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Inverter Gifting ideas & advice


Brian J

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I have found my self with a small amount of extra cash and wanted to surprise the old lady with a small solar installation.

The installation will cover Led tv decoder small audio sysytem, couple of Led Lights, 0.75kw pump maybe a (microwave or kettle not to be used simultaneously). Cooking and heating will be gas.

My options are as follows

1. Axpert 3KVA 2400W 12V -R7800 2 X 100W -R2082 2 X 100ah batteries -R2936 with this setup i will have a complete setup up and running complete gift (to add more pannels in future & batteries within 3 months)

2. Axpert 5KVA 4000W 48V -R10 000. Will then have to get solar panels and batteries at a later stage. ( advantage system up-gradable)

3. Victron MultiPlus 500VA -R8000.00. 2 x 100W panels -R2082 batteries at a later stage. (not sure if this system can be paralleled at a later stage as wattage is low @500VA .

Any advice on the viable solution will be greatly appreciated, the system will be running off the grid will apply for a prepaid supply at a later stage.

 

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2 hours ago, Brian J said:

3. Victron MultiPlus 500VA -R8000.00. 2 x 100W panels -R2082 batteries at a later stage. (not sure if this system can be paralleled at a later stage as wattage is low @500VA .

Only the larger multis (1200VA and up, the ones with VE.Bus) can be paralleled.

I would take the 12V Multi over a 12V Axpert. Costs are similar, and 3000VA at 12V is a little bonkers anyway. The Multi is a much better inverter even if it is smaller. The 48V option is in a completely different league though.

I'm curious... call it market research... why is the Multi on your list? It's a brilliant inverter, it's just clear to me that you want something larger and cheaper :-)

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11 hours ago, Brian J said:

1. Axpert 3KVA 2400W 12V

The Axpert above is actually 24v not 12v - the problem with it is the maximum PV array capacity of 600w which is very limiting. It is ok if you have a very specific function in mind, but it is no good in a system that you may want to expand in future.

11 hours ago, Brian J said:

Axpert 5KVA 4000W 48V

This is a versatile system that is very easily upgraded in future for not much more starting money than #1, make sure that you are getting the MPPT version if you decide to go this route. This inverter with 4x 300w panel and 4x 100Ah battery would be a good starting point if your budget can reach there.

11 hours ago, Brian J said:

Victron MultiPlus 500VA

You will not be able to run a 0.75kVA pump on a 0.5kVA inverter, so this would not be a good choice for your stated goal. Pump starting currents can be quite high so I would suggest not dipping much below 3kVA inverter in order to run the pump.

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59 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

The Axpert above is actually 24v not 12v

Explains why I could not find a spec sheet for it. I also thought the 24V 2400W model is 24V, but Voltronic turns out new models quite frequently so I thought I missed something.

1 hour ago, pilotfish said:

You will not be able to run a 0.75kVA pump on a 0.5kVA inverter

True, I missed that bit. My 1600VA Multi starts an 900W pump without any fuss, so by the same math I'd expect the 1200VA unit to start that pump easily. There's two versions of the 1200VA model, the new cheaper ones, and the older ones that can also be paralleled and run grid-parallel (ESS) or do power-assist. The price difference is 91 Euro (I really really hate our exchange rate... that sounds like so little money until you work it out and it turns into a whopping ZAR1500).

On a similar note, I recently shopped for Kitchen machines for my wife's birthday. You can also get the Russell Hobbs for a really good price, the Bosch (middle of the range and way more expensive), or the Kenwood (mucho dinero). I went with the Bosch :-)

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11 hours ago, plonkster said:

Only the larger multis (1200VA and up, the ones with VE.Bus) can be paralleled.

I would take the 12V Multi over a 12V Axpert. Costs are similar, and 3000VA at 12V is a little bonkers anyway. The Multi is a much better inverter even if it is smaller. The 48V option is in a completely different league though.

I'm curious... call it market research... why is the Multi on your list? It's a brilliant inverter, it's just clear to me that you want something larger and cheaper :-)

I have shopping around on the web and came across the multi. Its looks small but have noticed from the various post it the better inverter.

I have also worked with the Mercer 5kva but my budget is restricted at the moment.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Brian J said:

small but have noticed from the various post it the better inverter.

