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Absolute beginner looking to dip his toe in


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I have no experience in solar or electrics, but i'd like to learn. I am looking for an affodable beginner kit (or list of parts) that is scalable if possible - hoping panels and batteries can be added to and not replaced, but I don't know! 

Any help on where to start or what to read would be much appreciated. 

 

Many Thanks

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3 hours ago, SolarNoob1 said:

I have no experience in solar or electrics, but i'd like to learn. I am looking for an affodable beginner kit (or list of parts) that is scalable if possible - hoping panels and batteries can be added to and not replaced, but I don't know! 

Any help on where to start or what to read would be much appreciated. 

 

Many Thanks

In which area are you?

 

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21 hours ago, SolarNoob1 said:

I have no experience in solar or electrics, but i'd like to learn. I am looking for an affodable beginner kit (or list of parts) that is scalable if possible - hoping panels and batteries can be added to and not replaced, but I don't know! 

Any help on where to start or what to read would be much appreciated. 

 

Many Thanks

Welcome @SolarNoob1, you'll find lots of useful information on this forum if you browse a bit.

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Also you may want to actually sit down and think of what you really want and express this, if you just want to learn and run a light or two effectively that one thing, but if you're looking at running your household without City of Cape Town providing electrons, that's a whole different scenario.

Rondebosch has limited solar power producing times, specifically in winter, that mountain looming so large to the west will cut your energy production times down and leave you in the shade by sometime mid afternoon, I suspect.

Edited by Kalahari Meerkat
typo...
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35 minutes ago, SolarNoob1 said:

I am in Rondebosch, Cape Town. 

For me I would not think of cutting COCT right now. Batteries going to put you back a fair amount of money.  Then if you think about you are going to need at least 2 batteries that will cost no less than R40 000.  Working on the current cost structure of the City the first step is to go less than 600 units per month that is a direct save and not difficult.  Then at night  you use +/- 15 units or R15 x R1.84 ex vat.  Thus in 1 year you will save +/- R 10 000 or in 4 years R40 000.  Therefore to pay your batteries going to take a minimum of 4 years. Financial world that is not a "good" ROI.  Your saving therefore is diverted to China and not your pocket. simple maths....

Then everybody going to tell you you need this battery management system and that little gimmic and before long you will spend  a good R 100K to save R3K per month and have lights when Eskom is off.

My suggestion is simple.  The first thing you start with is to apply for SSEG. If you need help I will assist you an not cost.  Then you need top prepare your DB for solar and COC.  There I have someone I always use that will cost  +/- R800  and you stat with a 2KW system depending on the free $.  A 3 Kw grid tie inverter will cost +/- R 9K and the solar panel you can start with 6 x 4xx Watt that will give you +/- 20KW per month back into the grid.  Then it is simple to add.  If you got a little more $ then buy a bigger inverter.   To get a solar COC will cost you +/- R3000 I have somebody you pay I don't get any $ from it and I will prepare all for you as a free bee.

 

This is the best cost effective way to start and have an immediate impact from the day you push back.  I forgot the AMI meter depends on what the council install they will charge between 6 - R11K.

Once you are up and running then we can see exactly what more you want to do but then you start doing it from Eskom money and you don';t sponsor China.

The COCt has a new incentive where they give you 25c extra for feeding back into the grid.

That's what I did but with a flat roof and facing due West I get a number of good sun .

Need more questions as you are confused you are more than welcome to ask.  Others can assist you with hybrid systems and off grid.  In a nut shell a friend of mine spend R230K on a very fancy system and he still pays R2xx per month electricity.

All depends on the usage of the house  etc....

..I do not do this as a business I simply try and help.

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I helped somebody else the spend +/- R2500 a month on electricity.  This is their  table for Feb and they spend less than R50K.  Feb They are going to pay R 118 for electricity a saving of more than R2000 for Feb. They going to add  2 more panels and then they wont have to pay. 
You can't beat that. The figures are from SAP not my calculations but all according to COCT SAP/Billing  data.

