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Frodo

Infinisolar inverters disconnecting from grid with new Smart meters

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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

nd no matter how many times you explain it, some idiot will still sell that nonsense as gospel truth 🙂

Yeah, haha I think I get it. It's like the people who claim you can have more money in your pocket if you earn less and fall into the tax bracket below. If my assumptions are correct, if you buy enough you could be buying multiple tiers of electricity at once.

So, actually, if you buy more than enough electricity to last you until the end of the month you are doing yourself in.

Wow what is up your CoCT prices? Your top bracket is 256c/kWh. Perhaps this is outdated or perhaps there are more brackets than Tshwane shows but their top tier is 195c/kWh. Ah wait, I see where the confusion comes in. I assumed that Tshwane's rated are VAT inclusive but after seeing that CoCT mentions prices with/without VAT I double checked Tshwane's pricing and I see that right at the top of the 26 page document, it mentions that prices exclude VAT. I never actually checked how many units I got because with the non-Conlog smart metering project you loaded up money, not units.

That makes quite a difference to my battery feasibility calculations. Back to the drawing board.

Edited by Charl_CCU

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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

Also... every month I buy at least R1112 of electricity. On the last day of the month, if I've spent less than R1112, I go and buy the remainder before the new month. I buy as much of the cheap electricity as I can, because in winter I use more than 600kWh a month, and then the amount that I "banked" on the meter comes in handy. Unfortunately I usually run out of cheap electricity around the middle of May. We'll see how it goes with the new Pv modules I installed only in March (so they did not yet have a whole year's impact).

That's really clever. I need to try that. So is my assumption that you can buy multiple tiers at once, incorrect? I draw about 570kWh/month in summer.

2 hours ago, IdlePhaedrus said:

A neighbour of mine was complaining about being overcharged by Standard Bank earlier this week (Cape Town).  I topped up with FNB yesterday and the charge was the same as usual.

I don't believe it would be legal for SB to take a commission on electricity sales, it is more likely to be some sort of billing system snafu.

Check my previous reply. Was a misunderstanding on my part.

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37 minutes ago, DeepBass9 said:

So how does that work, you make sure you have bought as much cheap rate electricity as you can, and store it in the meter? I wouldn't like to be your tax accountant! LOL.

Thanks to Plonkster, we do the same, every month we buy 598 units and we don't use it all in that month, being grid tied, so slowly the meter units are increasing at the start of each month.

And the units where bought with after tax money. 🙂 

No wonder they are investigating this practice.

EDIT: I highlight grid-tied seeing that right now, cloudy outside, the panel watts are still being offset against any units previously bought.

Edited by Guest

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37 minutes ago, Charl_CCU said:

That's really clever. I need to try that. So is my assumption that you can buy multiple tiers at once, incorrect? I draw about 570kWh/month in summer.

It happens transparently, they automatically switch you to the higher tariff, even in the same transaction.

Eg, if I buy R2000 of electricity in one transaction. I'll get 600kWh for R1111.92, and then the remaining R888.08 will buy another 347 units, for a total of 947 units.

If I buy in smaller blocks, same thing happens, the transaction that sends me over 600kWh ends up having two parts at different tariffs.

The banking app I use refuses to sell me R1111.92, so I buy R1112. It's close enough 🙂

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Just now, plonkster said:

It happens transparently, they automatically switch you to the higher tariff, even in the same transaction.

Eg, if I buy R2000 of electricity in one transaction. I'll get 600kWh for R1111.92, and then the remaining R888.08 will buy another 347 units, for a total of 947 units.

If I buy in smaller blocks, same thing happens, the transaction that sends me over 600kWh ends up having two parts at different tariffs.

The banking app I use refuses to sell me R1111.92, so I buy R1112. It's close enough 🙂

Ah yeah, so it's how I assumed - just like Tax. I'm going to start doing that from now on. Probably won't help now but it means I can save up for the winter months and ultimately save some cash. Thanks for the awesome idea!

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Just now, Charl_CCU said:

save some cash

Another tip: If it is the last day of the month and you are about to run out... buy just enough to make it until the next day. Never buy your monthly electricity on the last day of the month (unless you know you are under the limit). There is one exception to this, something I have also done.

That exception is in July. The tariffs increase in July. Usually I can make a fairly good estimate of how much electricity I will be using in block 2 in July, August and the first half or so of September (which in my particular case is when I finally go under 600kWh again), so any electricity I buy in June of the previous year, even in block2, represents a saving over the next three months.

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1 minute ago, plonkster said:

Another tip: If it is the last day of the month and you are about to run out... buy just enough to make it until the next day. Never buy your monthly electricity on the last day of the month (unless you know you are under the limit). There is one exception to this, something I have also done.

