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I feel this is unconstitutional. What's your thoughts?

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50 minutes ago, gabriel said:

ok help this friday late afternoon brain understand.

  1. the axpert with the filax will be deemed off-grid?
  2. if off-grid than a coc from sparky ok or do i still have to call in engineer?

:huh:

Adding to Plonksters comments:

1. The Axpert is off-grid, challenge is to prove that to the municipality oke coming to your house.
Enters the Filax ... or Interlock I have or the new relay my sparky suggested. (Note: Filax is +-20ms changeover, same as Axpert.)
2. So the Sparky is the one installing it all with a CoC, so ask him to help complete the form and submit the paperwork for an off grid system.

If there is an additional need, The Engineer is more than prepared to jump in and help, but as he said, HE is not the one installing anything.

With a Filax and CoC in hand, official still arguing, seeing it is straight forward sing-off, I would make a case for a lower fee for engineer sign-off. 

 

38 minutes ago, plonkster said:

That's too simplistic a way to look at it, I think.

Sometimes things are just simplistic.  ;-)

Ver good point though, that solar systems (and Axperts) saved a lot of businesses and other income streams. 

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1 hour ago, gabriel said:

importers, installers, those responsible for coc.... who cares... money was to be made, and plenty of it... not so?

and now even more money is to be made... not so?

As Chris said, forget "The List", it is illegal to connect to the grid without the correct paperwork.

Also illegal for Eskom to strike / illegal to try a "state capture" or the tampering with a company that affects our national security and trade. To tamper with coal supply to the Eskom.

Therein the fiasco we face today.

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1 hour ago, gabriel said:

grey

People don't realise that when you argue for scales of gray, you implicitly acknowledge black and white. The reason you speak of gray, is because gray happens to be in the spectrum between black and white, it is a little bit of both. When you speak of gray, you also speak of black and white.

I'd say it's a little hobby of mine. Spot the implicit acknowledgement.

Speaking of constitutional for example. The present expropriation debate. There is an implicit admission in that one. The admission is "we don't have money". Few people spot it.

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Slowly the picture I have in mind, is getting coloured in.

Set aside Axpert, Victron, SMA, GoodWe, Fronius ... even panels for the moment. Nor is it about small or up to 2400VA UPS'es, with 2-4 x 100ah leisure batteries, as qa lot of people bought.

We are talking bigger, as most here on this forum have, 5kva or bigger.

So the Engineer said, connecting big generators or large UPS to a house / business DISTRIBUTION BOARD, has stock standard regulation and CoC's. All Sparkies doing that, know the regs. Has to be loose from the grid, manual disconnect, as per regulations that has been in place for a very long time. Never the twain shall meet. (***)

Yet, if anyone wants to install their own 5kva UPS, generator, connected to their DB board, no-one knows that if done DIY style. Refer back to (***). 

Electricity meters are / can be affected, pre-paid has issues sometimes, and older manual ones can be turned back if installation of a DIY generator / UPS is big enough and not done per regulation. People have been fined for turning meters back.

Then thanks to Eskom problems, exorbitant Kw/h increases projected by Eskom and Municipalities, with solar panels and equipment prices dropping immensely fast, the solar industry boomed.

And because the prices fell faster than anyone anticipated, few solar qualified Sparkies involved (and cowboys), as most of the equipment have good manuals to connect oneself, and suppliers help too, some even have Sparkies on their payroll, but at a premium, so most opted DIY.

Then you have a host of experienced solar users that learned DIY style internationally (and the cowboys), with us forced to protect our businesses / homes against the failures and / or loss of income ... and the threat that Eskom is going down for good.

So no, there is no focus on PANELS per se, no, nor AXPERTS, no. It became a quick-mire between all the new DIY installations and ignored existing regulations when tying to the grid, adding to the mix the cheaper solar options that require new improved regulations, as grid tied inverters can feed back, happily turning those old meters back.

Panels. They are just easier seen from afar, yet it is a clear indication, not like a large DIY installed UPS, that points out that you are either off-grid OR GRID TIED ... 50/50 chance actually ... so registration is needed to differentiate.

Unless it is just one 255w panel, then you are excluded, as per that news article I posted. :-) 

Edited by The Terrible Triplett
Improved it a bit

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On 2018/08/03 at 4:29 PM, The Terrible Triplett said:


So you have a Filax, Eskom goes off, Filax switches over to Axpert. No problem.
But ... always a but ... something to consider. Eskom is on, electrician switches DB off to do some work, he gets shocked for Axpert is sending current to that circuit.

