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What low cost unit to buy - help and advice needed


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Morning, I am a pensioner living in Betty's Bay Western Cape

Two years ago I installed an Axpert 5Kw inverter, 3 Canadian 330W panels, combiner box, 4 x 12V 260Ah SonX RA12-260D batteries and all the requires cross over switches myself. The system worked fine, the only complaint I have is the beeping at sundown and sunset when it switches solar on and off, If I switch off then I can't hear problem beeps. I live alone and I wanted lights, TV and coffee machine to work. We often have power failures, so I wired the whole house through the inverter, if I happen to have something in the oven  I can finish cooking. I doubt I ever used more than 30%

I have just sold my house and need to start again, this time excluding geyser and oven. I love buying from Takealot as it gets delivered

I found the following inverters
Sunforce BC 5kw high power inverter including wi-fi R 14,999 24 month warranty
Growatt 5000VA/5000W 48V hybrid inverter (5 years local warranty) R14,199
Fusion 5kW Off-Grid Inverter King with UPS R13,795 12 month warranty

I like the Fusion (see the red features) - An all-in-one Off-Grid Fusion inverter is one of the most complete Voltronic inverters available today.
With updated monitoring that now allows you to access your data via the new Andriod app. The new detachable LCD module includes extra ports to upload or download your settings and data. With plenty of expansion room, you can parallel up to 9 units, making this inverter versatile and affordable.
Features:
- Built-in Bluetooth for mobile monitoring Detachable LCD control module with multiple communications (Android App is available)
- Supports USB On-the-Go function
- Reserved communication port for BMS (RS485, CAN-BUS or RS232)
- Configurable AC/PV output usage timer and prioritization
- Parallel operation up to 9 units
- Robust UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for essential loads with zero transfer time
NB: This inverter is compatible with PylonTech and AGM Batteries.

Batteries
Takealot sells the PylonTech US3000C 3.5kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (whopping 6000 cycles at 95% DOD) for R15,074
and the Lithium Batteries SA 48v 105Ah 5.1kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 Solar UPS Battery for R22,500

During loadshedding I use less than 1 Kw - LED lights, coffee machine and LED TV, I normally switch the fridge and freezer off during load shedding
I assume the Pylontech 3.5KWh is over good enough, I am almost 70 years old, I could add another one later if I need to

Not sure which inverter to get, Takealot says the Fusion is supplied by Solar Advice, it has nice features which I might use once, I have not touched my Axpert in over a year

Any advice (that agrees with me) will be welcomed

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Edited by William-Mc
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The pylontech is a good battery but just remember that the BMS of the battery will limit the discharge current to half of the capacity. A 3.5kWh pylontech battery will only discharge at 1.7kw. If there is a power outage and you are pulling more than this from the battery it will trip the battery. 

It can work with one only if you make sure that during power outrages your loads do not exceed this. 

Edited by Achmat
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12 hours ago, Achmat said:

The pylontech is a good battery but just remember that the BMS of the battery will limit the discharge current to half of the capacity. A 3.5kWh pylontech battery will only discharge at 1.7kw. If there is a power outage and you are pulling more than this from the battery it will trip the battery. 

It can work with one only if you make sure that during power outrages your loads do not exceed this. 

That statement is not completely true

The Pylon US3000 does not like to be discharged (or charged for that matter) for a longer period of time by more than 37A (approx. 1800W). However, it is capable of handling 74A (3700W) - though the manufacturer does not specify for how long. For short peaks (15s) it can even procide 100A (5000W).

You should design your system that your general load does not exceed 1800W per Pylon that you have. If you briefly exceed that load, it will not immediately trip the battery - however drawing more than 1800W over extended periods of time will impact the lifetime of the Pylon

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16 hours ago, William-Mc said:

During loadshedding I use less than 1 Kw - LED lights, coffee machine and LED TV, I normally switch the fridge and freezer off during load shedding

If you have normal loadshedding duration of 2h, I would assume that you can actually keep your fridge/freezer on. The new Pylon US3000C has a 95% DOD - which means 3.3kWh of usable capacity. That would give you approx. 1300W of constant load for a duration of 2h (taking into account conversion losses and not wanting to drain it down to the last bit). When you get your system installed, just monitor your consumption incl. fridge/freezer and everything else you want to run during loadshedding

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16 hours ago, William-Mc said:

I found the following inverters

I have to admit that I do not know any of the inverters (am running old Axperts myself)

But check whether 'compatible with Pylon' means that the inverter is able to communicate with the BMS - or if it means that it will simply work with Pylons (my old Axperts are also compatible (work with) Pylons but are not able to communicate with the BMS and rely on own voltage measurements)

If the inverter is not able to natively communicate with the Pylon BMS, then I would highly recommend ICC and the Pylon comms cable. For me, this was probably the best investment into my system

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9 hours ago, wolfandy said:

That statement is not completely true

The Pylon US3000 does not like to be discharged (or charged for that matter) for a longer period of time by more than 37A (approx. 1800W). However, it is capable of handling 74A (3700W) - though the manufacturer does not specify for how long. For short peaks (15s) it can even procide 100A (5000W).

