply from grid if in grid tied & off grid settings and according to your parameters set supply load from either grid, pv or battery.

I have asked for the add on cards, will have to confirm on that as well. at the moment i am using the USB connection and using a piece of software USB over network to access the program in my office.

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morning,

the 5kw &10kw units are due on the following two containers, will have to confirm dates.

  

You are correct the Axpert can draw from grid and not export to grid.

 

The infi - yes you are correct, they will supply from grid if in grid tied & off grid settings and according to your parameters set supply load from either grid, pv or battery.

I have asked for the add on cards, will have to confirm on that as well. at the moment i am using the USB connection and using a piece of software USB over network to access the program in my office.

 

 

Thanks Mike, please let me know as soon as you have confirmation on the estimated arrival dates and pricing information.
 
May I PM you regarding the price for the 3KVA Infini Plus and other hardware?
 
Regards
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Thanks Mike, please let me know as soon as you have confirmation on the estimated arrival dates and pricing information.
 
May I PM you regarding the price for the 3KVA Infini Plus and other hardware?
 
Regards

 

sure will advise as soon as i am updated. Feel free to pm me. might just take a bit of time till i can answer....booked every day till next thursday

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I can get you a 5kw hybrid inverter for around R10k ex shipping. Final price will depend on how soon you want the unit. so either airfreight which lands within a week or sea freight which takes up to 60 days.

 

I have been testing one of the UPS systems I purchased a few months back and it works wonders and since then I have gained a lot of knowledge, and purchased for 3 of my family members who are quite happy with the performance of the UPS systems.

 

I will see if I can get others to buy more systems so that shipping prices come down.

 

Let me know if you're interested.

post-405-0-50076400-1422524802_thumb.jpg

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Hi there, 

 

what is the suggested retail price for the Axpert 5KV mks. Price buying them online  and through the distributers differs by about R3k-R4k???

 

Anyone that can supply these?

 

Regards

I can get the Axpert 5kw with mppt controller for R14500 plus R250 transport to me

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Hi there,

 

Re the Axpert 5 kva inverters...

 

Am I correct in that there are two types of them (one with MPPT charger and one without?) Also why does some refer to this as a UPS system? I want to use this a a grid tied system using 2 of these in parallel to use as little as possible from Eskom. Also, anyone has experience in what panels is proven on these? AFAIK, I need approx 16x200 WATT per inverter for this setup?

 

Regards

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Hi there,

 

Re the Axpert 5 kva inverters...

 

Am I correct in that there are two types of them (one with MPPT charger and one without?) Also why does some refer to this as a UPS system? I want to use this a a grid tied system using 2 of these in parallel to use as little as possible from Eskom. Also, anyone has experience in what panels is proven on these? AFAIK, I need approx 16x200 WATT per inverter for this setup?

 

Regards

 

Hi blackhole

 

Axpert KS models - PWM 

Axpert MKS models - MPPT

 

The Axpert inverters cannot be grid-tied (won't supply power to the grid) - they can be run in UPS mode and pv panels can be connected as well.  If you want to grid-tie but also want to have power when the grid fails (e.g. load-shedding), you have to use a hybrid inverter, e.g. Infini, but those you cannot run in parallel.  If you use a normal grid-tied inverter (not hybrid) and the grid fails (load-shedding), the inverter will also switch off and you will not have any power to operate your load from.  Some grid-tied inverters can supply minimal load when the grid is off, e.g. certain of the SMA sunny Boy GTIs.

 

Normally you would connect panels to the inverter with roughly the same rating as the inverter, e.g. connect 3KW pv panels to a 3KVA inverter, but that is totally inverter dependent - the Infini 3KVA "Plus" model accepts panels up to 4500W for instance.

 

Regards

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Hi there, im a bit confused? I thought that the Axpert 5KV MKS is a hybrid Inverter? I do not want to put power back into the grid, I want to connect the grid to my system so that it can use power when not enough is available from the baterry / panels.

 

AFAIK the Axpert can be configured to use power from panels/ use power from batteries once batteries is charged/ use from grid while batteries is still charging?

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Hi there, im a bit confused? I thought that the Axpert 5KV MKS is a hybrid Inverter? I do not want to put power back into the grid, I want to connect the grid to my system so that it can use power when not enough is available from the baterry / panels.

 

AFAIK the Axpert can be configured to use power from panels/ use power from batteries once batteries is charged/ use from grid while batteries is still charging?

 

Hi blackhole

 

The "hybrid" terminology sometimes confuses me as well, but I think you are correct when you call it a hybrid.  As I explained above and as you mentioned in your reply, you can connect it to the grid, pv panels and batteries to supply the load, but it cannot feed back into the grid. The Infini is thus a hybrid on steroids, since it can do all of the above, but grid-tie as well. :)

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