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How do you guys manage your batteries for early morning load shedding?


Justin_A
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Howdy all,

so the system I’m putting will have some decent battery backup, should get us to around 3am on most nights considering our normal load. However this leaves us in the dwang if Eskom decides to pull a 4-8am load shedding drill on us.

are there ways to proactively manage this? Or should I always ensure I have enough in the “tank” for a load shedding episode at any time?

 

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11 minutes ago, Justin_A said:

Howdy all,

so the system I’m putting will have some decent battery backup, should get us to around 3am on most nights considering our normal load. However this leaves us in the dwang if Eskom decides to pull a 4-8am load shedding drill on us.

are there ways to proactively manage this? Or should I always ensure I have enough in the “tank” for a load shedding episode at any time?

 

Load shedding is normally announced so you can plan accordingly. 

The only thing I do is to change the minium SOC to 50% which gives me enough for a two hour slot. 

If it hits stage 4 and above I'll simply not use the batteries and keep them at 100% SOC as I might end up with a bad solar day then don't have any battery capacity for load shedding. 

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Thanks yes , that was what I was imagining the plan might be, might still keep my little office mecer backup backup around though as well just in case we get caught unaware, that way we can at least still work and maintain connectivity to the outside world 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2021/01/28 at 6:13 PM, Justin_A said:

Howdy all,

so the system I’m putting will have some decent battery backup, should get us to around 3am on most nights considering our normal load. However this leaves us in the dwang if Eskom decides to pull a 4-8am load shedding drill on us.

are there ways to proactively manage this? Or should I always ensure I have enough in the “tank” for a load shedding episode at any time?

 

You give 4 to 8 as an example, which suggests you are in Jo'burg and supplied by City Power. So life in this regard just got easier. 

But only to 3am? My rule of thumb (see details of my system in my signature) is that if the batteries are fully charged by 16:00 I'm going to get through to 9:30 even if it's overcast the next day. Maybe you need more batteries - though that's not small change. 

But OK... there is still a danger (especially with the weather we've been having) of running into a situation where the batteries are depleted and there's load shedding going on. But...

If it's load shedding, then it's to schedule. So if it's bad weather and load shedding I can look at the schedule and I can change my inverter (Goodwe) into a mode with time-based rules where it will charge the batteries from grid. So load shedding is coming at 12, it's a miserable day with little sun light, I tell it to start charging at 10.

But my rule of thumb was arrived at by living with my system for a while, by watching the graphs it generates, by tweaking some timer settings, by changing our life style a little (EG from 16:00 to 07:00 we use our gas stove for boiling water, not the kettle). So I know FROM EXPERIENCE that a full battery at 16:00 means I have juice until 9:30.

So monitor things a lot early on. You'll learn what uses lots of power and what doesn't, you'll learn how your system behaves and you may find that it will get you through to later than 3am - especially if you don't back up the whole house (EG my pool pump is not backed up. If City Power goes down for any reason, my pool pump doesn't run).

 

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On 2021/02/10 at 9:18 AM, Bobster said:

You give 4 to 8 as an example, which suggests you are in Jo'burg and supplied by City Power. So life in this regard just got easier. 

But only to 3am? My rule of thumb (see details of my system in my signature) is that if the batteries are fully charged by 16:00 I'm going to get through to 9:30 even if it's overcast the next day. Maybe you need more batteries - though that's not small change. 

But OK... there is still a danger (especially with the weather we've been having) of running into a situation where the batteries are depleted and there's load shedding going on. But...

If it's load shedding, then it's to schedule. So if it's bad weather and load shedding I can look at the schedule and I can change my inverter (Goodwe) into a mode with time-based rules where it will charge the batteries from grid. So load shedding is coming at 12, it's a miserable day with little sun light, I tell it to start charging at 10.

