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Joburg regulations for solar


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26 minutes ago, Leonc said:

Reading the post "planning new installation" got me wondering what is the rules for a hybrid system in COJ.

I am not registered and thought it will be NERSA that will give the rules. See in COC you must register by Feb 2019.

Jip, @pilotfish has some information on that.

Here is what I accidentally found on regs elsewhere: See post Posted August 11 and 14 (edited) by me.

Click here for the thread

Edited by Guest
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1 hour ago, Leonc said:

Reading the post "planning new installation" got me wondering what is the rules for a hybrid system in COJ.

All grid-tied installations, irrespective of the size, have to follow the process outlined by City Power for the Johannesburg metropolitan.

PV system installation in Johannesburg
All City of Johannesburg customers planning for PV system installation should follow the permit application process prior to installation and commissioning of the PV system. It is mandatory for customers with PV systems already installed to follow the same process and register/regularize their installations with the system and connection requirements of City Power.
We advise that all our installers familiarize themselves with the permit application process and hope that the following few point can assist in ensuring responsible supply of world class tier 1 PV equipment.

Applicable standards and guidelines
The technical requirements for Small Scale Embedded Generation are covered in the following standards and guidelines. All installers preparing for an application should ensure compliance with the SSEG standards and guideline indicated below, among other recognized standards:

1. City of Johannesburg By Laws for Electrical Connections
2. SANS 10142
3. SANS 959
4. South African Renewable Power Plant Grid Code.
5. NRS 097-2-1 Grid interconnection Generation (Utility interface)
6. NRS 097-2-3 Grid connection of Embedded Generation (Simplified utility connection     criteria for low-voltage connected generators).
7. IEC 62116 Test procedure of islanding prevention measures for utility-interconnected     photovoltaic inverters.
8. IEC 62109-2 Safety of power converters for use in PV power systems –
Part 1: General requirements.
9. IEC 62053-22 Electricity Metering Equipment
10. IEC 60364 – 1 Low Voltage Electricity Installation

A site survey is very important as many installations are done at sites were pre-paid meters are currently installed. No system will be allowed to be connected to a pre-paid meter even if the system will have zero exporting.

The only meter that is currently re-programmable for bi-directional application is Itron. All other meters will need to be replaced. Provided all embedded generated power is legally connected by following the permit application, City Power welcomes grid feeding of all Renewable energy sources.

Acceptance of the plant
Once all commissioning tests have been completed and the installer has issued the relevant COC for the installation, it will be the responsibility of the Installer to notify City Power of the status and request an official commissioning date. City Power will provide a date for their Engineer to visit the site together with the registered PR engineer and the commissioning documents will be signed off simultaneously by both parties at the site.

Embedded Generation Tariff.pdf

COJ Tariff - TOU.pdf

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I am not going to get involved in this discussion other than to offer this one opinion (because the conversation is an endless circle);

There is no value in installing a grid connected system in JHB (which includes any inverter that connects to the grid, irrespective of its ability to feed back into the grid). The authorities have carefully calculated costs and complexities to make it just a dumb thing to do. In my opinion this is intentional to protect their revenue stream of which electricity sales is the major contributor.

If you want to move forward with solar then make sure you are "Off Grid" in that your inverter and the grid never meet. This can be accomplished by Having a Grid DB for things like Oven (gas?), geyser (solar?), A/C, under floor heating etc. Then have a PV-DB for lights, general plugs (not space heaters), fridge, TV+Decoder, PC's, internet, etc. You can have Grid Backup for the PV-DB via a suitable separate changeover switch.

This solution (off grid) will require that you register with Nersa as an SSEG when the time comes and regs are settled (unless panel capacity is below a pathetic 250W apparently), and have a COC for the installation - but no special applications, approvals, engineers, tariff changes etc etc etc

If you look at the numbers and feel that there is value in going the Grid Connected route then go for it.

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44 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

No system will be allowed to be connected to a pre-paid meter even if the system will have zero exporting.

To me that is the big one. I assume the meter replacement will be for your own cost. As long as you're allowed to remain on your current tariff (with zero-export set up), then it is pretty similar to Cape Town (other than the forced meter replacement).