Feb Import Kwhr Export Kwhr R Import R Export Nett R X.xx R Total
1 18.560 -15.833 R 34.14 R-15.52 R 18.62 R 18.62
2 13.116 -24.678 R 24.12 R-24.18 R-0.06 R 18.56
3 10.026 -27.244 R 18.44 R-26.70 R-8.26 R 10.30
4 11.756 -20.235 R 21.62 R-19.83 R 1.79 R 12.10
5 10.165 -23.785 R 18.70 R-23.31 R-4.61 R 7.48
6 12.219 -19.491 R 22.47 R-19.10 R 3.37 R 10.86
7 11.987 -20.514 R 22.05 R-20.10 R 1.94 R 12.80
8 10.252 -23.344 R 18.86 R-22.88 R-4.02 R 8.78
9 9.519 -20.809 R 17.51 R-20.39 R-2.88 R 5.89
10 12.815 -16.145 R 23.57 R-15.82 R 7.75 R 13.64
11 14.341 -22.904 R 26.38 R-22.45 R 3.93 R 17.57
12 11.073 -22.702 R 20.37 R-22.25 R-1.88 R 15.69
13 13.555 -18.755 R 24.93 R-18.38 R 6.55 R 22.24
14 19.788 -10.224 R 36.40 R-10.02 R 26.38 R 48.62
15 12.283 -20.050 R 22.59 R-19.65 R 2.94 R 51.56
16 11.199 -27.112 R 20.60 R-26.57 R-5.97 R 45.59
17 10.648 -25.670 R 19.58 R-25.16 R-5.57 R 40.02
18 15.769 -17.556 R 29.00 R-17.20 R 11.80 R 51.82
19 19.244 -16.718 R 35.40 R-16.38 R 19.01 R 70.83
20 19.805 -14.184 R 36.43 R-13.90 R 22.53 R 93.36
21 14.592 -16.856 R 26.84 R-16.52 R 10.32 R 103.68
22 9.570 -22.984 R 17.60 R-22.52 R-4.92 R 98.76
23 13.112 -25.926 R 24.12 R-25.41 R-1.29 R 97.47
24 2.063 0.000 R 3.79 R 0.00 R 3.79 R 101.26
25 0.000 0.000 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 101.26
26 0.000 0.000 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 101.26
27 0.000 0.000 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 101.26
28 0.000 0.000 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 101.26
  307.457 -473.719 R 565.51 R-464.24 R 101.26  
    -166.262 R 4.22 R-19.34 R-162.94  
    154.077     R 305.81 R 51.56
Edited by Erastus
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2 hours ago, Tariq said:

@Erastuswhat grid tied inverter do you use/recommend 

There are not many to choose from who is on the "list"  therefore I would suggest the most cost effective one and more than 6Kw if possible. One with two different inputs will allow you to run a wind generator and solar.  Like today and tonight you would get an easy 3 - 6Kw depending on the blade size.  I bought one of these to compare it with a different make and seems to be good value for money:
Solis 4G 3.6KW Dual Mppt Grid Tie Inverter  perhaps somebody else can suggest others but there are many selling on the internet even second hand is fine.  My first few panels when I started my design was second hand they still have the same characteristics as the later ones.

Its all about price and how long you can run a dead short on the device.  That tells you about the software and the driver stage.
https://www.gumtree.co.za/a-other-electronics/somerset-west/solar-inverter/1006755739510910012770509

This seems a good price get going and then buy a bigger one ... with Esdoms $.

See this inverter is 10K 4 panels are R8K and a meter say R10K  R28K and you are on the grid and saving.  Then buy 2 panels every month with savings and soon you are paying your rates as well.

You can not get going cheaper than this and when you upgrade I the inverters still working I will even source a new person that wants tos start.

I DO NOT THINK YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY.  TRYING TO SHOW HOW TO GET GOING AND HOW QUICKLY FOR LITTLE ONE CAN START SAVING WITH Eskoms $.

main thing is to get going.


Expensive is not always better.

Edited by Erastus
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7 minutes ago, SolarNoob1 said:

@Erastus Thanks for the advice, I never really thought of it that way. When you feed back into the grid you can't make a profit, right? You can just bring your cost down to R0? So how mcuh are we looking at in terms of initial investment? R30k - R40k?

