going offgrid and needing help ?




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  1. #1
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    Default going offgrid and needing help ?

    Hi guys

    Maybe you can help me some ?

    But just as a background.

    I am from a big family and extended family but thats not important , what is important is that we have some family home lands much as the SA rural comunities.

    So i have a 200m by 100m land layout.

    I have built a rondaval that needs finishing and i need quarters for a care taker and some1 to be around when we not as the locals have a tendancy of stealing and pilaging.

    Now back so 20 years when things were still right with eskom they did a bulk outlay of prepaid electrical systems to the comunity. but since then people that build now have to pay for installation of transformers and layout untill your newly or old built dewling.

    This has cost some 15k to 20k in rands and then eskom requires you to have the service of this at Billing rates for about 5 years before you can go prepaid.

    So have asked for quotes and have gotten quotes from eskom for 80k +. This is scary.

    I have to still locate the nearest pole and transformer to me and get a quote.

    I was thinking of going solar, gas, wood etc as to be off grid, as my mind is also telling me that the future is bleek in terms of electrical rates from eskom. Everything goes up is SA except salary/wage rates.

    I know the capital outlay will be big but i need beter calculations to be able to know what exactly to get .

    I only have 1 child and my wife for now , but will need the home to be electrified and as i build on to the exsisting dwelling we will need to extend the electrification, but thats not in the near future.

    It will be our holiday and visiting home for now.

    Should i go Eskom or SOLAR,GAS,WOOD?

    Also what brands are cheapest good value ? inverter , batteries, solar panels ?

    I know i hijacked another thread ,but saw it fit to do my own thread

    So please tell me your experiance and what setups u have

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Solar and gas, with genny for emergencies


    You got so much homework to do, or ask that www.solareff.co.za interview you and size a couple of systems for you.

    Roughly, 5kVA system, 48VDC battery system for max 48hours with no charge, R400k

    So many T's&C's, variables and different opinions apply.
    Last edited by swakop_toe; 2018/10/24 at 01:08 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    In an area at risk from stealing and pillaging, Solar Panels and especially batteries wont even last long enough to get installed.

    Honestly, if its a weekend/holiday camp, get a generator. A nice 3kVA Silent Inverter like this one
    https://www.takealot.com/honda-eu30i...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Bring it with you and take it away. Manage your load.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    In an area at risk from stealing and pillaging, Solar Panels and especially batteries wont even last long enough to get installed.

    Honestly, if its a weekend/holiday camp, get a generator. A nice 3kVA Silent Inverter like this one
    https://www.takealot.com/honda-eu30i...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Bring it with you and take it away. Manage your load.
    Agreed, if you think they steal now, wait till you have some nice shiny solar panels and batteries you will need an armed guard 24/7 to defend your investment.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeLander2 View Post
    Agreed, if you think they steal now, wait till you have some nice shiny solar panels and batteries you will need an armed guard 24/7 to defend your investment.

    Thanks guys

    Fluffy and freelander


    I dont think its that bad

    But before doing something there i will make sure i have a care taker

    I might also have some1 staying there full time

    thats the reason for me first building outside rooms for those . the care taker etc

    if for anyreason they will not be there at anytime . this is where it gets hairy. there will be the option of theaves.

    So u guys are giving me a thought

    Even though there will be Bok draad fence. I think will have to do daimond mesh around the house and get dogs big 1s then hak draad around the panels etc and that will be on the roof so it wont be easy to steal unless u have alot of time.

    Some 1 there installed a system that he says cost him 30k. But he is off grid no eksdom at all.

    I will go check it out and see what his running and how its working.

    I will try as much as possible to scale down my needs before going to buy a big 400k system

    Like i will go gas on stoves, solar on water etc

    I am looking for the best options without breaking the bank 400k? i havent even reached 70k on what i spent now on the rondavel. and dont intend to go there to 400k but im going bigger in future and finishing off inside eventually will kill depending on what i want , tiles funiture etc.

