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Axpert VM III

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1 hour ago, SilverNodashi said:

how many are in jail for not paying their e-toll?

That's probably not the best analogy though. The threat here is that your grid connection will be disconnected and you will be fined. Your equipment will be disconnected (which represents a loss of investment) and/or you will be required to install something that is approved (leading to the question above: Why didn't you do that in the first place?)

Risk = Likelihood * Severity. Even if the likelihood is low, I don't like the severity. Then again, these Axperts are so cheap that maybe having it disconnected isn't such a big deal :-)

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Increased VAT, fuel tax and everything else. But look at just those two , I think they are seeing the blood from the stones they are milking beginning to dwindle. So they need to run the country and not change their habits , so tax a wider base, but still keep the majority happy oh look free land........

Face it with 300 billion odd in debt , another estimated 700 billion in the last 10 years that have been stollen and miss spent etc. That's give or take a trillion rand , I don't see how they will recover from that. But look hears another Eskom tax. Another drop from the dead stone.

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1 hour ago, seant said:

Another drop from the dead stone

That may be true. On the other hand, there might be some people who actually care about our grid quality. Or it could be a bit of both. I think it is that last one, a convenient bit of both.

1 hour ago, seant said:

tax a wider base

That's the proper way to do it. That has always been the proper way to do it. Of course this argument isn't popular, but they way I always explain it is this: There is only one thing that is worse than paying tax, and it is not having to pay tax.

Once your citizens understand that they actually WANT to pay tax (because it means they have an income high enough to warrant that), and you provide an education system that generates people of such quality, then suddenly you can tax individual people less because you have a wider base. This is the number one reason I support BEE in some form or another (I sometimes disagree with the implementation, especially where it only benefits a small elite). I support it not so much because I'm some altruistic nice guy (though I like to think that I am), but because of a somewhat more selfish reason: I want to pay less tax! :-P

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I actually do care about our grid quality, as it is a national resource and two wrongs (Eksom being the one) does not make a right.

A pessimistic view:
So it is "suicide savings", installing ANY MAKE of inverter connected to panels and the grid, without papers:
1) The fine is +-R6.5k if you are not registered + removal of the system.
2) One is looking at R10k+ for CoC and engineers signing off (using the general quotes I got).
3) None I got quotes from would sign off anything that is not on "The List". (General feeling I got from across the board.)

One installer informed me CoCT have already clamped down on grid tied systems, fines and forced removals, in areas like Milnerton.

So they can and are enforcing it.

Don't think in CoCT one is going to get away for long. And PE, Dbn, Jhb, Pta ... what do they all have in common? A working party in charge.

 

The optimistic view:
I am voting for municipalities being allowed to buy power from home users, from systems correctly installed, so that we can all benefit from lower cost per kw/h. - and free power to the poor, so that they eventually can become tax payers too, the kids can learn and read with light at night and all that.

And then the connection fee (which we all now have to pay) and the R2k for a new meter (to measure the output to the grid) is of no consequence.
Systems become simpler: Use more or sell more, just add more panels ...
Registration then helps to plan potential resources when they go for "local is lekker", buying power from us, the home users.

 

But we are South Africans, 5 around a table. After 2 hours we have 6 political parties and 7 churches. :D

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There is an old joke: I started out with nothing. I still have most of it left.

We have a similar thing here: We started out with a problem (that solar power is expensive). We still have most of it left.

I also think that dragging in other issues (like what state institutions are otherwise doing wrong, or other taxes we also have to pay) is not really helpful. Two wrongs as TTT says. When I told my grade 1 teacher that I ought not to be punished because the other guy (let's call him Jannie) did something worse, invariably that only got both of us punished, and it really p*ssed off Jannie!

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1 hour ago, seant said:

additional taxes to try and recoup the losses

Technically, none of the costs in getting yourself compliant goes directly to government... I mean yes, there is that NERSA thing that had a clause that made provision for such a fee and it was duly complained about and sent back because it was just too vague, but presently, within this topic where Cape Town is taking the lead: The city makes no money out of these registrations. The engineers do...

I suppose you could say that the government does get VAT out of this. I'd wager that whatever VAT they get is but a drop in the bucket and probably doesn't explain the red tape.