Make sure the Axpert does not continue to feed the house grid, or portion, under any circumstance, if DB board is switched off being his one and only concern. 

PM met for his details. Note: I have no vested interest whatsoever. Beer, Pizza, EFT's and thank you's are welcomed though.

With any inverter, you should have an isolator from the inverter into the DB, and properly labeled, for this very reason. It's not the Axpert's fault, it's the cheap sparky's fault for not installing it properly. 

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There is a simple (and relatively cheap) solution for Axpert (and I am sure others as well).

ACDC sell a contactor with 2x N/O and 2x N/C contacts, a 220V coil voltage is one of the options.

  • D12008 12amp R430 (3kVA system)
  • D25008 25amp R800 (5kVA system)
  • D40008 40amp R1600 (2x 5kVA in parallel)

By using a relay output from either BMV or Axpert to control the contactor (I still need to investigate the details) you could very easily create a mechanical interlocking changeover, so that Grid/Inverter never meet. It would operate similarly to a generator auto changeover switch, which is completely legal everywhere.

Problem solved.

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1 hour ago, pilotfish said:

contactor

Yup, that would work, but it doesn't have the <20ms transfer time you may want. That's really the only reason I'm exploring the alternative transfer switch options.

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9 hours ago, pilotfish said:

There is a simple (and relatively cheap) solution

now you're also in the weight gain league!

 

8 hours ago, plonkster said:

Yup, that would work, but it doesn't have the <20ms transfer time you may want.

purchasing additional equipment like a small ups and fridge / freezer protectors to mitigate a 40ms transfer will still cost FAR less than a filax or equivalent. indeed one can make up a "axpert survival" kit and market it?!?

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18 hours ago, plonkster said:

Yup, that would work, but it doesn't have the <20ms transfer time you may want.

I am not yet sure of the transfer time, I am going to pick to pick one up and give it a test. In a common c/o the one contactor opens fully which closes an aux terminal which then closes the other contactor and vice versa - but in this case all 4 terminals are driven by a single coil so 2 are closing while the other 2 are opening (hopefully break before make), so it may well get very close to the 20ms margin.

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I will be honest and admit I have not read through all the info on this tread so if already discussed let me know and I will delete.

Why not just control the power that comes from the grid that goes to the Axpert. I have used it this way from the beginning so if I want to be on solar I switch the contactor from the grid that goes to the Axpert off and when I need to be on grid switch the contactor on. The Axpert then will do the switch over between gris and solar. I also use the grid power for the contactor so if the grid falls away the contactor cannot close and there can be a back flow from the inverter.

Seems , feels , I think quite safe. 

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5 minutes ago, PaulF007 said:

I also use the grid power for the contactor so if the grid falls away the contactor cannot close

In theory, if the grid fails in a high-impedance sort of way (not the usual low impedance kind), and you do end up in some fault state where there is backfeed, the backfeed might be enough to power the contactor.

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13 minutes ago, plonkster said:

the backfeed might be enough to power the contactor

The contactor is powered by the Grid , as I understand it , the coil that closes the contacts needs to be energised by the powersource being a mechanical funtion. So unless there is still power coming from the grid I cant see how it could happen. Unless the contacts gets welded together but then the Axpert will also switch over as there is no grid.
I will agree that there is a chance that it all can go pear shape but that will be true for any Inverter / Conatctor type that you get.

As a side note , about 10 years ago I saw a switch over that was "motorised" , the switch was literally turned by an small motor. I cant remember what powered the motor (DC or AC) but if it had to switch between grid or genny it had to be turned 180 deg for either mode. No way for back feed on that thing.

Edited by PaulF007

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3 minutes ago, PaulF007 said:

there is a chance

That's what this whole thing is about. It has been said that entirely too much time is being spent on protecting against these fault conditions that can only occur in very special cases. I cannot remember where I read that, nor can I opine whether it is true, not qualified for that :-)

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Well then there is way that you will never get backfeed.Install a "welding" plug 100 a with a switch if you need grid plug it in and switch on if not plug it out.

Just dont leave it in permanantly :D:o

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On 2018/08/04 at 9:28 PM, pilotfish said:

By using a relay output from either BMV or Axpert to control the contactor (I still need to investigate the details) you could very easily create a mechanical interlocking changeover, so that Grid/Inverter never meet. It would operate similarly to a generator auto changeover switch, which is completely legal everywhere.