If the council can get my plans sorted my contract allows me to push back 11Kwhr or R11 per hour  11x 24 x 365 = R 96K or R8K per month That pays my solar and plans and ...  Thus I use to use R4K elect Thus my savings R4K + R8K = R12K pm

Guess this will cause a stir as they say "bring it on"  😇😜 

Edited by Erastus
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On 2021/02/25 at 9:27 PM, Erastus said:

If the council can get my plans sorted my contract allows me to push back 11Kwhr or R11 per hour  11x 24 x 365 = R 96K or R8K per month That pays my solar and plans and ...  Thus I use to use R4K elect Thus my savings R4K + R8K = R12K pm

Guess this will cause a stir as they say "bring it on"  😇😜 

How are you able to generate 11kw excess 24hrs of the day?

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On 2021/02/25 at 9:27 PM, Erastus said:

If the council can get my plans sorted my contract allows me to push back 11Kwhr or R11 per hour  11x 24 x 365 = R 96K or R8K per month That pays my solar and plans and ...  Thus I use to use R4K elect Thus my savings R4K + R8K = R12K pm

Guess this will cause a stir as they say "bring it on"  😇😜 

So what does the device from the Council cost you? I assume it is COCT municipality and what do they pay you per unit?

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2 hours ago, Brani said:

If you want to calculate ROI on this setup. 
4 panels at peak will produce 1.6kW for self use and if anything left to to grid. Maximum on average you can produce with 4 panels is 8-10kWh (excluding fancy solar tracking). this will in best optimism save you R20 per day, irrespective whether you’re exporting or not. If exporting, even less. This will take around 4 years to pay off, more realistically 5 years.

This is the time frame with solar and if you add batteries for backup even more. Lots of people think they can pay off in 2 years and be disappointed.

in my view the investment in solar has many benefits, but financially you have to be prepared for 5-10 years payback, even longer. 
it’s up to every individual to decide if that is worth it to them or not, but we can’t promise them 2 years payback.

any salesman that offers that is a liar or really bad at maths.

 

I am not a salesman I only do electronics for hobby and a living.  I am telling you and have all the prove from SAP COCT calculation their account I am paying mine of IN LESS THAN 1 YEAR.

I am not selling I am not arguing I simply select the best products to match and then installed them and voila.

So call me a liar.  I just think majority gets ripped.  See what other thought is Junk I used and its working well can't help others can play with lego.

Edited by Erastus
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23 minutes ago, Speedster said:

I thought it was a 4kw turbine? And then you need to subtract your own consumption

First it will be a male,  then a partner for the male and hopefully the kiddies will follow.  Currently I am pushing back > 65 per day. At night I use on an average 12Kw  65 - 12 = 53 extra.  So already I am  getting paid by the council.  I put my account somewhere

I did some design changes to the alternator and should be getting up to 6K when the South Easter or N/w pumps.  Should get my first set of magnets tomorrow and then do the test and changes and software. 

Edited by Erastus
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1 hour ago, Anonymous said:

And what does Coct pay you per unit?

Yes,

They currently have two components:

  1. R 0.7323   I believe it is the same amount they buy electricity from Eskom. If I am wrong then simply forgive me.  Therefore if they pay Eskom or you who cares they must pay and that is the bases of payment.
  2. R 0.25  an added incentive for people to feed back into the grid.

For Reb my total will be R 1282 - what I use at night  R 617.  That is before VAT therefore  an additional 15% R 92.55 a total of R 764.75

In my case the R617 goes from my taxes as I have my own small RO plant.

My out of pocket saving is  +/- R2800 Electricity + R 420  + 764.75 = R 3984.75 per month currently.

From 22 Oct I saved R 15100 ex VAT or R17365 in total that I did not have to take out of my pocket.

I recon the wind generators will push my account that they have to put cash in my hands.

 

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1 hour ago, Erastus said:

Yes,

They currently have two components:

  1. R 0.7323   I believe it is the same amount they buy electricity from Eskom. If I am wrong then simply forgive me.  Therefore if they pay Eskom or you who cares they must pay and that is the bases of payment.
  2. R 0.25  an added incentive for people to feed back into the grid.