I have some inside info about the new NRS097-2-1:2017. Apparently it has a new lower EMC value. Truth be told, I don't know why every country needs their own regulations and why we couldn't just piggy-back on some other European standard (like VDE AR N 4105... one would think that would be good enough?). But noooo... we have to have our own. Again, I doubt anyone in government makes anything substantial from this... there is probably a committee somewhere who has to justify their existence.

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12 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Technically, none of the costs in getting yourself compliant goes directly to government... I mean yes, there is that NERSA thing that had a clause that made provision for such a fee and it was duly complained about and sent back because it was just too vague, but presently, within this topic where Cape Town is taking the lead: The city makes no money out of these registrations. The engineers do...

What about the monthly connection fee? I think TTT mentioned something about R300pm?

 

12 minutes ago, plonkster said:

 

I have some inside info about the new NRS097-2-1:2017. Apparently it has a new lower EMC value. Truth be told, I don't know why every country needs their own regulations and why we couldn't just piggy-back on some other European standard (like VDE AR N 4105... one would think that would be good enough?). But noooo... we have to have our own. Again, I doubt anyone in government makes anything substantial from this... there is probably a committee somewhere who has to justify their existence.

 

Same goes with the new plugs we're getting. We always have to be different. Special, I guess?

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16 minutes ago, plonkster said:

... NERSA thing ...

I quote again: According to the latest government gazette , published on the 6 June 2018 , all systems on or off grid , need to be registered with NERSA , and local municipalities, and COC issued. 

2 hours ago, seant said:

Ahhh yes , two wrongs. Like stealing and then imposing additional taxes to try and recoup the losses :P

Does not make it right. :-) 

But it is ticking people deeply off on all sides of the voting spectrum. So pessimistically that is a optimistic win.

2 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

... something about R300pm?

That is if you want to feed back, trying for a NETT result at the end of 12 months, as you are legally not allowed to sell power nor are muni allowed to buy, power from anypne bar Eskom.

If you don't want to feed back, you don't need the bidirectional meter, therefor that daily charge falls away.

4 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

Special, I guess?

Or we are just otherwise. :D

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26 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

What about the monthly connection fee? I think TTT mentioned something about R300pm?

Oooh shots fired! SHOTS FIRED! :-)

There's a whole bunch of very upset people in Cape Town at the moment, because the city has dared to charge them a grid connection fee, or in other words, because they are expected to pay for something they use. Some history: In 2011, they did away with the grid connection fee in all cases, because of some regulatory requirement. Maintenance to the grid was funded by using 30% of the sales volume.

Roll forward to 2018, and sales has dropped significantly. Some of it is due to water: When you don't have water, you don't heat that water either. So their funding model no longer works. It is essentially funded entirely by people who use more than 600kwh a month (and we're not even counting the lifeline users who gets their electricity at cost and pays nothing towards anything). What they did was split out the connection fee in such a manner that the total cost for 600kwh remains roughly the same (it's up by about 7%, an acceptable annual increase given that last year it was 3%). So now people pay R150 in a connection fee, and then usage on top. You know... like they did a decade ago.

But oh my giddie aunt... what a travesty! They just want to make money! The (insert political part name) is no better than those thieves from the (insert other political part name)! They don't care about their people. Do they now know that fuel is up, food is up, jobs are down? And then we have the water levy too!? How insensitive!

Or that is roughly how it goes.

Someone has to pay for the grid connection. At the moment, the connection fee is R400 per month for an SSEG user. It's not all take and no give: Your <600kwh per unit cost comes down significantly, it's the same total overall cost provided you use 600kwh. It's essentially slicing the same money in a different way. But in the mind of consumers... all they see is R400 vs R0.

The question also arises, why should the SSEG user, who does something good for the city, pay disproportionately for his grid connection when other users are essentially subsidised by the (ever shrinking) pool of large consumers. The obvious (but unpopular) thing to do is to make everyone pay for the true cost of their connection.

So in short: Yes, there is the monthly connection fee, but 1) it isn't new, and 2) it's not like most places in this country doesn't have the same thing.

1 hour ago, SilverNodashi said:

Same goes with the new plugs we're getting. We always have to be different. Special, I guess?

