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Hello All

Just created my user here. From my initial reading, I'm sure I will be spending lots of time here, hanging out and reading up.

From Langebaan.

Installation was done last week Thursday, 1 x Kodak OG 7.2, 3 x Kodak FL5.2 batteries, 15 x Canadian 540W panels on 2 x strings feeding the full house. Decided NOT to connect the 2 x geysers at this stage .... maybe in future .....

All up and running well, still based on installer / default settings. I'm happy, but will be looking to optimise my usage / settings etc from here on in. So now I'm ready to start my solar experience ...... and for that I'm going to need proper monitoring / data capturing software etc. How do I get to speak to someone from Solar Assistant ? (E-mails via their website are not being answered ....) I have already searched and read what was said around here. Also looked at Hubble, but from what I could understand it is not going to do what I want to do .... 

  1. Data log "everything"
  2. Download to laptop all
  3. Do settings etc over wifi / internet / USB
  4. Do monitoring / setting from my desk via WiFi ..... laptop
  5. All data etc need to be real time ..... I'm not interested in logging data only at certain intervals.
  6. etc

Yes, I want my bread buttered both sides ........ as much as this is a necessity and a tool .... it is also my latest hobby .....

All advice help appreciated and hopefully I will be able to also one day share back what I have learned.

 

Albert

 

 

Edited by Wannebe
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Solar panel alignment not ideal for the sun, but my house was build with wind protection in mind, not sun gathering ……🙈

 

With this setup 6 x PV’s go “alive” @ 8am and 9 x PV’s go sleep at 6.15pm at the moment. In between all 15 up and running.

 

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Posted (edited)

I just did a "load test" .......

 

Location: Langebaan, 28-07-2022, 13:10

 

1. House base load running

2. Swimming pool pump running (1.1 kW)

3. Start Washing machine (?? kW)

4. Switch on oven to pre heat to 200 C (?? kW)

 

All together my app said the load supplied from inverter was 7.0 kW (so it managed to supply all loads, just)

Inverter 7.0 kW = PV supply 5.4 kW, Battery 1.6 kW, ESCOM 0 kW

 

When I stopped the test, the system started to recharge the batteries to top up to 100% and at that time the PV was showing 5.5 kW .......

From the above I assume that the max PV power generation would have been at 5.4 kW during the test, but shortly after 5.5 kW was max I could get out of the PV's & sun.

 

Does the above sound about correct for my setup this time of year ?

We have a beautiful sunshine day here in Langebaan ...... perfect Winter's day.

 

I really need to get my monitoring software sorted out .........

 

 

Edited by Wannebe
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18 minutes ago, Wannebe said:

Battery is still going strong on 47% from being fully charged yesterday afternoon.

Yip 3 or more should would definitely make it through 1 or 2 days of rain.
Mine died this morning at 7:50am (2 batteries) so had to switch the grid back on :(
Pouring with rain here in Parklands too, but weatherman reckons no more rain for the next week :)

Edited by WannabeSolarSparky
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Posted (edited)

Update

 

Rained on and off during the day .... with just cloud overhead in-between .... no sun to speak of .....

 

Amazing, my system still end up charging the batteries even in this weather, though slowly  ... right now back to 81% (15:15) battery charge and still charging ......

 

To say that I'm happy would be a huge understatement !!

 

PS: .... and the pool pump came on as per normal @ 12:00 also ..... to run until 16:00

 

Doing all this and ZERO use from ESCOM.

 

Update: Late afternoon we got about 45min of sunlight. In no time battery was fully charged ready for the next “cycle”

 

 

Edited by Wannebe
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I have noticed that during the night my PV’s report what seems like a “ghost” voltage of around 78 to 80 V. how I noticed was that I would see small spikes of about 200 to 300 W power generation. 
 

Is this “normal” ?

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14 minutes ago, Wannebe said:

I have noticed that during the night my PV’s report what seems like a “ghost” voltage of around 78 to 80 V. how I noticed was that I would see small spikes of about 200 to 300 W power generation. 
 

Is this “normal” ?