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26 minutes ago, plonkster said:

To me that is the big one.

Yes, you will go from prepaid at R0.00 connection fee and R1.50/kWh (as long as you design your system to remain below tier 1 of 500kWh/month) - To Time of Use at min R550/m connection fee and R3.30/kWh when you get home from work and need power (6pm to 10pm and 6am to 10am).

Note that the above numbers are from memory so don't nit-pick if out by a few pennies/minutes

26 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I assume the meter replacement will be for your own cost

Yes, but when I asked about a TOU meter about 18 months ago when considering a smaller system with grid charge in the middle of the night at very low rates, I was told that they were not available, despite being available in their tariff pamphlet -eishh!

So I went the prepaid route and damned glad that I did now.

Edited by pilotfish
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9 hours ago, pilotfish said:

I am not going to get involved in this discussion other than to offer this one opinion (because the conversation is an endless circle);

There is no value in installing a grid connected system in JHB (which includes any inverter that connects to the grid, irrespective of its ability to feed back into the grid). The authorities have carefully calculated costs and complexities to make it just a dumb thing to do. In my opinion this is intentional to protect their revenue stream of which electricity sales is the major contributor.

If you want to move forward with solar then make sure you are "Off Grid" in that your inverter and the grid never meet. This can be accomplished by Having a Grid DB for things like Oven (gas?), geyser (solar?), A/C, under floor heating etc. Then have a PV-DB for lights, general plugs (not space heaters), fridge, TV+Decoder, PC's, internet, etc. You can have Grid Backup for the PV-DB via a suitable separate changeover switch.

This solution (off grid) will require that you register with Nersa as an SSEG when the time comes and regs are settled (unless panel capacity is below a pathetic 250W apparently), and have a COC for the installation - but no special applications, approvals, engineers, tariff changes etc etc etc

If you look at the numbers and feel that there is value in going the Grid Connected route then go for it.

Thank you very much for the information.

I do have a prepaid meter but have setup a separate DB board for my solar stuff, I do have a feed from the grid to this DB (grid connected). If is understand correctly all I need to do is to put  a change over  switch between the 2 DB's and need to have a COC for my PV system and then to register with NERSA once they have theit house in order.

Thanks again for the helpful information 

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3 minutes ago, Leonc said:

Thank you very much for the information.

I do have a prepaid meter but have setup a separate DB board for my solar stuff, I do have a feed from the grid to this DB (grid connected). If is understand correctly all I need to do is to put  a change over  switch between the 2 DB's and need to have a COC for my PV system and then to register with NERSA once they have theit house in order.

Thanks again for the helpful information 

And thanks to everyone commenting on this appreciate

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1 hour ago, Leonc said:

If is understand correctly all I need to do is to put  a change over  switch between the 2 DB's and need to have a COC for my PV system and then to register with NERSA once they have theit house in order.

...and no AC feed to your inverter. The inverter system must be PV only, when batteries go low then the C/O switches the PV-DB to grid, and then back to PV when batteries have reached preset SOC.

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Thank you very much Pilotfish. 

Makes sense, currently it should not be a problem to disconnect the grid on my inverter as my PV system is coping at night with the batteries at plus minus 32 to 35% SOC but might be a problem with cloudy days. I think I need to invest in another battery just for a bigger safety net. 

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Are you aware that there s a new national regulations up for review that "should" become like the NHBRC (buiding rec) This is going to change a lot. But whether you are on or off grid you MUST register by NERSA>  They do not have the processes in place yet. I did it and they will inform me when they are ready.
Personally I believe that with the new "rules" it will be better it will come one set nationally. It will also become "law via parliament" then local authorities can't object and have own implementation.

A while ago I had a look at it and it is a good standard. The concern in studies shows that roof mounted solar systems can become more dangerous than the believe is currently and from that the "frame" system is a little tighter specked.

The problem munics are facing is the the bill of human rights/ constitution declares electricity is part of your rights.

Therefore they can not make laws against this. You can believe me on this as we are fighting in court re it.

I believe once a "group" gets together and chat to like City of Cape Town and get on court case going then the others will have to listen.

Will let you guys soon know what is court feeling re it.