In this case we're actually following a standard! We're one of three countries who are actually that progressive :-)

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4 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Oooh shots fired! SHOTS FIRED! :-)

There's a whole bunch of very upset people in Cape Town at the moment, because the city has dared to charge them a grid connection fee, or in other words, because they are expected to pay for something they use. Some history: In 2011, they did away with the grid connection fee in all cases, because of some regulatory requirement. Maintenance to the grid was funded by using 30% of the sales volume.

Roll forward to 2018, and sales has dropped significantly. Some of it is due to water: When you don't have water, you don't heat that water either. So their funding model no longer works. It is essentially funded entirely by people who use more than 600kwh a month (and we're not even counting the lifeline users who gets their electricity at cost and pays nothing towards anything). What they did was split out the connection fee in such a manner that the total cost for 600kwh remains roughly the same (it's up by about 7%, an acceptable annual increase given that last year it was 3%). So now people pay R150 in a connection fee, and then usage on top. You know... like they did a decade ago.

But oh my giddie aunt... what a travesty! They just want to make money! The (insert political part name) is no better than those thieves from the (insert other political part name)! They don't care about their people. Do they now know that fuel is up, food is up, jobs are down? And then we have the water levy too!? How insensitive!

Or that is roughly how it goes.

Someone has to pay for the grid connection. At the moment, the connection fee is R400 per month for an SSEG user. It's not all take and no give: Your <600kwh per unit cost comes down significantly, it's the same total overall cost provided you use 600kwh. It's essentially slicing the same money in a different way. But in the mind of consumers... all they see is R400 vs R0.

The question also arises, why should the SSEG user, who does something good for the city, pay disproportionately for his grid connection when other users are essentially subsidised by the (ever shrinking) pool of large consumers. The obvious (but unpopular) thing to do is to make everyone pay for the true cost of their connection.

So in short: Yes, there is the monthly connection fee, but 1) it isn't new, and 2) it's not like most places in this country doesn't have the same thing.

In this case we're actually following a standard! We're one of three countries who are actually that progressive :-)

Woah, calm down boy...

 

You said none of this money goes to goverment. 

So I just highlighted, than in the case where someone feeds back, they pay a monthly fee.

In this case though, government would also get something back, if I am not mistaken. The municipality would take / get their profit from the monthly, and eskom the rest. Surely the tax man also gets his cut. But since Eskom is government owned they get their share as well. 

I have nothing against this, at all, and never had, so I am not sure why you think I attacked the notion?

 

 

4 minutes ago, plonkster said:

In this case we're actually following a standard! We're one of three countries who are actually that progressive :-)

Perhaps, but South Africa had to be different, again, and went and designed yet another plug, where they could just have used an existing design. Unless, perhaps, there's a copyright on the ones that follow standard, or a royalty to be paid?

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2 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

I am not sure why you think I attacked the notion?

I was being overdramatic on purpose. I didn't actually think that you were attacking anything. I have some social media connections who got disillusioned with our ruling bunch and now takes every opportunity to bash them. And of course comments on social media is the best place to get your entertainment fix.

4 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

The municipality would take / get their profit from the monthly, and eskom the rest. Surely the tax man also gets his cut

Eskom gets none of it (the grid connection fee). Eskom gets a per bulk unit price plus whatever their agreement is with the city regarding connection fees. The grid connection fee is meant to fund maintenance to Cape Town's own distribution network. Of course there is always VAT and other taxes on almost everything and the government takes their pound of flesh around every corner, but I am not convinced that this is sufficient (or even the sole) motivation for all the pain they introduce at times. I think this sort of thing is much better explained by the usual process of how regulations come together: They are designed by committees.

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11 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I was being overdramatic on purpose. I didn't actually think that you were attacking anything. I have some social media connections who got disillusioned with our ruling bunch and now takes every opportunity to bash them. And of course comments on social media is the best place to get your entertainment fix.

Eskom gets none of it (the grid connection fee). Eskom gets a per bulk unit price plus whatever their agreement is with the city regarding connection fees. The grid connection fee is meant to fund maintenance to Cape Town's own distribution network. Of course there is always VAT and other taxes on almost everything and the government takes their pound of flesh around every corner, but I am not convinced that this is sufficient (or even the sole) motivation for all the pain they introduce at times. I think this sort of thing is much better explained by the usual process of how regulations come together: They are designed by committees.

How does Eskom not get something out of it as well? Are the only party(es) responsible for the grid, the relevant municipality - COCT in this scenario?