Here is one using a BMV relay to switch, but fastest breaking is 1 sec. Was told that it can get as low as 40ms with newer type of relays.

image.png.583417ac490234cbf760b6b0979a215d.png

 

Here are electronic relays, but not sure if they meet the standards.
Was a 2nd type I wanted to get faster switching, but did not really trust the electronic guy at the time.
 

2018-08-06_8-42-41.jpg

Edited by The Terrible Triplett

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29 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Was a 2nd type I wanted to get faster switching, but did not really trust the electronic guy at the time.

Is that an NE555 in the middle of that board? I can't quite make out the numbers, but that 100k resistor that appears to go to pin 6 might well be the R part of the RC bit :-)

Edited by plonkster

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31 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

electronic relays

They are normal mechanical electromagnetic ones, not unlike what you find inside the Axpert or even inside a Multi. They are PCB-mounted though. Regarding interlocking, I don't know if it is required that such interlocking must be mechanical, though I suppose it is obviously easier to prove it if it is.

At least with the auxiliary contact recipe on a contactor, there is a physically moving bit of metal that has to be pushed out in order to activate the auxiliary contact, so technically that IS mechanically interlocked. I am not sure if a double-throw relay that ensures that only one (pair?) of the relays can possibly be closed at a time suffices. It is mechanical though.

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IWell then there is way that you will never get backfeed.Install a "welding" plug 100 a with a switch if you need gridplug it in and switch on if not plug it out.

 

When we removed the electric hob to go to LPG a 3 point plug was installed for the gas igniter using the hob cable . Will I still be able to use it if the solar is of grid .

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2 hours ago, plonkster said:

TTT has done it yonks ago. The answer is simply to run it like he runs his Phoenix. The ideal is a transfer switch (an approved one) that switches fast enough, but I'm sure the guys will find a way.

Pictures and suggestions all missed in-between all the emotions and theories, just like searching on Google. ;)

As I said before, a Axpert is a UPS and should be designated as off-grid, so you register your site as off-grid, which is FREE to do.

Only complication in my research, because of the panels, with no official papers from Voltronic, is to maybe having to prove that it meets UPS's standards, as it is connected to a DB board powering an entire house, which has regulations governing that.

If I had a UPS with solar capabilities, connected to my DB board, having a CoC for the connection to my DB, I would have completed and submitted the FREE paperwork and see where the penny dropped.

Worst case I would need a interlock or a suitable disconnect to satisfy any confusion by the inspecting official, to then prove with such an addition, that it is most definitely irrevocable without any doubt, off-grid.

If you are not keen for a back / forward scenario, pre-install a suitable disconnect, using the same person who is doing the CoC for connecting to the DB, and then submit the FREE paperwork.

Not all of us are bothered with the tech talk on relays and all that. For us there is an also the option to ask a UPS company, one that installs large UPS solutions, for what they use. Or ask them to do the CoC for a UPS with solar panels DB board connection.

TTT signing off on this matter, as it is now resolved. :D

Edited by The Terrible Triplett

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53 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Axpert is a UPS and should be designated as off-grid

Nope. Remember that off-grid is ambiguous in this discussion. The way CoCT sees it, a UPS is not off-grid. It is connected to the grid on the one end (the input side).

Nobody cares about it though, until you add PV panels. Then it becomes subject to the SSEG regulations. The SSEG regulations says that if it is off grid (not connected to the grid at all, not even via a transfer switch), then you get to do the cheap fill-in-the-form-and-we-send-someone thing. Everybody else needs sign-off.

Anything with a transfer switch -- including all solar UPSes -- needs either certification by a test house, or a suitably interlocking transfer switch. Unless someone can prove differently (and satisfactorily), the consensus is that the Axpert doesn't have this.

Once you have a suitably interlocked transfer switch, an engineer will sign off on it. It will then comply with the SSEG regulations, specifically those of a solar-backed UPS.

I did say last time that it is a bit weird though. Consider two types of generators (engine-driven). One is "off grid", there is a big old switch on the wall, and it can clearly go only one way or the other. No SSEG registration necessary, BUT definitely SANS compliance required. The second generator is a "synchronous" generator, it is grid connected: This one needs sign-off for SSEG despite there being no solar panels in sight.

You may have a point though: Configure your sources suitably disconnected, so that there is clearly only one point where they meet in an exclusivist way, and it might just sign off as off-grid.

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