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New guy - Greetings ad advice please


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Hi Guys

I need advice to start a "from nothing to something" system. I did ask on another 4WD forum and after the first 3 decent replies and offers of help it degenerated into a bun fight and I unsubscribed from my own post.

The scenario is I plan to downgrade in house to something smaller designed "green" in a few years time (with gas and solar geyser etc) - I would like to start a system that can be moved when that time arrives, also continue to add to it. So time scale is say life of first batteries (5 to 10 years)

1. Run lights (LED's) - say 20

2. Run PC's & TV's - say 2 of each and one HiFi. 1 Printer used infrequently

3. 1 energy efficient Fridge/freezer + 1 Energy efficient freezer

4. 1 Washing machine every 2/3 days (I presume there are energy efficient that will be purchased at that time)

5. Highest envisaged load will be a single plate induction cooker 2,2 kW and a hair dryer once a day (under duress)

6. There will always extras I know - guidance from you guys will be appreciated

Envisaged

1. A double or 2 single carports using solar panels as the roofing, designed by Pr Eng. to handle load and wind

2. House (old and new) will still be connected to EKSDOM, new house will have a separate DB for "New System". There will be then grid backup for rainy days etc

3. 3kW Victron panel? But probably the 5kW would be more logical see image attached - This is where even I, as a Millwright and a Mech Eng. get lost. I like it as it seems to me to be a system that can be added to as finance allow.

4. So, one of the Victron Jobs (image attached), with 1 Carport, 2 Solar panels and one set of Batteries....then add on every few months. I like the attached panel as it has a dedicated grid powered output with the balance from the system.

5. Batteries? Yip 12v completely wrong I know, 24 v better but batteries will work too hard and way higher Amps. So 48v rather?

6. Deep Cycle? Notoriously difficult to get to 100% charge, better cycles and DOD, Semi-deep/Leisure/marine? Easier to charge not as many cycles, good DOD. Lithium and Star Trek batteries - Rather wait the 5 to 10 years for technology to catch up

Feel free to give advice, even suppliers please. Knowledge is power. It will be a DIY system and short extension cords for now with no Home DB connection except for the one input, new home will be a proper installation with a qualified Tech into a DB. Am I on the right track - Thanks for reading my long winded question

Victron.JPG

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24 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

4WD forum

Yeaaah... we kinda thumb our noses at the 4-wheel guys around here. Well, not really, there are a few knowledgeable guys in all groups, but any solar guy who has perused the selection at the local outdoor warehouse and/or 4x4 megaworld knows this is not their core competency 🙂

27 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

So time scale is say life of first batteries (5 to 10 years)

That may be optimistic. Cheaper batteries don't last 5 years unless you permanently keep them charged. Batteries that last 10 years will not be cheap, unless you go one step beyond and aim straight for Lithium Iron Phosphate.

28 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

4. 1 Washing machine every 2/3 days (I presume there are energy efficient that will be purchased at that time)

Top-loaders use little electricity and lots of water. Front-loaders are lower on the water end, but higher on the consumption. In my experience, you can get a long way by simply using a cold wash cycle. Even when heating the water a front loader does not use a lot of energy... BUT... it has a high peak of over 2kw, which requires a larger inverter. That is the main issue.

31 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

3kW Victron panel? But probably the 5kW

The things you mentioned can easily run from a 3kVA.

32 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

5. Batteries? Yip 12v completely wrong I know, 24 v better but batteries will work too hard and way higher Amps. So 48v rather?

I've had a 24V system for years now and I get along, but 48V is better. Battery cost is about the same in the end. Higher volts, lower amps. Same amount of physical material.

33 minutes ago, Ruck20 said:

Rather wait the 5 to 10 years for technology to catch up

If I had a buck for each time someone said that in the last 5-10 years... well, I'd have 47 bucks, but still...

Anyway, you seem to be on the right track.

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7 hours ago, Ruck20 said:

2. Run PC's & TV's - say 2 of each and one HiFi. 1 Printer used infrequently

 

keep in mind if it is a laser printer they draw a fair bit more power than inkjets and this will be relevant to your peak load calculations (your wife printing something quickly while you switch on the washing machine type scenario).

7 hours ago, Ruck20 said:

3. 1 energy efficient Fridge/freezer + 1 Energy efficient freezer

4. 1 Washing machine every 2/3 days (I presume there are energy efficient that will be purchased at that time)

5. Highest envisaged load will be a single plate induction cooker 2,2 kW and a hair dryer once a day (under duress)

out if interest I have two Bosch "AAA" fridge/freezers which  draw about 160W if you average it out - but somewhere in the chill/defrost etc cycle the two combined have done 1300W (only a second or so..but stil) - this meant a 258A momentary current draw from my 12V battery. So far all seems well.

AAA front loader washing machine sitting doing nothing ("Stanby") = 2.6W, adding water/agitating (rotate drum left/right slowly) = 20-130W, Spinning @ 1200RMP = 275W, BUT heating water to 40 degree C = 2005W .... So like @plonkster said.. if you need to wash, the cold cycle should be okay even on a smaller system. .... things that make warm = draw lots of power. Relevant for inverter size and 

 if wanting/needing battery backup for these kinds of loads means bigger battery (i.e. if budget is relevant you might want to consider driving with your head out the window rather than the hairdryer 😉).

7 hours ago, Ruck20 said:

2. House (old and new) will still be connected to EKSDOM, new house will have a separate DB for "New System". There will be then grid backup for rainy days etc

Depending where you live (especially the scale down option), keep in mind calculating how long you may need to be independent (the grid is not always there to help out).

I only very recently started looking at solar to add to my load shedding backup - I live in an area with often 3-5 days of overcast weather. I purchased two small panels to test... granted it might not apply to different makes of panels etc. but with fairly thick cloud conditions seems like most I will get from solar is 5-15% of the rated power - If I want to size my solar to cover these conditions I need to run a iron forge or something on sunny days to utilise all that solar energy. 

7 hours ago, Ruck20 said:

5. Batteries? Yip 12v completely wrong I know, 24 v better but batteries will work too hard and way higher Amps. So 48v rather?

The biggest advantage I saw while looking at my system  - now with 20/10 hind vision - is that 48V could give me 3 things comparwed to my 12V

1) more easily power bigger loads (3kW inveretr as opposed to 1.2kW)

2) if looking at lithium type batteries the pylontech type batteries seem to be much better value from a Rand/kW perspective compared to 12/24V lithium

3) keeping in mind what I said about local weather and adding solar . My calculations suggest that for my use scenario, 48V batteries should charge quicker than 12V.

 

Edited by introverter
spelling - the ones I notised..
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