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My Ongoing Green Project


Mike
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I decided in November 2012 to start a little project of learning and installing my own little Solar PV system with the aim of upgrading as finances would allow.

I started out firstly with 2 x 180w Solarworld PV panels and a 1000w bi-directional inverter going via a 30A MPPT controller with 10 x 102ah High cycle Deltek batteries ( secondhand ). After about a month i realised that by going and buying secondhand batteries i had just shot myself in the foot as i could not add to the old bank with new batteries. So my first word of warning would be --- NEVER buy second hand batteries, rather wait until you can afford new.

So there i went and started again, i bought myself 8 x 105AH Royal deep cycle batteries, configured then into a series/parrallel 24V bank, added another 2 x 180W PV panels, and here we go again... bought a second hand 2000w Juta pure sine inverter, all went well until i switched on my pool pump and when it switched off, i received a healthy cup of Back EMF ( blew the inverter ) So there i went to Mantech and bought 30 x Mosfets to replace blown, and wait for it.......Started again but with another upgrade to new items.

Now i went and bought a new 2500W pure sine solar inverter and 2 x 200W Solar panels ( to install still ) and a new 400W wind Turbine, installed that today. All that i still need to install is my Victron 602 battery monitor kit, hopefully tomorrow and i can then monitor everything.

OK, so that is my hardware done for now. I have got connected to it the following:

1. House light circuits mostly using 7w cfl downlights

2. my studies computers ( 2 x Laptops )

3. All my CTWUG aeriels & routers WISP routers.

4. All my CCTV camera's and DVR

Tomorrow i will start with dedicated solar power points to other areas of the home without going overboard or overloading the inverter.

I have found a lot of information out there on what and how to do......NOT all of it is correct and so far only found one company / person that goes out on a limb to assist you / get you the best price possible and basically be there 24/7 if you ask anything. not sure if i can say here but ask me via mail...Just shop around and you will see who just wants the sale and who has your interest at heart.

thats it for now, will add as i progress.I must add that i feel the best advise one could get is from others that have started the journey to green enegry. They can point out the pitfalls we are so sure to encounter.Attached are a few pics from my start to present.

till next time

Mike

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we used 5mm sheet steel and cut out a template to fit my parapet wall. drilled 3 10mm holes, epoxy bolts into wall and tightened down. Also added 2 x upright 5mm steel plates for vertical strengthening. painted with NS4. Also added Rubber insertion rubber between wall and steel for dampening.

 

Glad you like

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right,

i have just completed the manufacture of a new aliminium frame for the next bank of panels. I am adding another 2 x 200w Poly Panels.

Will add some new pics shortly

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Hi Langat,

Would you be combining the 2 x 180W panels with the 2 x 200W or would each set have it's own solar controller charging the battries?

Reason I ask is somebody mentioned to me that combining diffrent sized PV cells is not a great idea.

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Hey Wetkit, nope the 200W pv's are on a seperate controller. just finished the install now and have just switched on... Beautiful, now for a cold frostie to toast it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

so i thought i would share:......

last month i used a total of 296.12kwh of free energy, and i have been slowly adding items onto the solar system. So far this month i have used 324.5 kwh of energy and i have 18 days to go for my "billing period".  nice!!

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Hey Clint,

my 6 panels are giving me approx 28 - 32a per hour. Understanding that it does vary throughout the day, i was hoping that the wind turbine would assist in winter on them dark damp days. Unfortunately that's not when the Cape gets its best wind! So i might not have made the best decision in getting one.My supplier has kindly offered to take it back and supply me with an extra mppt controller and a few more batteries. I think that might suit me better.

At the moment with the above values my 8 batteries are getting close to a full charge every day. I think they have only cycled 6 times since installed.

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now sitting at 407.44kwh used, cannot wait for the 18th  for the final figure and to receive Eskoms bill......Had a little scare 2 nights back with the extreme weather here, at 3a.m my battery alarm started playing tunes and i had to switch on the charger for a while to make it to morning!!

more batteries please, me thinks.

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so i thought i would share:......

last month i used a total of 296.12kwh of free energy, and i have been slowly adding items onto the solar system. So far this month i have used 324.5 kwh of energy and i have 18 days to go for my "billing period".  nice!!

Hi Mike

What is the total kwh that you used over a 30day period?

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Hey Danielbotha, its around 730kw with Eskom and the balance is on Solar which i will know the total on the 18th with the new Eishkom bill..

 

Last month the combined was 1028.12kwh, was a bit low....still trying to figure out why

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  • 1 year later...

Hi could you elaborate on your battery bank situation and how you connected the bank in terms of series and parallel strings. I have similar batteries and am looking to reconfigure my system so just want to know how you or anyone else connected their bank. This is mainly from a lot of info from the web advising against large number of parallel string but I cannot se a way around it that is feasable as i need a 1000ah 24v battery bank and already have 10 deltec 105ah batteries

 

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that system was at my old place, i had connected them all in series to make 24v and then in parallel. I would unfortunately recommend that you consider using either 6v cells or even better 2v cells for that size bank. I have to do this shortly as my bank requirement is 952ah based on 16000w usage per day. so i would be using the Willard 2v cells x 24 in series giving me the 48v x 952ah. That should give me a max of three days autonomy.

Those Deltec's are going to give you 3 - 5 years as i don't think their cyclic rate is the greatest.... Rather sell them now while there is a demand and they are virtually new and get thicker plate solar cells.

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