The list that struck me a bit as, to use a car analogy, as a choice between a Tata Telcoline, a Mahindra Bolero, and a Toyota Aygo. They cost about the same... and Toyota is the better manufacturer... but if you need a bakkie on a budget it's not going to do the job. I'd love to sell you a Hilux... by way of analogy... :-)

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So in summary

1. if going the 24v 3kva route the Multi is a better option but not upgradable in terms of power output.  https://re-volt.co.za/Store/index.php?route=product/product&path=83_59&product_id=379

2. if going the 48v 5kva the axpert would be the most reasonable option cost wise and gradually build on the system, the bigger multi range does not have a built in MPPT hence the cost goes higher.

Any reviews or recommendation on the following as compared to the Axpert- https://re-volt.co.za/Store/index.php?route=product/product&path=83_59&product_id=562

Much appreciated for the info supplied, in my field of work i have seen many people with solar systems they regret having installed coz the stuff does not work properly .

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18 hours ago, plonkster said:

The list that struck me a bit as, to use a car analogy, as a choice between a Tata Telcoline, a Mahindra Bolero, and a Toyota Aygo

And it went full circle. As I was reading through the post in the beginning I wondered when will the cars come in , but you are right that is just how it is and no better way to explain.

@Brian J as you are starting fresh and willing to start small there is a few thing that I would consider if I were you. 

1) Your long term goal - So in a few years time where would you like to see your system as this could have a BIG influence as to what you start with. Here is my train of thought.

Solar Panels : They are versatile and can be used with any Inverter as long as the voltages stays the same or compatible so here it should be safe to for some thing like a 250 w panel 

Batteries : Personally I am not a fan of them and they are not that easily upgradeable - most of the time you would need to replace the whole bank if you need to go lager

Inverter - As this is a long term project you should consider a few thing here - If you upgrade to something else can you sell you old unit or use it some where else. 
How soon will you be able to upgrade (Some times this is determined by your "Bonus Month :P)  if it is sooner rather than later maybe you should wait a bit longer.. 

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not too fond of the new plastic victron units, have a look at the multiplus compacts or the easysolar ones, they are great. 

The solis is a grid tie inverter so probably not what your looking for, but im running one at the moment and its flippen great value for money, its all brand name components inside and excellent build quality. the interface is rubbish though.

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11 minutes ago, Weasel said:

easysolar

Plus one for this. Especially if it is a gift. That is one neat little self-contained unit. Even includes the breakers. And because it is really just a MPPT+inverter/charger combo, you get all the usual Victron flexibility (you can add more MPPTs, a CCGX/Venus-GX or even play with a Raspberry Pi solution). It does cost about 25k though, but you get firmware updates for life, excellent support, and a 5-year warranty.

19 minutes ago, Weasel said:

not too fond of the new plastic victron units

I think they discontinued the 350VA unit that you looked at. These inverters are low-cost units meant for the European market, but they nevertheless pack  power-assist features as well as a transfer switch, so they are excellent for the weekender market.

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8 hours ago, Brian J said:

2 x pannels for about R4000

@Brian J Just check on the voltages of your panels that you are going to buy as two might not be enough to get the MPPT going. Maybe you can post the speck sheet on them. Nothing worse than getting your toys and see that you missed something , that you did not know of :P.

 

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1 hour ago, PaulF007 said:

@Brian J Just check on the voltages of your panels that you are going to buy as two might not be enough to get the MPPT going. Maybe you can post the speck sheet on them. Nothing worse than getting your toys and see that you missed something , that you did not know of :P.

 

Noted will get the spec this morning. Learned quite a lot in 3 days.

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2 hours ago, Brian J said:

R/V 30.3, OCV 37.7, R/C 8.59A, SCC 9.09A, MAX RES FUSE 15A, MAX SYS VOL 1000V

The operating voltage of these 60 module 250W panels is 30.3V, so 2 panels in series will give 60V which is the minimum PV voltage of the Axpert MKS 5K (which is too close in my opinion).

I would recommend 3 of the above panels in series, or 2x 300W (72 module) panels which will probably have a 36V operating voltage, 2 of which would give 72V which will be a better match to the Axpert.

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6 hours ago, pilotfish said:

The operating voltage of these 60 module 250W panels is 30.3V, so 2 panels in series will give 60V which is the minimum PV voltage of the Axpert MKS 5K (which is too close in my opinion).

@Brian J I agree with @pilotfish you are going to have issues with the mppt starting up. Unfortunately this is one thing that you never think of in the beginning. My self was under the impression that you could just add panels to your systems as you need them until I figured out that , in my system , I have to add 3 at a time. 

BTW did you check here on the forum ? I haven't spent much time here on the forum lately but some time ago I saw a add of sorts where panels was offered at very good prices , maybe check with Jayson ..

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