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Looking for something simple, all in one, type of solution that will run about 250watts worth of equipment for loading shedding. And be ready for the next two hours 6 hours later or so. You know your standard load shedding schedule. Most of the stuff I have found has 300 cycles or so. Looking for something that would last longer than that. 

Was thinking of just buying something and changing the batteries to gel or something, but it seems that most of the all in one solutions don't have a good enough charger in. 

I hope my inexperience is shining though, and I hope you can school me. 

I would be willing to spend up to R10K (but looking at like R8K), any recommendations?

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I've been keeping an eye on this: https://flexopower.co.za/products/lithium444-portable-power-pack-by-flexopower?variant=5418692771897

The only issue, for you, is that your load is 250W. Over a 2 hour slot the above is not going to make it. Over a 4 hour slot, definitely not.

Also, absolutely everyone is sold out on this product.

An 800Wh version... now that would sell like hotcakes... but it will probably cost around 50% more.

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44 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I've been keeping an eye on this: https://flexopower.co.za/products/lithium444-portable-power-pack-by-flexopower?variant=5418692771897

The only issue, for you, is that your load is 250W. Over a 2 hour slot the above is not going to make it. Over a 4 hour slot, definitely not.

Also, absolutely everyone is sold out on this product.

An 800Wh version... now that would sell like hotcakes... but it will probably cost around 50% more.

That does look interesting. I wonder why so few cycles (sure its to zero). 

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The closest thing I can find and "off the shelf" is this https://www.sustainable.co.za/sustainable-580wh-power-box.html

It uses LiFePO4 batteries and a decent hybrid inverter from Victron. You can add solar to it later and even use ESS.

If you want to DIY you can probably source the components cheaper by hunting a bit.

e.g. The BlueNova BN13V series of LiFePO4 batteries are cheapest on Takealot. I suspect that they are being sold directly via BlueNova so you cut out the middleman.

I'm sitting on the fence because I can go the cheap 12V route and just use a LiFePO4 charger with single 280Wh LiFePO4 battery to power the ADSL router, wireless AP and lighting. That would give me about 6 hours of backup power for under R5000. Adding the 230V inverter option adds a lot of cost and instead of using the TV I can just use a smartphone to stream Netflix (I don't use Monochoice) or surf the web.

Choices ... choices ...

Edited by Surge
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3 minutes ago, JustinT said:

So just so i understand, that bat will (depending of DoD) give you about 2000+ cycles. 

It looks like this battery. The 2000 cycles is at 100% DoD. That incidentally matches the specsheet of the Victron SmartLithium batteries, which is to be expected: Both use Winston LiFeYPO4 (it has Yttrium) cells. At 50% DoD you could more than twice that.

8 minutes ago, JustinT said:

And at 240Wh that is about 1amp so this setup at at 50% DoD will last 33 hours? and at 2amph or 480wh it will last 17.5 hours?

OK, this is very confusing. Don't mix up the energy figures (those with an h at the end) with the power figures. 240W is indeed just over 1A... but at 230VAC. On the 12V side, it's 20A.

But it is not necessary to do all that math. You have a +-500Wh battery and a 250W load. If I divide Watt-hours by watts, I'm going to get hours, right? 500/250 = 2.

So you'll get two hours at 250W at 100% DoD. Ignoring efficiency figures.

You can double-up on the battery though. Or try and reduce the loads.

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12 minutes ago, JustinT said:

will need to add more batteries.

Look at t this way, you're not that far off!

I looked around a bit and it seems that for once it will be hard to beat the sustainable.co.za price. They also deliver for free in the greater Cape Town area, so there is that (not sure where you live). It's just a tad underbatteried.

The 240W you mentioned... did you measure that, or did you add up the nameplate ratings of the appliances? Because the latter method often over-estimates things. Check that first.

Then, I see the BN batteries are all on special at Sustainable (which means they sell for a fair price... 😛 ). So perhaps see if you can spring for the 100Ah model instead.

