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Backup for Small Hair Salon

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Town: Somerset West, Cape Town

Requirements: To supply uninterrupted power to the small hair salon during the day, and basic power to the house at night.


Next week I get my rent-to-own installation for the home where we also have a small hair salon. We have been using a generator for exactly four years now (give or take a week or three) and I'm looking forward to peace during load shedding. 180 hours on the dial and counting - might not sound a lot but it sounds noisy :) We also have 2x EcoFlow Rivers we use to keep CCTV, gate, PC, and TVs on.

I work from home as a software engineer and the EcoFlow's are sufficient, so I won't go into details here.

I will use this thread to keep track of our experience to help other small businesses like ours understand the benefits and cons.

Our incoming setup:

* 1 x Deye 8Kw Inverter

* 10 x 455W panels (full sun-facing roof in Somerset West).

* 1 x Dyness 5.12kWh

* Tied into Main DB board to feed house and salon (extension to property).

Our peak needs for a salon with two stations but a single stylist:


Essential peak load: 3650W (future 4400W)

*  1800W hair dryer (GHD etc uses way less so going with dryer).

* 700W air-conditioner (estimation)

* 900W hood dryer

* 250W lights (downlights, led daylight by basin, house)

* Future: 750W DAB E.SYSBox pressure pump (variable pressure unit to be installed with minimal usage requirement).

Smart Load: 3000W

* 1500W KWikot Point-of-use water heater for solar-geyser red water at the basin.

* 1500W bean-to-cup coffee machine

* Rest of house

This reaches 6650W peak usage, giving me a 1000W buffer for the main house. 

So we are cutting it thin with this first install with only one battery and will continue to use the generator as needed.

The air-conditioner is only used in summer when panels will be producing max power. We will add more batteries in the coming year. Possibly looking at a diesel generator tied into an inverter for winter months as from what I understand, my 5KVA petrol GRIP won't work.

Without a doubt, we will double up on this installation (batteries, panels, inverters) over time. We have a second home to also add an installation but for now, the EcoFlow River is fine. 


Edited by cbrunsdon
Spelling mistakes - grammarly was not much help
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1 hour ago, Scorp007 said:

Weak link is the battery that can only deliver 2500W full time. 

Yes, I only realised that after approval of the quote - no fault at all of the company as they had correctly quoted me on the needs I gave them at the time. I did not understand the concept of C and neglected to ask about it, thinking the battery would give the full 5kW.

As batteries are quick to add, it is not a deal breaker as the urgency to get the base installation outweighs any delay from throwing anchors into the sea, kedging the system to future needs.

The only real pain is the first few weeks after the installation as we wait patiently for the City Of Cape Town to approve the panel installation. These will be commissioned as soon as approval is granted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

System installed and live: first day of using it for the business was seamless. My wife managed to work as if load shedding never existed. 

I did have to switch off the main house during this time but as we still have our EcoFlow it had no impact. Best part is no more generator. 

Battery was able to handle spikes when my stubborn dad decided he will switch on his kettle. I think I will get a CBI plug and limit his power draw.

Wide happy that we can cook during load shedding and using one appliance at a time is no big issue. Going to make some home made yoghurt in InstantPot tonight, 8 hours, without having to restart after loadshedding.

As for second battery, will be ordering tomorrow, and just continue to run appliances single threaded till then. 

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  • 7 months later...

Update: Installed second BX51100 last week as prices where insane back in April (R30K vs R22K).

For a hair salon my initial setup weathered the Cape winter load-shedding storm rather well with some nuisance shutdown when we exceeded available capacity. With enough data on-hand, I was able to determined that in the previous three months that we only needed to add another BX51100 (0,5C).

Now with enough output for my wife to iron at night and me not trip the power when I make coffee, we are having a normal life.

The second battery allows us to be more aggressive with our power draw from the battery at night we are seeing some big savings in Eskom power usage. Under 7 units a day with a battery discharge of 7 units.


Considering replacing my petrol generator with a diesel to wire into the inverter as we had a 24 hour outage during middle of winter, running our battery flat.

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