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1 hour ago, SilverNodashi said:

Are the only party(es) responsible for the grid, the relevant municipality - COCT in this scenario?

Eskom is responsible for the bit that terminates at the switching yard, where CoCT picks it up and takes it the last mile. The connection fee pays for the last-mile distribution part. Or at least, that is what they say. One often find that these things aren't exactly ring-fenced. I suppose it is also possible that Eskom charges CoCT a connection fee of sorts, and that part of those costs goes towards Eskom via that route. Still, this is a decision made by Cape Town to ensure they have money to do this, because it was not sustainable to continue funding this from diminishing sales. I for one think it is a good thing (some might shoot me over that). It's a more honest way of splitting the costs, and it makes it easier for them to give solar incentives when solar power is not in competition with their bank balance.

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Yes we pay taxes and many don't . I think I'd rather be in a position where I am able to pay tax than not. I would love to see my tax money go forth into the ether  and be spent wisely and with due diligence, I'd happily pay more tax on condition that I could see the benifit like in a first world country. I am under no illusion that there is a utopia where everything works flawlessly and there is no corruption , but here and now I will do my best to pay as little as I can to the government.

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On 2018/08/12 at 3:44 PM, Gnome said:

For those of us that have run the device for 3-5+ years without issues (which again is the vast majority),

Gnome, the penny just dropped. Help me out, out of interest.

So 5 years ago, that makes it 2013 and the + even earlier, right?

I've started in 2010, panels where then like R30 per watt.
Been on a Phoenix since since 2012, that is 6 years ago. 
At that time there where no Axperts.
PWM's where ridiculous expensive, as where panels.
MPPT's scarce and very expensive - if you can find one locally. 
Pure sine wave inverters, scarce and as expensive.

Then in 2012-2013 prices dropped like a rocks on all things solar.

The first Axperts arrived where just UPS'es, no PWM, 3-4 years ago. Some had small PWM's.
Then bigger models with MPPT's came out, due to Eskom woes and inverter shortages. Huge influx about 2.5 years ago.

So if memory serves, and I stand to be corrected, Axperts as we know them today, have been in SA since about 2015 or so. And then you where on a waiting list due to shortages.

Edited by Guest

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5 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Gnome, the penny just dropped. Help me out, out of interest.

So 5 years ago, that makes it 2013 and the + even earlier, right?

I've started in 2010, panels where then like R30 per watt.
Been on a Phoenix since since 2012, that is 6 years ago. 
At that time there where no Axperts.
PWM's where ridiculous expensive, as where panels.
MPPT's scarce and very expensive - if you can find one locally. 
Pure sine wave inverters, scarce and as expensive.

Then in 2012-2013 prices dropped like a rocks on all things solar.

The first Axperts arrived where just UPS'es, no PWM, 3-4 years ago. Some had small PWM's.
Then bigger models with MPPT's came out, due to Eskom woes and inverter shortages. Huge influx about 2.5 years ago.

So if memory serves, and I stand to be corrected, Axperts as we know them today, have been in SA since about 2015 or so. And then you where on a waiting list due to shortages.

Yes they landed in 2015. I was lucky, got one of the very first ones as a test and still using it. Though I want to replace it with a Goodwe ;)

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On 2018/08/13 at 2:55 PM, SilverNodashi said:

Perhaps, but South Africa had to be different, again, and went and designed yet another plug, where they could just have used an existing design.

 

On 2018/08/13 at 9:48 PM, Chris Hobson said:

The new plug is supposed to be an international plug that all countries will adopt.

Actually the new plug is great - it is simply the common old Euro Plug with the option of an earth pin added. So if you purchase any of the millions of appliances supplied with 2 pin Euro Plug you can use it out the box - without having to cut it off and put on a 3 pin 16 amp plug of which RSA is the only user world wide, or using one of the cheap and nasty adapters available which are a real fire hazard.

The only problem with the Euro Plug is that is doesn't provide for an earth pin - South Africa has addressed that problem with the new plug. The change over will be a bit of a pain initially, but has many advantages going forward.

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27 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

Yes they landed in 2015. 

Soooo ... that makes Plonkster and I the "oldest" solar users on this forum, using the oldest equipment, ito inverters?

