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I've browsed this forum a few times whilst doing homework on Solar systems as it occasionally pops up on Google Searches and links from MyBB.

I've played with some small off grid 12V systems for CCTV Cameras and a small 12V Flood Light but now I've secured a small loan from my Parents for a decent solar system on our house. I am a qualified Sparky but I do machine repairs and Automation and have no idea what the rules and regs are for installations anymore, last time I wired a house I was an Appy in 2006 and Solar was a pipe dream for the very rich back then.

Goals are to have 24/7 power for the Missus who WFH.

2022 year we had collectively 13+ full days no power and 2023 off to a bang with 8 full days of no power due to cable faults, tripping substations at 22h02 like clockwork, faulty prepaid meter and the list goes on.. These amounts exclude load shedding.

Setup:

Very tree filled area so the almost exactly North facing roof is fully shaded until around 08h00 this morning where it starts to clear up until around 15h00 when it gets covered by another tree from the other direction, the second tree is removable and in my property but will play by ear as I don't want to remove it unless absolutely necessary and I also don't want to split my array.

I am buying the materials (7x Panels, Inverter and Battery) and I have been quoted by a company R28k to install it with the cabling and switches, mountings, labour, COC, etc. I think that's a fair price considering the work involved, all Qualified people too.

I've bought the following:

Deye 5kw Inverter R24k

Deye 6.1kWh Battery R37k

7 x 555W JA Solar Panels from Segen Solar R28k incl. Delivery. Though these are only arriving after 11 May 2023.

Planning to do a single string in series and possibly a smaller East facing string on my detached garage, depending what the installer quotes at a much later stage, priority is to pay back the loan first before a 2nd Battery and then the extra String.

Specs: 3885W Peak

I don't have the figures on me now but it will push around 350V and 13.1A, just 0.1A over the max of the Deye MPPT Input in the unlikely event that I will achieve anything near the peak output.

Goals:

Reduce dependance on a useless Municipality who'd rather reset an obviously faulty meter 8 times rather than replace it, until a ward councilor gets involved and forces them to replace their junk.

Reduce dependance on a broken power utility.

Offset some of our carbon footprint which is a big thing for us.

Integrate with the existing Home Automation system by adding in Solar Assistant and fully setting up the currently disconnected Home Assistant when the Inverter system is installed. I'll be adding some CBI Astute plugs for the Tumbledryer and Dishwasher when there is excess solar or it's at it's peak.

I also want to add more of their DB Board timers on the Stove Circuit and Solar Heated Jacuzzi. I want the stove to turn off when the mains drop so you have to turn it back on manually, knowing you are now in battery mode.

Replace 4kW geyser element with 2kW PTC unit, currently controlled by a CBI Astute in the DB. I really love these timers and I didn't expect much from it when I bought it.

I'm hoping to be able to run off grid for a few hours at night between 22h00 and 04h00 or until battery SOC reaches 75 to 80% where the only thing running are the appliances on standby mode, fridges and Security Lighting around 200W to 300W. My understanding on the Deye Inverters is that there is a setting for this, but will see when it arrives and is all installed. I also intend to have Home Assistant switch off non critical loads when the battery levels are low... Maybe at 30 or 40% the 230V security lights will switch off leaving the Solar Ones shining their little lights, then the fridge or freezer, etc. Not sure what the parasitic draw on the Sonoff and Astute switches are but I may even use them to switch the office stuff off at night depending on their current draw vs cost to implement it.

 

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