In the last round of load shedding I managed to test this and the BMS does in fact limit the discharge current to 37A per 3.5kw battery. I have 3 pylontech batteries on my 8kw sunsynk. My geyser switched on and pushed the discharge current to about 120A. The batteries only supplied this for about 10 seconds then it switched off. It did this twice. 10 seconds is really impractical so for all intent the battery will only discharge at 37A.

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2 hours ago, Achmat said:

The batteries only supplied this for about 10 seconds then it switched off. It did this twice. 10 seconds is really impractical so for all intent the battery will only discharge at 37A.

That sounds a bit strange to me

When I initially got my 1st Pylon, I drew more than 37A (I'd say around 50A) on a number of occassions and for several minutes (typically hair dryer, coffee machine, vacuum cleaner, etc) - but I never had my Pylon go into protection on me

 

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29 minutes ago, wolfandy said:

That sounds a bit strange to me

When I initially got my 1st Pylon, I drew more than 37A (I'd say around 50A) on a number of occassions and for several minutes (typically hair dryer, coffee machine, vacuum cleaner, etc) - but I never had my Pylon go into protection on me

 

I do think it depends on the inverter and how much control it gives the BMS to manage. It could also be that its a setting in the software of the US3000B battery.

I probably could test if it will do the same if I disconnect the BMS and let the inverter manage max current draw.

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51 minutes ago, Achmat said:

I do think it depends on the inverter and how much control it gives the BMS to manage. It could also be that its a setting in the software of the US3000B battery.

I probably could test if it will do the same if I disconnect the BMS and let the inverter manage max current draw.

Yeah, my old Axperts do not have direct comms with the Pylon BMS. I use ICC to get the BMS info and switch the inverter based on it - but my inverters do not have any control over the Pylons

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Morning, Rain was down AGAIN, had no internet

All the above is interesting but that item was removed by Takealot from my cart, probably price error

I'm glad I did not buy it though as my circular saw, coffee machine and kettle EACH all draw more than 2Kw

The ICC software mentioned, if I buy an Axpert again and a Lithium battery do I need it? or is it only for Pylon, it makes it more involved

I'm tempted to buy the Lithium Batteries SA  supplied 48v 105Ah 5.1kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 Solar UPS Battery for R22,500
from Takealot - would I need special software for the Axpert?
Otherwise I will go back to 4 cheaper deep cycle batteries - no additional software required

All I want is for my lights to work and to be able to draw 2.5 Kw for a few seconds at a time to make coffee or use garage tools, no oven, hob or geyser
Just a basic, low cost, no maintenance,  inverter and batteries, The one I currently have works PERFECTLY for me

Thanks a lot for all the replies

    

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27 minutes ago, William-Mc said:

from Takealot

Don’t buy electric stuff from Takealot. 
They give a 6 month’s warranty only on electrical items. Read their Terms and Conditions. 
Burnt my fingers with them - just returned a faulty expensive battery charger to them. Still waiting for refund after one week. And there were signs they’ve sent that item out previously. I broke my own rule not to buy electrics from them anymore. 

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I disagree with your post

On Takealot page - Growatt 5000VA/5000W 48V hybrid inverter (5 years local warranty)
On returns policy
A product may have a supplier warranty that extends beyond the 6 month Standard Warranty. If such a product turns out to be defective more than 6 months after delivery / collection (save for direct warranty products which are discussed below), please notify us as soon as reasonably possible after you become aware of the defect, but in any event within the extended supplier warranty period after delivery / collection of the product. Extended Supplier Warranty (stipulated on product page)

You can do so by logging a return on the Website, and we will facilitate your return of the product to the supplier at no charge. Unfortunately we cannot facilitate returns that fall outside of the extended supplier warranty period.

Most of Ryobi is 2 years, lots of TVs also have long warranties

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8 hours ago, William-Mc said:

I disagree with your post

On Takealot page - Growatt 5000VA/5000W 48V hybrid inverter (5 years local warranty)
On returns policy
A product may have a supplier warranty that extends beyond the 6 month Standard Warranty. If such a product turns out to be defective more than 6 months after delivery / collection (save for direct warranty products which are discussed below), please notify us as soon as reasonably possible after you become aware of the defect, but in any event within the extended supplier warranty period after delivery / collection of the product. Extended Supplier Warranty (stipulated on product page)

You can do so by logging a return on the Website, and we will facilitate your return of the product to the supplier at no charge. Unfortunately we cannot facilitate returns that fall outside of the extended supplier warranty period.

Most of Ryobi is 2 years, lots of TVs also have long warranties

Buyer beware. 
I wish you success to get technical support for an inverter from Takealot. 

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On 2021/01/24 at 5:15 AM, William-Mc said:

I love buying from Takealot as it gets delivered

I also would not purchase this type of equipment from Takealot

Any reputable supplier will deliver to you (just as Takealot)

PM me if you want some places that I have purchased from in the past

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