But my rule of thumb was arrived at by living with my system for a while, by watching the graphs it generates, by tweaking some timer settings, by changing our life style a little (EG from 16:00 to 07:00 we use our gas stove for boiling water, not the kettle). So I know FROM EXPERIENCE that a full battery at 16:00 means I have juice until 9:30.

So monitor things a lot early on. You'll learn what uses lots of power and what doesn't, you'll learn how your system behaves and you may find that it will get you through to later than 3am - especially if you don't back up the whole house (EG my pool pump is not backed up. If City Power goes down for any reason, my pool pump doesn't run).

 

How do you manage the settings on you Goodwe Inverter (e.g. time based rules)? It must be through the installer application I presume? I have very limited ability on the app (SEMS Portal) that I have and not the login to the installer's app (PV Master). Can you advise how I can do more with the settings on the inverter?

 

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19 hours ago, Kobus Fick said:

How do you manage the settings on you Goodwe Inverter (e.g. time based rules)? It must be through the installer application I presume? I have very limited ability on the app (SEMS Portal) that I have and not the login to the installer's app (PV Master). Can you advise how I can do more with the settings on the inverter?

 

It can be done via the PV master app that you can download from the app store.  To use the app you have to have your phone connected either to the inverter's own wifi or to the same wifi it uses for upload to SEMS. Even then it can be annoyingly slow.

You will also need to know the installer's password for the inverter (this may have been left as the factory default). Then 

  1. Settings
  2. Enter password
  3. Basic Setting
  4. Next
  5. Tap "economical mode" (this mode is described in the manual)
  6. Set up your rules and remember to set battery mode to charge. (I use 75% for "rated power")
  7. Save
  8. Make sure the rule is enabled.

The app allows you to have multiple rules and have any or none of them turned on as it suits you. They may not overlap time wise. EG if rule 1 starts a 14:00 and ends at 16:00 you can't add another rule starting at 15:00.

Always a good idea to test the rule before you have to rely on it.
 

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On 2021/02/12 at 10:22 AM, Bobster said:

It can be done via the PV master app that you can download from the app store.  To use the app you have to have your phone connected either to the inverter's own wifi or to the same wifi it uses for upload to SEMS. Even then it can be annoyingly slow.

You will also need to know the installer's password for the inverter (this may have been left as the factory default). Then 

  1. Settings
  2. Enter password
  3. Basic Setting
  4. Next
  5. Tap "economical mode" (this mode is described in the manual)
  6. Set up your rules and remember to set battery mode to charge. (I use 75% for "rated power")
  7. Save
  8. Make sure the rule is enabled.

The app allows you to have multiple rules and have any or none of them turned on as it suits you. They may not overlap time wise. EG if rule 1 starts a 14:00 and ends at 16:00 you can't add another rule starting at 15:00.

Always a good idea to test the rule before you have to rely on it.
 

Thank you, I will attempt this, I did find the password in the mean time, so I might be possible. Much appreciated.

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Yes I’m planning on using home assistant in conjunction with my victron for monitoring and scenario planning, going to start with general rule of thumb of when load shedding is on not letting the batteries go below what would get me through 4 hours of no power.

 

I guess the best guide will actually be having the system in and learning about its own special behaviours 

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  • 4 months later...

so my system is in and learning is beginning, I've gotten my HA to be able to manage Min SOC which will help the situation, also looking into scripts that allow for auto recharge of batts from Eskom should the loadshedding get out of hand or if we have bad weather. Should keep us out of the dark

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It depends on your consumption and the capacity of your system. I know that if I have 100% SOC at 16:00, then I am good until 8am as long as we don't use certain appliances (hair driers for example). This includes water heating - heat pump instead of a geyser element. So for me that time slot is not an issue. 

On a sunny day I don't worry too much. If it's overcast then problem slots for me are mid morning (battery hasn't fully recovered) or mid afternoon (battery may not have 100% SOC by 16:00) so I set the system to charge from grid ahead of the shed.

Coming back to my first point, by observation you will learn how far into the night/next morning your system will go with your usual use, then that will inform you as to strategy.

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