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Impedance Day


TheRoDent
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(Yes the post title is spelled as intended¬†ūüėÄ)

So, after several weeks of planning, and getting the basic gear from mecerinverter.co.za, and a bit of a hackathon this weekend, I'm finally starting to disconnect from the grid. Well, becoming less dependant on it, shall we say.

Ordered a 5kw Mecer Axpert King, and 3 x Pylontech US3000's from Devan @ EnwayPower/MecerInvert.co.za

My order was fulfilled within 2 days, and Devan is definately highly recommened. Their google star ratings show it, and I was happy to give them a 5 star rating too. In fact my colleague ordered the day after me, and was also fulfilled in 2 days.

As it goes in the current economic climate, and budget constraints, my plan was to first just get rid of loadshedding, so --basically I have an inverter, and 3 x Pylontech US3000's setup just to avoid having to run outside to startup the portable generator during loadshedding (which I installed around 2008 with the firsrt loadshedding bouts).

My general critical load including fridges, TV's, a boatload of PC's, TV's and some lights and plugs is generally around 1200watt. I split my DB board for the critical load back in the generator days.

I used surfix 2.5mm rated at 23Amps for connecting the mains feed to the Axpert King, as well as back to the critical load DB. I put the surfix inside PVC conduit as well, as it's easier to manage/get straight (Yes, a bit OCD). I used some basic 20Amp breakers to protect the Surfix  wires from my City Power feed, to the Axpert and from the Axpert to the critical load DB. When I redo the main DB I'll add some changeover switches to be able to augment City Power with the generator, but for now, the generator is out of the loop. I'm loathe to reconnect it until I've confirmed what I can do about the potential VOV situation and earthing issues. I haven't installed any DC fuses yet between the batteries and the inverter yet, but that's next. 

The Axpert didn't want to communicate with the Pylontech batteries using the supplied cable, so I went through the firmware upgrade process via USB On-The-Go, and a flash drive. Bricked the unit when I thought the upgrade had hung, then booted back up into Error Code 32, nothing else showing. Used the USB OTGagain, and realized finally that the upgrade does take some time. Simply press the OTG button a couple of times until the upgrade option show again (Had a bit of a freakout).

The inverter came with a BMS (RS485) cable for the batteries, but the pinouts were simpply straight-thru. After some digging on these forums (thanks guys!) I recrimped the RJ45 to create a crossover cable, and eventually with the 71.86 firmware flashed, and the proper pinned out RJ45 cable, the batteries and the inverter were talking.

Then cabled everything up, and working now on batteries or mains, depending on the AC input.

I've also ordered ICC software for my Raspberry PI2, and am busy flashing it as we speak. Thanks for this great local product, and happy to support local dev's and expertise!

I really want to thank everyone on this forum for sharing their experiences, and creating such a body of knowledge which is google-able, and for everyone taking the time to answer questions. It really reminds me of the old days of MyBroadband.co.za.

The next steps for me would be to get a PV array up, convert some of my geysers to GeyserWise with DC/AC elements and panels, as well as a smaller inverter setup for my fishpond.

Soon, I will be able to cut the cord entirely, and keep a basic prepaid City Power service available in case of emergency.

Herewith some PIC's, and once again thanks to people like @Coulomb and numerous others that makes this such a great forum.

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Edited by TheRoDent
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  • 6 months later...

Like the raspberry idea. I will look into it. 

My plan is the same: TV, Internet, switches, alarm and, some PCs and laptops. Oh yes, lights!

I have the generator for other stuff, but My idea is to start saving and get off-grid and only have like the pool and pumps on the grid.I'm in the process of ordering my King Inverter 5kva. Have Gel batteries 240ah and 4 panels on the roof now, will get every month 2 until I have 12. my panel is 330 watt.

I have also ordered a new DB board as mine looks shit; like back from the '60s. when I start, I'll put some photos up. 

 

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1 hour ago, Barryv said:

Like the raspberry idea. I will look into it. 

My plan is the same: TV, Internet, switches, alarm and, some PCs and laptops. Oh yes, lights!

I have the generator for other stuff, but My idea is to start saving and get off-grid and only have like the pool and pumps on the grid.I'm in the process of ordering my King Inverter 5kva. Have Gel batteries 240ah and 4 panels on the roof now, will get every month 2 until I have 12. my panel is 330 watt.

I have also ordered a new DB board as mine looks shit; like back from the '60s. when I start, I'll put some photos up. 

 

 

You can run the pool pump off the solar. My pool runs from sunrise when there is enough PV generation, until like 16:00 when the light is low and pump switches off. All on the solar 100%. 
The ICC software and PI is in my option well worth the investment. 

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