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My setup


sarelb
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Hi guys,

 

I am fairly new to the forum and found a lot of useful information here.

 

This is my current system.

 

30 x 300w Renesola pv

2 x 120a WRND MPPT Charge controllers

1 6kw PowerStar IR Inverter

16 x Narada 12v 200ah battery bank

 

I have attached a few pics.

 

Sarel

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Hi Chris,

We first used an Efergy meter and started with a daily consumption of 60kwh (unbelievable yes).  We then switched off the outer buildings (not used unless we have friends over).  Then we converted one geyser to heat pump and another geyser to Plasma.  We also replaced all our lights with LED lights.  We also "learned" to use electricity wisely (don't walk out of a room with aircon running, etc).

Now we are using between 24 and 35 kwh per day and we run everything off solar.

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@Mike,

We have been using solar since Feb this year, but we made some mistakes along the way.  Our battery bank had to be replaced.  The new batteries were connected last week and since Thursday we are running without Eskom.  We still have the manual switch over in case we hit bad weather for a few days.

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Hi Clint

No, I have a prepaid meter.  The only items on my municipality bill are property rates, waste management, water and sanitation.

Our plan is to buy R100 prepaid units every month (the lowest rate) and build up for when we need a few units when we have bad weather.

I am in Centurion and we are part of City of Tshwane.

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What's your opinion of the WRND MPPT? It's quite a bit less expensive than the microcare (though also has a lower max Voc), and I'd love to look at the innards to compare it with the Microcare, seeing as they are both South African products.

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@plonkster

Currently one of my two WRND's is on the way back from Durbanville.  It was working fine for about 6 months and then suddenly died.  I'll try to get more info from the supplier.

Luckily I had a second one and just connected the full load on one (still within spec).

The model I am using is rated 120 amp max current and 150 volts max voltage.

If I have to do it again, I will probably also go for the Microcare.  The WRND performs well, but there is no local technical support in my area.  The guy in Durbanville is/was very helpful.  It is just a pain to courier the unit when things go wrong. 

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Sarel, reason I asked is because my Microcare unit broke down and I considered a WRND as replacement :-) It looks like the WRND is one guy working from his home-lab, or something like that. He has two video's on youtube, and the whois info on the domain registration all matches up with his cell number on the website. I did try to contact him once - without success. I saw the same complaint from people on the 4x4 forums.

 

I also have to add that Microcare isn't necessarily more responsive when it comes to technical support, and it is just as much of a pain to courier things there. They are better at answering their phone though :-)

 

I live close to Durbanville (I could drive there), but far from PE, so in that respect the WRND might even be a better option! ;-)

 

It looks like a quality unit from the videos. But as I've actually opened up a microcare (and blogged about what I found), I would love to give the WRND the same treatment.

 

For me, the answer is probably that in future I wouldn't use either of these. I'll go with the expensive Victrons.

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I agree plonkster.  I am not an electronics expert, but it looks like the old story "you get what you pay for".

I must say that the WRND is doing the job.  I am running all 30 panels through it at the moment, but I have limited the amps to 100a.  The fault on the other unit could be a "once off" problem.  Only time will tell.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sarel

 

Congratulations on your installation. You have a nice set-up here and i have a system similar to yours.

 

Just be very careful with the way you earth the system, even the so-called pro's get it wrong sometimes when it comes to this type of system.It's not grid tie system nor a off-grid system, its what the yanks call an island system, as there is still utility power connected to your property. 

 

Enjoy the energy of the sun.

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