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Questions before buying

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Hi All

thank you for the informative forum and all the guys always eager to assist and advise

A friend of mine is planning to do his first install, but he doesn't want to post on forums and asked me to do it for him.


He just wants to confirm that his first purchase isn't a total waste and will work to lower costs

He has a budget of around R50k, doesn't want batteries, just grid tie with solar panels and installation. He uses around 800kWh a month

He was considering this grid-tie inverter, cost around R10K

with 10x 320W panels (for now, will add more panels later on) Cost around R25K

That leaves R15k for installation and everything that needs to go with it?

He has a pitch tile roofed house and place facing north for the intended panels


So the questions he has

  • does anybody have any knowledge of that inverter, or can you recommend something that would fit in with his budget
  • Is R15k to much for the install with all the needed extras (he doesn't want to be screwed over by the installer)
  • what else must he plan for, think of?
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As long as he uses most power during the day, it will definitely lower costs.

3Kwp will make around 15kwh a day, so he'll be offsetting just over half his consumption, again, if over half his consumption is in the middle of the day.

I don't know the Solis inverters, but they are on the Cape Town approved list so they do tick at least some boxes. Friend of mine who is from the UK seems to know them well.

I'd say 15k should be enough for the install. @Chris Hobson or @SilverNodashi are more hands-on with that.

I'm a big Fronius fan, or perhaps even SMA, but that's going to cost a good 70% extra. I don't know what the warranty is like on the Solis, I do know it is very good on the European spec inverters. Depending on that install fee, maybe you can squeeze a higher-end inverter :-)

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A reputable inverter  from a reputable company no problems that I can see. So long as the various bits of extra kit SPDs disconnects change over switch  etc are installed the extras are not excessive. Kudos to your mate on checking on pricing. The rest of us ploughed ahead and then toted up the final figure. 

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14 hours ago, Noobie said:

Dont forget you will need a meter installed at the council supply point to communicate with the inverter to prevent it exporting power to the grid ;)

I think I may have spoken too soon, it looks like you connect the Solis CT around the main council supply then plug the connector into the bottom of the inverter.

Saves you having to fork up for a RS485 meter 

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Thank you all for the great responses, I will give him the info.


He is going to time his power use to coincide with sun times - pool pump, washing, drying and the vacuum


Can he push back into the grid in Pretoria? He still has a wheel meter, not yet on the pay as you go thing

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14 minutes ago, Charlie100 said:

He still has a wheel meter, not yet on the pay as you go thing

It's illegal to spin it back, the council will see that as meter tampering. But if there is a grid limiter involved (as Noobie says) he should be fine, at least no electronic nannies to disconnect you for the odd pushback when a large load switches off.

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