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My solar Story

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When I started off in July last year my plan was to install a solar geyser in order to reduce consumption. I researched about the the different technologies and the advantages and disadvantages of the systems.

My plan was to install a system in December when i get paid my bonus.  Well in November ESKDOM  started with load shedding and the wife and kids was not very happy with that. 

I then quickly started to research PV systems. I only had R16k for a system and the cheapest quote i got was R22k. for a system with installation, when this person arrived at my house and saw my DB board the price suddenly escalated to R30k. My house had old black FUCHS trips and the earth leakage did not even work properly second problem was that wher my db is situated there are not enough space for inverters and batteriess this meant that i would had to run a cable to a spot where i could put the inverter and batteries. 

I purchased all the breakers, earth leakage trips and surge protectors as well as 50m cable to run to the back of the hos for the inverter feed and return. all the spares cost me R3k. I did all the work myself to install the cables and isolators. 

At first i did not know that I need separate neutrals for before and after the inverter. I also did not know about TN and TNS earths or how to connect the earths. I got a lot of info from this site.

I got a quote from a company for an inverter 3kva with mmpt for R3k 2x solar panels for R4k and 2x 100ah batteies for R4k. I accepted the quote and paid the company. When i collected the inverter was not a 3kva inverter it did not even had place to connect solar panels. After a discussion the inverter was changed but for a 48v inverter and I had to struggle find batteries because it was the day before Christmas and the suppliers were closed. I purchased batteries from Makro but they were flooded and not AGM. The system was at least working for the time.

In January when i was back at work I was discussing my problems with one of our engineers who i knew also have a solar system, he told me he had just replaced his solar batteries with pylontech batteries and that I  can have his  8 x 2 year old NARADA 200ah batteries for free. 

I connected the 8x batteries to my inverter using 400A jumper cables i purchased from midas because the budget was gone. i did not have any more money. When the system was on full power the cable got so hot that it melted the ANL fuse holder with 80A fuse. I also had 5v drop every time i would pull more than 1kw from the system

Friday I had to purchase something for my father in law at an Indian shop and saw a taxi amplifier kit with 8m  0 gauge wire in the kit for R375 I purchased this kit and installed this cables on the batteries to the inverter. The new cable is 50mm and There are no voltage drop when the system is on full power.


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This is the DB board drawing I got from the forum and the DB board 

The 2 cables hanging on the side is 10mm cables running to the back of the house where the inverter and batteries will be installed. 

db board wiring.jpg

DB Board.jpg

DB Board2 .jpg

Edited by Krokkedil
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9 minutes ago, plonkster said:

You cannot however decommission the pool.... because they might want to (use it).

that is correct. I also get in the pool now and then when the heat is too much. I cant swim unless i have earplugs because of holes in my eardrums. if the water gets into my inner ear i am stuffed with ear infection for weeks..

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8 hours ago, Krokkedil said:

This is the DB board drawing I got

from the forum and the DB board 

The 2 cables hanging on the side is 10mm  6mm (fixed)cables running to the back of the house where the inverter and batteries will be installed. 

db board wiring.jpg

DB Board.jpg

DB Board2 .jpg


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  • 1 month later...

I did not post for a while, my pc at home crashed and i was extremely busy with tenders.

I added 2 more panels to the roof and now have a 4 x  330w panels. I used the software that came with the inverter and checked the output for 3 days and realized that with nobody at home during the day the batteries will be fully charged around 10AM and i am then not using the panels anymore, i then connected the pool pump up to the system and checked if the pool pump can run together with the normal stuff that runs during the day,  

The pool pump is a 1,1 kw pump and was very worried that it will trip the inverter on startup. i tested it and it runs 100%, to ensure that i can switch it off, i wired it into a separate breaker that i can switch off if we need to draw more power, like if one of us is home during the day and wants to boil the kettle. The pool timer was changed to run from 10AM to 2PM when the kids usually returns from school

I also bought a new 1.7 l kettle that only draws 1 kw from an Indian shop in Souter street in Pretoria west for R90, yes R90 it takes a little bit longer to boil but works 100%

I tested and i can also run my borehole pump from the inverter but i have to ensure the load is below 200w before i start up the pump this pump will have to be changed later to a smaller pump or the inverter upgraded to a 5 KW inverter. 

I have a 2000L jojo tank with a pressure pump tied into the house, the Borehole fills the tank and when there is no water we still have water. unfortunately i cant run the borehole and pressure pump at the same time.

My plan is to purchase 2 more panels month end. i will increase this until i have enough panels, i am thinking that maybe i must go with a 5kw inverter to run the house and the 3kw inverter that i have i then use for the borehole and swimming pool pump . 

For the swimming pool and borehole i dont need batteries they can run during the day,  The 5Kw can use the current batteries until i can upgrade to lithium

The 3kw will run happily with 6 panels. the 5 kw needs 16 panels. (this is going to take a while and cost a bit of money)

One thing that is amazing is i don't get affected by the load shedding, i have enough to power my house as it is currently, my electricity bill has dropped from R1500pm to less than 800pm 

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