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Micro Inverter or Sunsynk


Greglsh
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Hi

Here is my question, it will be a bit of a long story but will try keep it as short as I can.

I currently have a 1.2Kw Hoymiles (Ellies) micro-inverter setup. This has 4 330w panels connected and I can, on good days get close to the max capacity. I installed this about 1.5 years ago just to try and lower the monthly bill. It does a nice job but is nowhere near enough power to make a significant dent to the electricity bill.

Now what I am thinking and wanting to see what other forum members might do, is this. Should I get another 2x 1.2Kw micro inverters and another 8 panels, add this to my system and I would have a max capacity of 3.6kw, which should cover most loads if they are not on all at once, I have relays that power the geysers on a schedule. (P.S. I have changed my geysers to 2Kw elements from 3Kw, I have 2 x 150l). This option is the cheapest as I already have everything in place (DTU installed - this is the controller that monitors each panel and measures the load and can also control the zero exporting). I would basically be spending +_ R10 000 for the 2 micro-inverters and then +_ R2100 per panel (8 X R2100). Only problem with this is no options for batteries later, and does not help during load shedding if you want life to continue as close to "normal"

 

Then option 2, buy a Sunsynk 5 kw inverter plus 8 +_ 400w panels, plus all the other requirements that go with this setup, I would have to get my DB board split into essential and non-essential loads. I could then either feed the current micro-inverter into the Sunsynk (like a generator I think), and in theory if I am correct have basically a 6.6Kw system or maybe sell the inverter and use the current 330w panels somehow . I would not get batteries straight away as the budget would not allow for this, but I do have a Mecer 2400 system that keeps the internet and wi-fi and a light or 2 going during load shedding which is not great but is okay.

 

The second option is going to cost at my best guess, +_ R22000 for the Sunksynk, +_ R2400 per panel for the 8 x  +400w, around R5000 or maybe more for the DB split, then the install I guessed maybe R10 000 to R15 000. I also said to maybe add +_ R3000 to R5000 for any cabling and extras.

 

So option 1 cost is +_ R27k for inverter and panels, plus I said about R5k for extras mounting, cables etc. So basically R32k plus a COC cost

Option 2 cost is +_ R61k plus R5k for mountings and extras. So basically R66K Plus a COC.

 

Option 1 I have 3.6Kw and nothing else

Option 2 I have 6.7Kw and an option to add batteries later for load shedding if it gets worse (haha) or batteries to lower the night time usage as well.

 

P.S. Our current electricity bill is about R1800 per month.

 

Sorry for the long story?

Edited by Greglsh
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Option 2 🙂

Since you obviously are grid tied, you would, at times, be feeding into the grid with the micro inverters, there is no way, I can think of to prevent it, this may not be a problem, possibly, but, also there's no way to stay powered, once the sun is down and the grid disappears, but with a Sunsynk in place, you could add batteries and voila, you could still keep the lights on after dark minus the grid... and, of course, you can get the Sunsynk to prevent feed into the grid... if that is an issue, which I assume it is...

Edited by Kalahari Meerkat
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Hi Kalahari Meerkat

 

No I don't have a problem with feeding back, I have one of those old meters with the spinning disk, I don't see it going backwards but it does stop when I am making more than I am using. The DTU device I have has got export limiting feature and works well if I enable it. Why I am a bit stumped is If I don't get batteries down the line then the 2 systems basically are doing the same thing, 1 for half the price of the other? What to do what to do??

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I'm running a 5kW Sunsynk here and will be going proper off grid as soon as I can sort myself with batteries, it would be my suggestion to go for the inverter and batteries when finances allow, at leas then you'd have power when Eskom doesn't 🙂

I do have creaky 170Ah SLA's  that date back to 10 years ago or so, they can't keep much alive, but, when Eskom goes away and its daylight with enough sunshine, we are up and running, you won't be able to do that with micro inverters only...

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