For Reb my total will be R 1282 - what I use at night  R 617.  That is before VAT therefore  an additional 15% R 92.55 a total of R 764.75

In my case the R617 goes from my taxes as I have my own small RO plant.

My out of pocket saving is  +/- R2800 Electricity + R 420  + 764.75 = R 3984.75 per month currently.

From 22 Oct I saved R 15100 ex VAT or R17365 in total that I did not have to take out of my pocket.

I recon the wind generators will push my account that they have to put cash in my hands.

 

Tshwane pays a full R0.1 per kWh. And this is after you've paid them R180pm connection charge. 

Man I wish I had a rotating meter. 

 

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On 2021/02/28 at 1:22 PM, Anonymous said:

And what does Coct pay you per unit?

I am still wainting on SAP for the 28 Feb data:

                               Feb               R Flux            Import Kwhr         Export Kwhr        R Import             R Export        Nett R X.xx             R Total
1 61.100 17.816 12.517 -43.284 R 23.02 R-42.52 R-19.50 R-19.50
2 70.000 20.859 8.746 -49.141 R 16.09 R-48.27 R-32.18 R-51.68
3 74.700 17.216 11.956 -57.484 R 21.99 R-56.47 R-34.48 R-86.16
4 73.100 25.471 11.186 -47.629 R 20.57 R-46.79 R-26.21 R-112.37
5 73.100 22.469 10.321 -50.631 R 18.98 R-49.73 R-30.75 R-143.12
6 70.200 18.590 9.102 -51.610 R 16.74 R-50.70 R-33.96 R-177.07
7 72.900 18.912 10.543 -53.988 R 19.39 R-53.03 R-33.64 R-210.71
8 73.000 22.862 10.857 -50.138 R 19.97 R-49.25 R-29.28 R-240.00
9 72.500 22.467 7.938 -50.033 R 14.60 R-49.15 R-34.55 R-274.54
10 55.600 17.314 11.431 -38.286 R 21.03 R-37.61 R-16.58 R-291.13
11 70.600 21.550 10.973 -49.050 R 20.18 R-48.18 R-28.00 R-319.13
12 57.500 17.194 13.892 -40.306 R 25.55 R-39.59 R-14.04 R-333.17
13 69.500 18.990 10.210 -50.510 R 18.78 R-49.62 R-30.84 R-364.00
14 43.400 17.051 11.270 -26.349 R 20.73 R-25.88 R-5.15 R-369.16
15 64.400 21.508 11.822 -42.892 R 21.74 R-42.13 R-20.39 R-389.55
16 70.200 25.293 10.360 -44.907 R 19.06 R-44.11 R-25.06 R-414.60
17 70.200 20.676 12.480 -49.524 R 22.95 R-48.65 R-25.69 R-440.30
18 54.700 20.507 17.869 -34.193 R 32.87 R-33.59 R-0.72 R-441.02
19 69.500 24.079 11.052 -45.421 R 20.33 R-44.62 R-24.29 R-465.31
20 64.200 17.995 12.904 -46.205 R 23.73 R-45.39 R-21.65 R-486.96
21 64.800 18.968 10.416 -45.832 R 19.16 R-45.02 R-25.86 R-512.82
22 70.900 23.365 10.714 -47.535 R 19.71 R-46.69 R-26.99 R-539.81
23 68.400 24.612 10.800 -43.788 R 19.86 R-43.01 R-23.15 R-562.96
24 63.600 22.141 13.355 -41.459 R 24.56 R-40.73 R-16.16 R-579.12
25 67.400 22.134 12.521 -45.266 R 23.03 R-44.46 R-21.43 R-600.55
26 47.500 15.819 15.367 -31.681 R 28.26 R-31.12 R-2.86 R-603.41
27 50.400 15.544 11.202 -34.856 R 20.60 R-34.24 R-13.64 R-617.04
28 51.100 51.100 0.000 0.000 R 0.00 R 0.00 R 0.00 R-617.04
  1,814.500 406.000 311.804 -1,211.998 R 573.50 R-1,190.55 R-617.04  
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