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I have just completed my solar setup, after several months of planning and purchasing, and I must say, I am very happy with the results!

My system:

  • 1x Axpert 7,2kW Inverter
  • 14x Canadian Solar 435W panels
  • 2x US3000C batteries
  • 1x Raspberry Pi running ICC

This includes all of the relevant protection boxes etc.

I have spent the past week completing the installation, and now that all of the hardware is in, the tweaking of all of the settings and timing etc. can begin!

A nice surprise being that the unit seems to work as a "semi-hybrid". While in grid mode, it is able to make use of PV to supplement loads, but it isn't a complete hybrid, in that it only makes use of batteries and solar when in "solar mode"

I have been running off-grid since Saturday morning and couldn't be happier! I will need to add another battery at a later stage, as I'm presently not making full benefit of the available PV, despite running my pool pump and geysers during the course of the day. The current 2 batteries just gets me through the night, but we are being mindful of what equipment we are using after hours - an additional battery would really help here - will need to first wait for a few more pay days (don't want my wife to kill me!)

20210614_205755.jpg

20210617_072240.jpg

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An interesting problem that I don't know how to solve - any input would be appreciated!

In my main, I have 3x Earth Leakage units, which supply the various plugs in the house. When I initially installed my system, I had no problems with my earth leakages, running on either mains or battery. On Saturday morning, however, I noticed that the fridge was off. Upon investigating, I realised 1 of the 3 earth leakages had tripped. When I attempted to reset it, it wouldn't reset. I switched off the downstream breakers, so that there would be no load, and still it wouldn't reset. 

However, when the inverter changed to battery / solar operation, there was no issue resetting the EL. Any idea what would cause this? Faulty EL? What I find strange is that it worked previously, and the other 2x EL don't have any issues, so it doesn't make sense to me.

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11 hours ago, Schnavel said:

I have just completed my solar setup, after several months of planning and purchasing, and I must say, I am very happy with the results!

My system:

  • 1x Axpert 7,2kW Inverter
  • 14x Canadian Solar 435W panels
  • 2x US3000C batteries
  • 1x Raspberry Pi running ICC

This includes all of the relevant protection boxes etc.

I have spent the past week completing the installation, and now that all of the hardware is in, the tweaking of all of the settings and timing etc. can begin!

A nice surprise being that the unit seems to work as a "semi-hybrid". While in grid mode, it is able to make use of PV to supplement loads, but it isn't a complete hybrid, in that it only makes use of batteries and solar when in "solar mode"

I have been running off-grid since Saturday morning and couldn't be happier! I will need to add another battery at a later stage, as I'm presently not making full benefit of the available PV, despite running my pool pump and geysers during the course of the day. The current 2 batteries just gets me through the night, but we are being mindful of what equipment we are using after hours - an additional battery would really help here - will need to first wait for a few more pay days (don't want my wife to kill me!)

20210614_205755.jpg

20210617_072240.jpg

Very cool setup!! Well played 

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21 hours ago, Schnavel said:

An interesting problem that I don't know how to solve - any input would be appreciated!

In my main, I have 3x Earth Leakage units, which supply the various plugs in the house. When I initially installed my system, I had no problems with my earth leakages, running on either mains or battery. On Saturday morning, however, I noticed that the fridge was off. Upon investigating, I realised 1 of the 3 earth leakages had tripped. When I attempted to reset it, it wouldn't reset. I switched off the downstream breakers, so that there would be no load, and still it wouldn't reset. 

However, when the inverter changed to battery / solar operation, there was no issue resetting the EL. Any idea what would cause this? Faulty EL? What I find strange is that it worked previously, and the other 2x EL don't have any issues, so it doesn't make sense to me.

This is probably where you will need an electrician, because they usually have the test kit necessary to test the sensitivity of the RCD / EL. Alternatively, you could simply swop it and see if it makes a difference, could be cheaper.

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2 minutes ago, YellowTapemeasure said:

This is probably where you will need an electrician, because they usually have the test kit necessary to test the sensitivity of the RCD / EL. Alternatively, you could simply swop it and see if it makes a difference, could be cheaper.

Yeah, that's my plan. I'm going to swop the other EL with the "faulty" one and see if the result is the same.

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I swapped the EL around last night, and frustratingly, the problem persisted. I then measured the different circuits using a milli-amp meter to determine if there was any major current leak (I initially thought it may be the leakage current from the surge arrestors that was causing the problem) - there was minimal leakage current; certainly not enough to trip the earth leakage.

After a fair amount of testing and confusion, I decided to ring out the neutral circuit to check for any continuity issues that may be cause a ground loop or similar - turns out this was the problem. There is a bare earth cable in my DB, and it was making contact with part of the neutral bar, in an obscure position behind some other wires. As soon as I moved this earth cable, the loop was broken and I could reset the earth leakage - very frustrating, but glad I found it!

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