Me at 6 (2012) and @plonkster at 5 (2013) ... who else? 

 

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6 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

Actually the new plug is great - it is simply the common old Euro Plug with the option of an earth pin added. So if you purchase any of the millions of appliances supplied with 2 pin Euro Plug you can use it out the box - without having to cut it off and put on a 3 pin 16 amp plug of which RSA is the only user world wide, or using one of the cheap and nasty adapters available which are a real fire hazard.

The only problem with the Euro Plug is that is doesn't provide for an earth pin - South Africa has addressed that problem with the new plug. The change over will be a bit of a pain initially, but has many advantages going forward.

I hear you, but they could have adopted the European Type F  plug instead, which also offer all the benefits you listed, but since most electronics equipment (especially PC's) already ship with thay power cord, we could have saved millions on the conversion. So now I still need to throw away the power cord that comes with my new PC, new printer, new Wifi AP, new TV (often) and buy a new one. 

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8 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Soooo ... that makes Plonkster and I the "oldest" solar users on this forum, using the oldest equipment, ito inverters?

Me at 6 (2012) and @plonkster at 5 (2013) ... who else? 

 

I have an old 5KW IR inverter. Had to get solar via a separate MPPT charger. And I have a couple different size sine wave and pure sinewave inverters as well. None of them have built-in chargers, that's how old they are. Battery charging was done with a trickle charger, on a timer and a separate (and very, very expensive back then) MPPT charger. 

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2 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

but they could have adopted the European Type F  plug instead,

Nope because it doesnt force compliance with Live/Neutral polarity which the old and new RSA plug does (when used as intended with the earth pin).

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38 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

they landed in 2015

Someone I spoke to once -- so this isn't on very good authority -- told me the first test units came in around the second half of 2013, shortly after I bought my Multi. They weren't very widely advertised at all, that is for sure, because at the time I scoured the interwebz looking for options.

9 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Soooo ... that makes Plonkster and I the "oldest" solar users on this forum, using the oldest equipment, ito inverters?

Indeed, the inverter was one of the earlier models that had a 2-year warranty. It's now just over 5 years old. Sadly it has given some minor issues: The two connection plugs at the bottom of the unit degraded and stopped making proper contact. I took them out and installed nice large terminal blocks. The rest of the hardware is operating absolutely flawlessly.

I did obtain two replacement plugs, so I will soon restore it to factory original.

Strictly speaking I might be able to pull rank here. My involvement with  solar power started in 1992, when I built my first charge controller. Simple analog switching thing, it was based around a LF351 comparator chip.That was just before PWM became a thing. I later bought some of the first PWM regulator chips (SGS Thompson, I think it was an L296), they were R70 per chip, which was insanely expensive for the time. I never got it working though :-)

1 minute ago, pilotfish said:

Nope because it doesnt force compliance with Live/Neutral polarity which the old and new RSA plug does (when used as intended with the earth pin).

The new Multigrid inverter requires that you get your live and neutral right, because it checks bonding between neutral and earth. So recently someone installed one of those on a boat, with a normal Euro plug, and now it's polarity-roulette every time he plugs into shore power :-)

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On 2018/08/15 at 3:15 PM, The Terrible Triplett said:

Gnome, the penny just dropped. Help me out, out of interest.

So 5 years ago, that makes it 2013 and the + even earlier, right?

 I've started in 2010, panels where then like R30 per watt.
 Been on a Phoenix since since 2012, that is 6 years ago. 
At that time there where no Axperts.
PWM's where ridiculous expensive, as where panels.
MPPT's scarce and very expensive - if you can find one locally. 
Pure sine wave inverters, scarce and as expensive.

 Then in 2012-2013 prices dropped like a rocks on all things solar.

The first Axperts arrived where just UPS'es, no PWM, 3-4 years ago. Some had small PWM's.
Then bigger models with MPPT's came out, due to Eskom woes and inverter shortages. Huge influx about 2.5 years ago.

So if memory serves, and I stand to be corrected, Axperts as we know them today, have been in SA since about 2015 or so. And then you where on a waiting list due to shortages.

There are some people on on MyBB that had theirs in 2014, but the older users are on the Australian forum.

Would it be better if it were 4 years? What if 3 years from now people are still running their without a problem?

Again it comes across as you trying really hard to hate on this thing.

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