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Geyserwise PV solar geyser installation


gallderhen
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Thought I'd share the experience a bit :)

So my parents decided to go solar on the geyser, but they live in the northern side of Pretoria where it gets extremely hot in summer (36C in the shade).

The feared that this would mean that the normal flat panel and evacuated tube systems wouldn't work (or rather work too well) . So they agreed upon the Geyserwise PV installation.

Installed are 4 260W panels, connected to a little inverter, which is then connected to a Titanium element for the 150L geyser.

 

They say it reaches about 60-70 degrees during the day, and around 5am its still sitting at 52 degrees.

 

-G-

 

IMG-20171107-WA0001.jpg

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52 minutes ago, gallderhen said:

Installed are 4 260W panels

 

52 minutes ago, gallderhen said:

They say it reaches about 60-70 degrees during the day

Around 1kwp of modules, so it should make around 5kwh a day, maybe 6. Assuming a 150 liter geyser, and ambient water of 15 Celsius, You can get to 70 if you use no more than around 80 liters of hot water per day. So it does check out.

If you use the whole 150 liters, it will only get it up to 45 after a full day of sunshine. I suppose that is when you switch on the other element :-)

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On 11/9/2017 at 12:45 PM, gallderhen said:

Installed are 4 260W panels, connected to a little inverter, which is then connected to a Titanium element for the 150L geyser.

 

 

I have installed the next version of the Geyserwise PV kit.It consists of a mppt, titanium element, two outputs from the mppt for 2 HWC's or 1 HWC and a 24 or48 volt battery bank(balanced thanks to the HA02).

That is going to be connected via an Axpert or another inverter to feed lights or light loads.

I have had this in since August and the 4 x 330w panels(series/parallel)were all east facing at first, but since then, have moved them facing North.It was not enough to get the desired temp(60 degrees) in a day using DC.

At that time, I adjusted the DC temp setting on the GW controller to 60 from the default 75 degrees during the testing phase and have left it there to confirm battery charging occurs and that the SWAMBO is content with water temp.It now switches at least three times(depending on HW usage) to charge the bank.It also depends on cloud cover naturally.

I have not used the system with a load connected.I am still hunting for the appropriate inverter.

I still want to see the charging/discharging rates having a load connected to the bank (4 x 180ah).

I would suggest anyone starting off with solar to go this route.It takes a large chunk of the energy bill, not rocket science and a quick hit IMO.

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16 minutes ago, Treschen said:

Do you mind sharing total cost with installation and all materials ?

As a comparison to what he did:

To retrofit a normal 150L geyser with a Geyserwise max, 2.4sq meter Flat plate collector, 12 volt pump and all the valves, some plumbing and installation R15K. Vacuum tube collectors are way more. 

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I was also very keen to do this but then I thought: why not just install a grid tie inverter and a couple of solar panels and fit the geyser with a 1kw 220v AC element?

This way once the geyser has reached temp your element will switch off and then the surplus PV production can be consumed by other appliances in the house (TV, Wi-Fi etc.)

Worked for me ;)

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16 hours ago, Noobie said:

I was also very keen to do this but then I thought: why not just install a grid tie inverter and a couple of solar panels and fit the geyser with a 1kw 220v AC element?

This way once the geyser has reached temp your element will switch off and then the surplus PV production can be consumed by other appliances in the house (TV, Wi-Fi etc.)

Worked for me ;)

This certainly seems to make sense to me too. Due to the high cost of EV tubes and heat pumps, seems to make more sense to just buy more solar panels and time heating accordingly. 

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17 hours ago, Noobie said:

I was also very keen to do this but then I thought: why not just install a grid tie inverter and a couple of solar panels and fit the geyser with a 1kw 220v AC element?

This way once the geyser has reached temp your element will switch off and then the surplus PV production can be consumed by other appliances in the house (TV, Wi-Fi etc.)

Worked for me ;)

For me I have a 3 phase house comes with all sorts of complications. Want something quick and easy, new element, small inverter dc/ac and solar panels. From what I know only geyser wise has something in else. I want to stay away from any sort of plumbing 

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I saw an Australian made device the works with grid tie/hybrid systems . It can controll the supply to 2 geysers . Monitors the solar system and if there is excess power generated then it is fed to the geyser and it can be set to switch their EV charger on to solar feed. It can mix solar feed and mains of either supply. A bit pricey at about R10k

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We have 3 geysers:
1 x 50l with 4kw element - kitchen and 1 shower on that, as the kitchen is too far from the main geyser, costed a lot of hot water to get warm water in the kitchen.
1 x 100l with 2kw element on timer - being grid tied, after having installed a timer, it heats up in the afternoons when there is spare power.
1 x 200l with 2kw element - on EV tubes - uses Eskom maybe 5 days a year, even less since we had water restrictions and the habits changed. 😉 

After 8 years - EV tubes are not doing it for me anymore:
My Duratherm geyser has spring a small leak ... and the 10 year warranty ... don't ever buy Duratherm geysers!
The EV tubes have not been working so well the last +-1 year. Still got to +60deg but not the 80deg as before.
The pump is making a noise.
And then with the last power failures the geyserwise system started to reboot whenever it feels like it. Keep on hearing a beep as it resets.

