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On 2020/08/07 at 10:36 AM, Louisvdw said:

I had a system like that in my previous home. Works very well for a solar geyser for 4 people with a 150L tank. In summer the temp could go to 80deg, while in winter it was more around the 50 deg avg.
Normal solar stuff. If someone showered in the evening the water is cold in the morning, so your element needs to heat up the water.
We saved about 40% of the electricity bill with this upgrade compared to the normal geyser.

The GeyserWise is a great controller.

If you take the slightly more expensive option that has the 12V pump with a solar panel for circulation it is worth it with the loadshedding we do have.

Now I have a heat pump. Saving are the same but no more cold water in the mornings :) 

Is your heat pump ac or dc how much power does it draw at peak. 

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my 2 cents. If you are looking only at the ROI it makes no sense to spend so much money. If it is your hobby and/or you are concerned about the environment this is a different story and probably the r

Yes, now the big inverter makes sense.   

48 Volts. Anything else is a waste of time. Buy a small direct inverter and a couple of panels (sufficient to get the inverter operating). Feed directly into your household grid, and start learning

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15 hours ago, Durbanguy said:

Is your heat pump ac or dc how much power does it draw at peak. 

My Heat pump is AC. (I have not seen a DC one). It is a 3.5kW unit (heat output) and use 900W (input). The motor startup is 1.4kW

 

15 hours ago, Durbanguy said:

grid-tie inverter without exporting power

You don't have to export with a grid-tie inverter, but check the unit that for the specs as they are not all the same. Grid-tie normally don't have battery backups though, so if the utility is down your power is also down (it is a safety feature they all have to have)

Other inverters also blend power (Victron Multiplus, I think the Axpert King also, and many other)

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On 2020/09/14 at 1:58 PM, Eduan said:

Hello everyone, can you please advise me on which books to read to get started. I have identified "DIY Solar Power" by Micah Toll and was wondering if perhaps anyone would recommend this book or any others to get started?

Hi Eduan, and welcome.

What all do you want to learn about?

Do you plan to DIY build a LiFePo4 battery?

Do you want to buy your first inverter? 

Do you want to buy a charge controller? 

Is there something specific you want to research? 
 

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On 2020/10/11 at 5:10 PM, Solaris said:

Hi Eduan, and welcome.

What all do you want to learn about?

Do you plan to DIY build a LiFePo4 battery?

Do you want to buy your first inverter? 

Do you want to buy a charge controller? 

Is there something specific you want to research? 
 

I would like to start going off the grid. I know nothing about solar so I need a complete beginners guide.

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54 minutes ago, Eduan said:

I would like to start going off the grid. I know nothing about solar so I need a complete beginners guide.

48 Volts. Anything else is a waste of time.

Buy a small direct inverter and a couple of panels (sufficient to get the inverter operating). Feed directly into your household grid, and start learning. The best learning is accomplished whilst doing.

You can reasonably get going for under R20K.

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55 minutes ago, Eduan said:

I would like to start going off the grid. I know nothing about solar so I need a complete beginners guide.

Going off the grid is a very long term if not unattainable goal for most. 
 

The first step in planning to go off grid is to actually determine how dependent you are on the grid. You can do this by getting a simple energy meter like an efergy to determine your daily consumption and the consumption at different times, during sun hours and otherwise. Then determine the big consumers in the house and check how you can move these to sun hours if possible. Then you can plan your solar / storage solution accordingly. 

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On 2020/09/14 at 1:58 PM, Eduan said:

Hello everyone, can you please advise me on which books to read to get started. I have identified "DIY Solar Power" by Micah Toll and was wondering if perhaps anyone would recommend this book or any others to get started?

I don't know of any RE books but I suggest you find people who have installed systems. It's not too difficult: have a look for houses with PV panels on the roof and go knock on their door. Most people who have installed systems are happy to talk about them..

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1 hour ago, Richard Mackay said:

I don't know of any RE books but I suggest you find people who have installed systems. It's not too difficult: have a look for houses with PV panels on the roof and go knock on their door. Most people who have installed systems are happy to talk about them..

True dat!

It's even more of a problem than with vegan cross-fit yacht owners.

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I know that I learn a lot quicker when I attempt something myself. @PaulinNorthcliffI will get started with what you suggested and then read and speak to people to learn more. 

@VassenI have some time on my hands and in no way in a rush. I would like to move to a smallholding eventually and by then want to implement everything I have learnt to try and go off the grid. 

The main culprits with the highest consumption is the kettle, geyser and oven at the moment. The stove top is already gas and the kettle is being replaced by a stove top one as soon as this one konks out.

Will keep everyone posted.

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7 minutes ago, Eduan said:

The main culprits with the highest consumption is the kettle, geyser and oven at the moment. The stove top is already gas and the kettle is being replaced by a stove top one as soon as this one konks out.

Will keep everyone posted.

EVERYTHING that generates heat should be on gas.

I'm seriously looking at a Rinnai gas-heated tumble drier. Although I have no problem with solar energy at the moment. https://rinnai-gas-geysers.co.za/with-the-ability-to-dry-a-load-of-towels-in-under-an-hour-the-dry-soft-6-might-be-considered-a-luxury-by-some-but-its-a-necessity-for-large-families/

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1 hour ago, Eduan said:

The main culprits with the highest consumption is the kettle, geyser and oven at the moment. The stove top is already gas and the kettle is being replaced by a stove top one as soon as this one konks out.

Unless you are boiling hot water the whole day, a few boils with just the amount of water you need isn’t really using that much of power. 
 

The geyser, yes. It’s a big consumer. My personal opinion on a geyser based on my experience is to rather get additional geysers to store hot water and heat it during the day with solar PV power rather than getting a solar geyser. Store enough hot water. If the oven is used at night, then it becomes a problem but I have seen has ovens as well. 
 

The problem with gas is that you are just moving the costs from electricity to gas. I have read articles showing that it’s cheaper to heat water with electricity than it is with gas. Gas prices also increase, like electricity. If you are certain to go off grid, then a generator as a backup is a good idea. 

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I found this forum while setting up my first home solar system. Very useful information that can’t be found anywhere else! Thanks to this forum I was able to troubleshoot and resolve all issues I had! Excellenté!

My setup:

• Axpert VM 5KV Inverter

• 4x 400W PV Panels in series

• 1x US2000b PylonTech Battery

I will be adding another 2 panels and an additional 1 to 2 batteries next week.

All working great :)

97774EE9-55E9-4573-9250-928C6B5F3A62.jpeg

1F63DE11-AE4E-488E-8633-4618F43CFE49.jpeg

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