    Thanks for the replies guys

    PS do u guys think solar product will go cheaper or more expensive in future ? Just watched a vid and with new tech coming in and demand they say it will get cheaper.

    Also if i decide Inverter is it best to go asbig as 5000w? incase i run alot of things?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    Solar and gas, with genny for emergencies


    You got so much homework to do, or ask that www.solareff.co.za interview you and size a couple of systems for you.

    Roughly, 5kVA system, 48VDC battery system for max 48hours with no charge, R400k

    So many T's&C's, variables and different opinions apply.
    Thaks swakop

    Yes you are correct there are many variables.

    will have to build on my system

    yes it seems the batteries are hectic in that system

    How many batteries u need for that amount of time drawing ur 5kvA?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rourke View Post
    Thaks swakop

    Yes you are correct there are many variables.

    will have to build on my system

    yes it seems the batteries are hectic in that system

    How many batteries u need for that amount of time drawing ur 5kvA?
    8x 200Ah for off-grid batteries.
    Look. The 5kVA I mentioned can "easily" support a family of 5.
    But, not electric Geyser, oven, stove, irons, toasters and kettles, welders, etc.

    Hot water via solar, oven and stove via gas.
    Gas Geyser for backup.

    A++ appliances, the system should last past the warranties...with careful* monitoring, maintenance and use.

    Going off-grid is not as simple as connecting a panel, a controller and a battery.
    But, it could also be, if you know what you are doing and have real world expectations.

    Remember: you'll require a certified electricians C.o.C. to cover your behind.
    Or you might choose not too...
    Last edited by swakop_toe; 2018/10/24 at 04:37 PM.
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    8x 200Ah for off-grid batteries.
    Look. The 5kVA I mentioned can "easily" support a family of 5.
    But, not electric Geyser, oven, stove, irons, toasters and kettles, welders, etc.

    Hot water via solar, oven and stove via gas.
    Gas Geyser for backup.

    A++ appliances, the system should last past the warranties...with careful* monitoring, maintenance and use.

    Going off-grid is not as simple as connecting a panel, a controller and a battery.
    But, it could also be, if you know what you are doing and have real world expectations.

    Remember: you'll require a certified electricians C.o.C. to cover your behind.
    Or you might choose not too...
    OK.

    Off-grid and Grid-tied are two completely different kettles of fish.

    Off-Grid system, and for what I can see seems to be a weekend/holiday rondavel, we are way closer to R150K than R400K

    1/. 5kVA Axpert Solar controller Inverter X 2 : R20K
    2/. 12 X 12V 250AH high quality Solar batteries (48v 750AH) : R60K
    3/. 5kWp of PV panels R30K
    4/. 2kVA Silent Inverter backup generator : R15K
    5/. Wiring, fuses, mounting etc misc : R25K

    Now we are really styling. This will run toasters and microwaves and air-conditioners and washing machines and dishwashers, power tools, lawn mowers, pumps, you name it. Not all at the same time mind you, you will have to manage peak power yourself. And you will have to adhere to the "make hay while the sun shines" principle.

    Because the application isn't a 24/365 system, we can get away with murder. Those batteries will last forever, even if they are in the next door neighbors bakkie.

    -------------------------

    The system above is highly scalable, you could start with something a third of the price I mentioned above and add on to it as you need to without losing or removing anything. In fact you can even extend it even more.

    I hope Jam Sandwich is watching this.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  10. #9
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    What Fluffy says, yes really.
    My years of experience is OFF-GRID, no Eskom, family home of 4 (wife and 2 teenage daughters, add 2kW!), with a 5kW diesel genny as the "grid tied" power supply on remotde and auto start when batteries get to 55%. Water was pumped with a solar system too, but I inverted to AC for the submersible pump. 34m head, 12kL per hour.
    That system ran!

    House system Inverter was a 5kVA, 48VDC Victron Energy,
    MPPT Charge Controller an Outback Power System FlexMax70, panels and batteries, some arb make with warranties.