Being an insurance claim, we opted for the cash because I am now going to install 4 more 350w panels - ending up with 3.5kw.
The 100l and 200l on timers - one morning and one afternoon - because being grid tied it just makes more sense to me,.

The 2.1kw array does a good job towards saving +-R1k per month, still under 600 units per month with 6 people, most of the power used evenings.

So 3.5kw SHOULD be enough to take the geysers off Eskom with ease - on timers - and still power the rest of the house as before, with loads spare for winter.
Oversupply in summer, yes.

So. Any comments or am I missing a salient point by putting it all on timers and PV panels grid tied?
 

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23 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Any comments or am I missing a salient point by putting it all on timers and PV panels grid tied

I think It makes sense to add panels if your system can handle it without new components. I would also consider changing the geyser elements to 1kW.

Edited by Fuenkli
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1 hour ago, Fuenkli said:

I think It makes sense to add panels if your system can handle it without new components.

I have to go from 3S/2P to 2S/5P - so would leave the 6mm2 cable and run some more 6mm2 cable down to the combiner box and parallel them there or some such. Other than that, just 4 more frames.

1 hour ago, Fuenkli said:

I would also consider changing the geyser elements to 1kW.

I thought 2kw element running at a time - house averages about 500w - so 3.5 - .5 = 3k which is ample per 2kw element. No?

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On 2019/05/22 at 7:05 PM, The Terrible Triplett said:

house averages about 500w - so 3.5 - .5 = 3k which is ample per 2kw element. No?

I agree. With such a low consumption during the day it will work. I compared it to my system. I have a 4.4kW PV array and on a typical day I have no where near 2kW spare power. But my day consumption is also much higher than yours. Pool pump, aircons, my wife's office, battery charging etc. all adds up to about 2.5 to 3kW.

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On 2019/05/03 at 11:05 PM, Vote for Pedro said:

How does the system perform during the winter? Still happy with it? 

Hi,

Yup, still happy. In winter it reaches around the 60-65 mark if you only shower once a day, otherwise if you shower morning and evening, you'll have to kick in the electrical side each morning. In the summer it  maxed at about 77 I think.

 

On 2019/05/21 at 1:33 PM, Treschen said:

Exactly what I want to do with my geysers.

 

Do you mind sharing total cost with installation and all materials ?

 

For a 150L geyser it was in the region of 20k.

If you live in Jo'burg or Cape Town, a normal solar-geyser makes more sense, since it can heat up alot more than these solar-panel driven ones do.

The reason my parents went for this is they live in the northern part of Pretoria, so an EV-tube geyser would have gone beyond the 85 limit and triggered the escape-valve on a regular bases.

 

-G-

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6 hours ago, gallderhen said:

Hi,

Yup, still happy. In winter it reaches around the 60-65 mark if you only shower once a day, otherwise if you shower morning and evening, you'll have to kick in the electrical side each morning. In the summer it  maxed at about 77 I think.

 

 

For a 150L geyser it was in the region of 20k.

If you live in Jo'burg or Cape Town, a normal solar-geyser makes more sense, since it can heat up alot more than these solar-panel driven ones do.

The reason my parents went for this is they live in the northern part of Pretoria, so an EV-tube geyser would have gone beyond the 85 limit and triggered the escape-valve on a regular bases.

 

-G-

Thanks for reply 20k is what I got quoted on. Problem is I have 2 x geysers double the price 

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4 hours ago, DeepBass9 said:

Why does everyone says that EV tubes are expensive? 150l low pressure geyser are about R3500. Retrofit high pressure tubes on an existing geyser is less than R10k. Are they ripping you on the installation?

Jip. I got quotes recently that hit R40k ... so when I priced the geyser myself, it is a Techron one, imagine my surprise when the geyser I wanted was like R6.5k. So where does the monies go when a retrofitted quote was R12k.

Me, I dumping my EV tubes system and adding 4 more panels because the EV tubes system don't last. Recently to add insult to injury, mine sustained damages during the recent spate of Eskom woes AND the 10 year warranty on the Duratherm geyser, it started to leak, is absolutely crap / useless / null and void.

Yes, for YEARS we had free water ... but today it is so much cheaper to put the geyser direct on my grid tied setup. So basta EV tubes for me ... as much as I say they are very good idea for rainy winter months. With the fact that we use so much less water now, I'll manage it in winter.

I see that in Aug 2018 a new thing came out that geysers must be B Rated. So I'm going 200l Kwikot B rated installed outside the house using the grid tied system to heat the geyser between 10am - 1pm. And when the Kwikot fails, 1 day + or 1 day - 5 years, insurance will cover it. 🙂 

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