That exception is in July. The tariffs increase in July. Usually I can make a fairly good estimate of how much electricity I will be using in block 2 in July, August and the first half or so of September (which in my particular case is when I finally go under 600kWh again), so any electricity I buy in June of the previous year, even in block2, represents a saving over the next three months.

Surely buying top-tier electricity at the rate is more expensive than what the second-from-top tier will cost after the increase.

 

For Tshwane electricity users who want to do this and get 650kWh each month, it's R1251.19 : ((141.78*100)+(165.92*299)+(180.77*249))*1.15/100.

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4 minutes ago, Charl_CCU said:

Surely buying top-tier electricity at the rate is more expensive than what the second-from-top tier will cost after the increase.

Oh yes, you're absolutely right. That is why I estimate how much top-tier will be needed in the coming months, and I try to buy that amount in June (of course it also depends on your budget, if you're down to ProVita at this point then of course you can't do it). In other words, I'm not offsetting block2 before June against block1 after June... I'm offsetting block2 against block2. It is an estimate though, but in general an extra R2000 worth of electricity bought in June will work out cheaper than buying it in the last week of July and August. At least for me 🙂

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1 minute ago, plonkster said:

Oh yes, you're absolutely right. That is why I estimate how much top-tier will be needed in the coming months, and I try to buy that amount in June (of course it also depends on your budget, if you're down to ProVita at this point then of course you can't do it). In other words, I'm not offsetting block2 before June against block1 after June... I'm offsetting block2 against block2. It is an estimate though, but in general an extra R2000 worth of electricity bought in June will work out cheaper than buying it in the last week of July and August. At least for me 🙂

Ah yeah, I understand now. I only go into the top tier in winter months and when my solar system has been out of commission for almost 2 weeks 😢

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Just now, DeepBass9 said:

So how many months can you roll the units over for? Just one or is it infinite?

I don't know. As far as I know, you can roll it over forever... you just can't load more than 9999kWh or something like that (for my particular meter, it says so in the manual). I don't roll over more than one month... at my present consumption.

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You need more panels then.

If you could transfer units to other meters you could set up a whole electricity futures trading business! There was a bar I used to frequent where the owner never had enough money to restock, so you could buy beer futures at a reduced price to keep the place on the go. 

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3 minutes ago, DeepBass9 said:

You need more panels then.

Aaah , but you see I am capped at 3.6kw. I'm not there yet, but I will have to combine this with a reduction in consumption. The easiest way to do that would be to reduce the amount of air conditioner energy required in summer... which I could do for not very much money. Roughly the cost of painting the roof with the right stuff... 🙂

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7 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Aaah , but you see I am capped at 3.6kw. I'm not there yet, but I will have to combine this with a reduction in consumption. The easiest way to do that would be to reduce the amount of air conditioner energy required in summer... which I could do for not very much money. Roughly the cost of painting the roof with the right stuff... 🙂

That's the CoCT's 60A-supply solar limit, correct? Does that limit apply for how much you can export or is it the limit on the size of your solar system regardless of how much, or even if you are, exporting?

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4 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Roughly the cost of painting the roof with the right stuff...

I looked into that once, was not convinced it is as good as the marketing material said it is.

Did read a article however that if every single roof everywhere on earth, specifically in cities, was painted white, that it would go quite far towards helping with the warming issues because it would work similar to the ice caps, reflecting the heat back to space.

And the homes would be markedly cooler where they tend to be hot. Colder areas you tend to isolate much better.

Wife refused for a white roof would be an issue to keep looking clean, so I (or is that we) never did it.

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13 minutes ago, Charl_CCU said:

Does that limit apply for how much you can export or is it the limit on the size of your solar system regardless of how much, or even if you are, exporting? 

Yes. Because it's not only about how much you export, it is about how much the grid has to "pick up" when your embedded generator trips. A generator that trips or a large 3.5kw load that switches on is (from the perspective of the grid) the same thing, but they want to limit how hard that hits them. I think the reason for that is all the generators in your area are in a sense linked together by their NRS097-2-1 parameters, whatever condition tripped your generator probably tripped the entire neighbourhood's generators, so all of it has to be picked up.

Even if you can somehow limit your export to 3.5 while generating more, if the generator trips the loads has to be picked up by the grid, so the size of the generator does matter.

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19 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Did read a article however that if every single roof everywhere on earth, specifically in cities, was painted white, that it would go quite far towards helping with the warming issues because it would work similar to the ice caps, reflecting the heat back to space.

I read the same thing. My wife had the same response... not about it getting dirty, just that generally it would look awful. And as we all know, looks is more important than saving electricity.