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2 hours ago, NigelL said:

It looks like sustainable.co.za also do higher-power versions which have higher-capacity batteries - e.g. https://www.sustainable.co.za/sustainable-1000wh-power-box.html

If i was going that range of bucks, i would look at this, anyone have any comments on this? 

https://solaradvice.co.za/product/axpert-4kw-pylon-2-4kwh-lithium-ion-load-shedding-kit/

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On a fairly fixed budget (R10K) for 250W  odd for 2 hours focused on load shedding I would consider: 

  • LiFePO4 570Wh (44Ah)12V battery  - battery should keep up with the load AND happily charge at a rate that allows being ready for the next load shed  AND hopefully not be dead after doing this 500 times. (bluenova or freedomwon - BN bit cheaper on the big online purchase store where u take a lot more than you need - not sure what the forum policy is on linking prices etc.). Make this R4500?
  • Victron Multi 12/500/20 charger/inverter. Will function as a UPS,  power the load AND later recharge the battery with some capacity spare without u having to intervene (you will just need to get someone to setup the charge profile on the multi via VE Config...)   make this R6500?
  • A local solar/battery shop to make you up some nice beefy battery cables with a Fuse on the Pos (+) battery cable.

otherwise, replace the multi with

  • a phoenix 12/500 inverter . R3000?
  • BlueSmart IP65 15A charger permanently connected to the battery. R2700?  (with this option you may need some manual intervention like connecting your load to the inverter when Eskom goes bye-bye, but the charger has a LiFePO4 setting and you can set it via Bluetooth from your phone).
  1. until you know exactly what you NEED, what you want  will make you keep on adjusting your budget UP to where the practical benefit MAY not correspond to financial implications.
  2. Do you NEED the 250W or can you still shave a bit?  - for instance if this is a TV/decoder type setup... that flat screen potentially is very thirsty... during load shedding, if I REALLY want to use the TV I turn down the backlight intensity/use the energy save function..... the panel alone without power saving draws about 100W, minimum power save draws about 80W, Medium draws about 60W and Maximum draws about 40W...). If this is some medical device for instance then I would definitely go bigger on battery capacity...
  3. The ready-made solutions (for me) come generally at a price premium and capacity deficit vs. doing some DIY (sourcing and maybe "assembly") (I bought a flexopower about 18 months ago... my TV/AV amp/MiBox/Router combo draw about 120W and will just make it through to about 3.5 -4 hours total .... and then charging time is AT LEAST 6 hours.... this is now relegated as the emergency emergency backup)
On 2020/02/24 at 2:15 PM, JustinT said:

I would be willing to spend up to R10K (but looking at like R8K), any recommendations?

 

1 hour ago, JustinT said:

If i was going that range of bucks, i would look at this, anyone have any comments on this? 

https://solaradvice.co.za/product/axpert-4kw-pylon-2-4kwh-lithium-ion-load-shedding-kit/

.... see point 1...

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Thanks introverter, the 240w is all my networking and security camera stuff, and two little servers. I dont like this stuff going up and down, cause i am worried it might get damaged. Also not sure how i would automate powering down, so thought it is just easier keeping it up. But maybe i should rethink that.

Will look into the DIY side of things.

 

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6 hours ago, JustinT said:

Will look into the DIY side of things.

Takes a bit more time but think it can give more flexibility and fit for purpose result. I think many of the off-the-shelf solutions are meant to cater for single grid failures only now and again (my house alarm backup battery did quite well, until we hit stage 4 and 6 where after it would not power the alarm for even 10 minutes).  When I looked at my initial load shedding solution I very hastily only looked at powering a load for the duration of Eskom being missing but did not give much thought about being ready for the next session (at that time we have not yet gone past stage 2 load shedding) and that is where something like the Flexopower falls short for my needs  - recharge time. (by the way, I made a typo in my post,  the Flexopower lasts about 2.5-3 hours on that 120W load). When heading towards multiple load shedding sessions in a single day the 6 hour charging time became a problem. So remember for load shedding specifically to look at both charger and battery ability to, within the timeframe required, put back what you took out of it.

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