Edited by Erastus
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11 hours ago, pilotfish said:

To Time of Use at min R550/m connection fee and R3.30/kWh when you get home from work and need power (6pm to 10pm and 6am to 10am).

What's the off-peak rate? That had better be significantly under R1.50/kwh otherwise I don't know what they were even thinking.

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1 hour ago, Erastus said:

Are you aware that there s a new national regulations up for review that "should" become like the NHBRC (buiding rec) This is going to change a lot. But whether you are on or off grid you MUST register by NERSA>  They do not have the processes in place yet. I did it and they will inform me when they are ready.
Personally I believe that with the new "rules" it will be better it will come one set nationally. It will also become "law via parliament" then local authorities can't object and have own implementation.

A while ago I had a look at it and it is a good standard. The concern in studies shows that roof mounted solar systems can become more dangerous than the believe is currently and from that the "frame" system is a little tighter specked.

The problem munics are facing is the the bill of human rights/ constitution declares electricity is part of your rights.

Therefore they can not make laws against this. You can believe me on this as we are fighting in court re it.

I believe once a "group" gets together and chat to like City of Cape Town and get on court case going then the others will have to listen.

Will let you guys soon know what is court feeling re it.

Thanks for the information, must one wait until NERSA has got it's duck in a row before applying or is there a current way to apply.

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2 hours ago, Antony said:

I have sent my local councilor an email to determine the regs for Ekurhuleni, hopefully he can assist or redirect.

Note, there is a difference: Who supplies ones electricity?
1) Eskom supplied? Go direct to Eskom.
2) Municipality? Ask them for their regs.

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2 hours ago, Leonc said:

Thanks for the information, must one wait until NERSA has got it's duck in a row before applying or is there a current way to apply.

I have been through the complete process with NERSA.... They have send me a formal document the will inform me when they are ready to accept applications. If you ask me the do not have a database that can handle it (and no Gupta's that can supply it :rolleyes:).

When I get it it I will publish it on the forum.  I have done all 3.  Checked with those "creating the new laws",. NERSA and CoCT. Te current suggestion is out for comments. One gets the impression from the constitution that they can't do "anything" until the "law" is published ( condition of Const.). From what I understand after the cut of date they will do the agreed changes in the "new" law. Then they will have a very short request before getting it through parliament.
Then we all will have to do it.
The nice side is all will have the same base. The reason for this is there can not be a local law contradicting a national law.
Thus with all specs inplace and published and database operational we will then all find it very easy to do the rest.

This brings us to another topic (to stir). The electricity "specs" for SA does not address 48V and lower. One soon will see that Fridges TV's ... will be able to work on this. Stoves if you use a 110V element @ 55VDC you will get pretty much the same affect.

So why doe we need a full house to be approved and wired if all are < 50V.

In my case when I had to redo my house lights all are on 12V with 48V charger and 12V batt backup. DSTV ... you can get a "regulator 48V - 16V ..."
My koi pond I only use 90W.

I recon in 1 - 5 years wiring of houses is going to change completely and the law once again

Exiting times ahead.

Sorry for all the tjol  ;)

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6 minutes ago, Leonc said:

Any indication of the cost for a COC. 

My research so far:
1) If you split the DB board, and all the regs for a alternative supply in same DB, clear for anyone who does not know there is a inverter, looking at R5-6k ... +- a days work.
2) Cheaper option: Get a external surface mounted DB board, move the circuits out of existing DB to this new DB ... +- couple of hours work.

Hint: On this new external DB, have the option to be able to connect it back to the main DB, in case of inverter repairs, low batts etc., so that at least the circuits are still powered under those circumstances.

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3 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

My research so far:
1) If you split the DB board, and all the regs for a alternative supply in same DB, clear for anyone who does not know there is a inverter, looking at R5-6k ... +- a days work.
2) Cheaper option: Get a external surface mounted DB board, move the circuits out of existing DB to this new DB ... +- couple of hours work.

Hint: On this new external DB, have the option to be able to connect it back to the main DB, in case of inverter repairs, low batts etc., so that at least the circuits are still powered under those circumstances.

Thanks for the feed back. I do have an surface mounted db for my solar stuff separate from the main board. I need a COC for my pv system. I presume for insurance it would also be required. 

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