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Hi guys,  I've been a lurker here for a long time now.  My utmost gratitude to all those who are willing to share their expertise, knowledge and experiences.  It helps plebs like me understand how to split the atom so much easier!  Yeah right!


So to get right to the point, I have reached a stage (not alone by my websurfing results) where my relocation aspirations have been hoodwinked by some sort of covert virus.


I've also decided that I'm now getting tired of paying for "freeloaders" and just outright thieves.  Time has come to start the journey to being self sufficient.  (Heat pump was installed today)  But where I need some input from the more informed and infinitely cleverer members then I am is with the next phase of the process.  This is phase 1 of the project:

"Canadian Solar 405W Super High Power Poly PERC HiKU 16.00

K2 Tile mount 16.00

Victron SmartSolar MPPT 250/70 - Tr 2.00

XXX Combiner & Fuse Boxes (2 X MPPT) 1.00

Freedom Won Lite Home 15/12 1.00

Victron MultiPlus II 48/5000/70-50 4000W Inverter 1.00

XXXX Bypass Box 50A Single Phase 1.00

GS50 Battery Installation Kit 1.00

Victron Cerbo Communication 1 Phase 1.00

Victron Lynx Power In 1.00 Balance of system 1.00

SSEG Application 1.00

COC Sign off 1.00

Installation cost

Electrical Work on DB - Splitting Circuits Commissioning "

The XXX is the installers own proprietary equipment.

This is to reduce my bill as much as possible and to instil a different approach to energy use in the other members of my household in anticipation and training for phase 2.  Phase 2 would be exploring electricity independence and phase 3 would be water self sufficiency.  


When looking at the above kit I see no obvious problems, just the price that needs to be considered here.  And of course that grey area called "installation costs".


BTW I'm in Cape Town and have a large hill behind me and a neighbour on the other side which reduces my sunlight hours in winter to 9:45 to 15:20.  Roof is East-West.  So system is attempting to reduce the effects of these parameters.


I don't want to give away everything at the first go so a few guesses would be appreciated to see whether these guys are in the same ball park.  And of course any other advice is always welcome.


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Thanks for the replies guys.  I bit the bullet and paid the deposit.  They wanted 70% and I was not prepared to do that.  So we agreed on 50% and I'll pay them another 20% on delivery of the battery. That has a 3 to 4 week lead time.  Must admit I don't play the waiting game so well.  From what I can tell of prices I've found I feel comfortable that I'm not being ripped off (well at least not yet - jobs not complete yet!).

At least I now have about 3 weeks to get my garage sorted out.

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I must admit that I'm itching to get started with this NOW.  Asked them on Monday for a basic timeline plan which was promised for later that afternoon.  Still have not heard from them.  Not a great start.  I've also been hectically busy at work so time is at a premium at the moment.  Managed to clear some time in the morning tomorrow so will use that to follow up on this and with the insurance for the storm damage from last weeks rain (another long story).


Will have to start a new thread when the install gets underway.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So time for an update...


The install started on Monday last week and was completed on Wednesday pm.  This included the independent contractor to sign off on the COC.  The system was only switched on at around 15:30 as I had to wait for the technical department to inspect and sign off on the installation.  (However the system is not fully handed over yet as I apparently still need to get some training on the system).


The battery is set to switch to mains at 20% DOD, this is to get the 10 year warrantee.  This morning it switched at 07:30.  The highest recorded voltages I've seen is 172V

so I guess there is scope to add a panel to each string.  Once the battery is charge at around midday there is a dramatic drop off in pv production so at this stage extra panel would not accomplish anything.  Winter will be a different storey though.


I'm very happy with the installation, they did a neat job.  Still need to do some tweaking on the DB as the 1.1kW pool pump is on the critical load side - not how it should be.  Also want them to split some plug points in the kitchen and scullery onto a new circuit.  (Need to keep the refrigeration onto critical loads and the rest off.)  So I'm guessing final bill is going to be between R300 to R305K.  Since Friday pm I've used 19kWh from the grid which relates to a saving of about 140kWh so far.  I'll try to post some pics later.


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