But the paint I am talking about has a reflective component that reflects the UV, and it comes in colours other than white (in fact, I don't think it even comes in white). It's called Plascon Nuroof Cool. There used to be two kinds of this paint, Nuroof, and Nuroof Cool, and the latter was around 50% more expensive. I think these days they only sell the latter.

I read a paper where the product was tested in Australia. Apparently it did very very well.

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On 2019/05/30 at 6:32 AM, Coulomb said:

I had a quick scan through a few manuals, and I don't think that they have this facility. You can set the maximum feed-in power, but they don't say if you can set it as low as zero or negative, as you'd want here. Nor is there a clue as to the resolution. It seems that with some models, you have to use SolarPower or other suitable monitoring software (ICC presumably doesn't handle them); there doesn't seem to be any settings via the LC Display.

Some models (e.g. Infini V series) only seem to have a grid feed-in enable/disable setting: setting 09 to Grd ("Solar or battery energy to grid disable").

Hopefully actual owners (I'm not one) who have figured this out can comment with better specifics.

For a single-phase InfiniSolar, that setting is here:

image.thumb.png.5eaf7f959741eca203b616ec12048564.png

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Hi,

Still trying to find a solution to the issues with the Conlog meter.

Will replacing the Infinisolar inverter with lets say an Axpert inverter solve the problem, as the Axpert does not blend grid and PV to supply the loads, and is either in Inverter mode, or in Bypass (grid) mode?

My feeling is that the interference with the Conlog meter is due toe the PV and grid being blended to supply the load...

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Hi @Frodo

Yes, Axpert off-grid inverter will not trip the meter.

But if you go ahead and change the mode of your InfiniSolar to "off-grid III", then your Infini will behave just like an Axpert and it won't trip the meter either.

Worth a try, I would say...

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On 2019/05/28 at 10:41 PM, Charl_CCU said:

Bad news guys: I'm sorry to report this Conlog has said that Tshwane would rather you disconnect your system than try figure out a solution (an easy token).

 

Thanks for nothing DA. Why do they have this stance whereas in CoCT they are embracing it and even offering feedback at reasonable rates. I wonder if they really are experiencing technical challenges or if that is another cover-up story.

 

I'm not sure what my installer did but they got my inverter (SolarEdge) to stop tripping the meter. I'm not sure exactly which settings they changed but I've notice that no matter the PV output, at least 200W will always come from the grid. Has been working perfectly for a few days now. Perhaps try doing this with your inverter?

Letter.pdfUnavailable

 

On 2019/05/28 at 2:53 PM, IdlePhaedrus said:

@plonkster has addressed the reason why this happens.  This has already been discussed with regards the Conlog meters in various threads.

In this thread, @Charl_CCU said:

It would be interesting to know if you or Charl_CCU manage to get that token.

Charl, Have you managed to get Conlog to disable the pre-paid meter anti-feedback trip function? I am having exactly the same problem and have been told that I need to get CoT to replace this meter with a HEX meter. 

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1 hour ago, Jose13 said:

CoT to replace this meter with a HEX meter.

CoCT can replace it with a ltron PAYG meter.

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Ok, glad I am not the only one with this problem of the Conlog meters disconnecting the supply.

Yes, you can goto CoCT and buy that meter, but then it will cost you R17k AND you have to go onto the solar tariff, which in my mind does not make financial sense at all!!!
Also, when you on the Solar tariff, you are not allowed to export more than you consume. You also not allowed to have a negative bill, so you will always have to pay the Muni something.

Perhaps for a business it might work, but not your normal home user.

 

With the Infini you can try and play with the "feeding grid power" calibration value. Try using a negative value there.

I have the exact same problem with my Goodwe :( Unfortunately Goodwe software does not allow a negative value for the export, so that is a bummer.
Perhaps if we ask them as a group they might consider changing it?
I have now added a 100W lamp before the Ezee meter. That has helped me during the day, but unfortunately now you have that constant 100W draw at night too.
2nd thing I have done was check my minimum draw at night. That was 500W. So then I limited the battery output to 10Amps. In effect the battery then could not export enough to trip the supply.
Once the 2nd option was working fine, I put the light on a day/night switch, so during the day the lamp would burn and at night it would switch off.

The above solution worked great for me for the past 2 years, but now I had to replace my batteries.
Now unfortunately with the lithium BMS system, I cannot limit the output amps, thus back to running the 100W lamp 24/7.

Is there really not somebody with good contacts at Goodwe that could help us with the software? Surely that should really not be such a big issue to change???

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6 minutes ago, Wetkit said:

Is there really not somebody with good contacts at Goodwe

SegenSolar ([email protected]) are coordinating our efforts to convince Goodwe to release a software solution to limit the maximum inverter output (to comply with the NRS 20% rule). They might be prepared to look into your issue as well.

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