Yes I think that is normal, I see it on my panels too especially with clear night and full moon.
The usable power (amps) from that though is very tiny. Not enough to drive the mppt's or anything useful.

Edited by WannabeSolarSparky
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Just a correction on the last question ….. I monitored it again tonight ….

 

the output is 10 to 30 W only

 

like you said, good for nothing.

 

I will call soon to discuss monitoring. Still just busy doing some homework (Google) first

 

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From what I’ve read / understand so far, it seems that all monitoring systems report the actual consumption from the PV panels and not what they “could have” produced, if the load was required. Is my understanding correct ?

Would it be possible to measure / calculate / display the theoretical power available from PV also ?

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9 hours ago, Wannebe said:

From what I’ve read / understand so far, it seems that all monitoring systems report the actual consumption from the PV panels and not what they “could have” produced, if the load was required. Is my understanding correct ?

Would it be possible to measure / calculate / display the theoretical power available from PV also ?

Not really. There is no way to measure what a panel could have produced, except for using something like solcast prediction although this isn't perfect either. 

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11 hours ago, Wannebe said:

Would it be possible to measure / calculate / display the theoretical power available from PV also ?

You could, with a light sensor (lumens measurement) determine the app. W/m^2 of illumination/photons hitting the sensor and do some calculations what the panels should be able to produce based on this, but the assumption is that there's no shade involved, on the panels etc.

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3 hours ago, Speedster said:

Not really. There is no way to measure what a panel could have produced, except for using something like solcast prediction although this isn't perfect either. 

There are more accurate predictions than some of the solar prediction sites. Looking purely at how many hours we can have the sun shining. I am busy recording some data and then will compare it to actuals. My system is not affected by load or battery charge level.

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On 2022/08/01 at 11:09 AM, Scorp007 said:

There are more accurate predictions than some of the solar prediction sites. Looking purely at how many hours we can have the sun shining. I am busy recording some data and then will compare it to actuals. My system is not affected by load or battery charge level.

During the weekend a forum member and myself were discussing some forecasting sites. Even then my hours per day APP indicated only 1hr sun today which went up on Mon/Tues while 2 APPS still showed a yield just a bit down from Mon/Tues. Well no we know that today is only about 25% if that high of what we got from PV on Mon/Tues. The one APP is still showing less than 40% down on the yield on Mon/Tues. So accuracy is not that great.

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Quick update:

 

We are effectively off grid for the past 2 weeks, with the exception of hot water. The house run absolutely as per normal and we have used zero Escom (other than when I was running some tests)

Also experience zero load shedding. 
 

Will run like this now until we receive the first bill to see the impact. Also will sort out monitoring etc and only then think of next steps  

 

😀

 

 

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Hi guys 

@wannebe 

On 2022/07/27 at 6:38 PM, Wannebe said:

Solar panel alignment not ideal for the sun, but my house was build with wind protection in mind, not sun gathering ……🙈

 

With this setup 6 x PV’s go “alive” @ 8am and 9 x PV’s go sleep at 6.15pm at the moment. In between all 15 up and running.

 

Assuming you have the 6 on the one mppt and the 9 on the other. Are you not afraid of damaging the one mppt with 9 x 540 = 4860w in the summer months seeing that one mppt takes 4000w max.

I'm asking as I have the same inverter with 2 strings of 545w x 4 and want to increase it to either 545 w x 8 =4360w or by 545w x 7 = 3815w

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Future said:

Hi guys 

@wannebe 

Assuming you have the 6 on the one mppt and the 9 on the other. Are you not afraid of damaging the one mppt with 9 x 540 = 4860w in the summer months seeing that one mppt takes 4000w max.

I'm asking as I have the same inverter with 2 strings of 545w x 4 and want to increase it to either 545 w x 8 =4360w or by 545w x 7 = 3815w

 

 

Refer to the 4th posting. Strings are in different directions. String of 9 panels does/could go over the 4kw per MPPT. Luckily all 15 will never produce peak power at the same time. MPPT can in a lot of inverters accept 20% more than spec.

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