    I was the only one who loved the off-grid.
    Rest of the family battled for more than a year to adapt. They also never really accepted the lifestyle change requirements.

    Was the best years of my life.
    Last edited by swakop_toe; 2018/10/24 at 05:41 PM.
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What Fluffy says, yes really.
    My years of experience is OFF-GRID, no Eskom, family home of 4 (wife and 2 teenage daughters, add 2kW!), with a 5kW diesel genny as the "grid tied" power supply on remotde and auto start when batteries get to 55%. Water was pumped with a solar system too, but I inverted to AC for the submersible pump. 34m head, 12kL per hour.
    That system ran!

    House system Inverter was a 5kVA, 48VDC Victron Energy,
    MPPT Charge Controller an Outback Power System FlexMax70, panels and batteries, some arb make with warranties.


    I was the only one who loved the off-grid.
    Rest of the family battled for more than a year to adapt. They also never really accepted the lifestyle change requirements.

    Was the best years of my life.
    Quite so.

    What you describe is what I described, just with different product names.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  12. #11
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    OK. Off-grid and Grid-tied are two completely different kettles of fish. Off-Grid system, and for what I can see seems to be a weekend/holiday rondavel, we are way closer to R150K than R400K 1/. 5kVA Axpert Solar controller Inverter X 2 : R20K 2/. 12 X 12V 250AH high quality Solar batteries (48v 750AH) : R60K 3/. 5kWp of PV panels R30K 4/. 2kVA Silent Inverter backup generator : R15K 5/. Wiring, fuses, mounting etc misc : R25K Now we are really styling. This will run toasters and microwaves and air-conditioners and washing machines and dishwashers, power tools, lawn mowers, pumps, you name it. Not all at the same time mind you, you will have to manage peak power yourself. And you will have to adhere to the "make hay while the sun shines" principle. Because the application isn't a 24/365 system, we can get away with murder. Those batteries will last forever, even if they are in the next door neighbors bakkie. ------------------------- The system above is highly scalable, you could start with something a third of the price I mentioned above and add on to it as you need to without losing or removing anything. In fact you can even extend it even more. I hope Jam Sandwich is watching this.
    1/. 5kVA Axpert Solar controller Inverter X 2 : R20K i take it this is strapable ? if it is then i would do 1 at a time? and if its both are they then 10000watt peak?
    2/. 12 X 12V 250AH high quality Solar batteries (48v 750AH) : R60K here how does it equate to pylon type batteries? is it best to have 12 like this so replacing 1 or 2 is cheaper than replacing 1 big pylon? how does 750AH equate to KWh? how does 1kw pylon equate to KWh?
    3/. 5kWp of PV panels R30K does this 5KWp mean like 20 250Watt panels?
    4/. 2kVA Silent Inverter backup generator : R15K this is steep , if noise is not a problem then a cheaper bigger genny can be had. is diesel better than petrol?
    5/. Wiring, fuses, mounting etc misc : R25K this much ? wow does connctions cost this much?

    I think in the end we will start simple and small like gas hobs solar water heaters and gas water heaters meaning that we wont need electric for cold days but the gas . Does the gas work well?

    I know this is just a guess to start off with

    Thanks fluffy
    Last edited by rourke; 2018/10/26 at 03:58 PM.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What Fluffy says, yes really.
    My years of experience is OFF-GRID, no Eskom, family home of 4 (wife and 2 teenage daughters, add 2kW!), with a 5kW diesel genny as the "grid tied" power supply on remotde and auto start when batteries get to 55%. Water was pumped with a solar system too, but I inverted to AC for the submersible pump. 34m head, 12kL per hour.
    That system ran!

    House system Inverter was a 5kVA, 48VDC Victron Energy,
    MPPT Charge Controller an Outback Power System FlexMax70, panels and batteries, some arb make with warranties.


    I was the only one who loved the off-grid.
    Rest of the family battled for more than a year to adapt. They also never really accepted the lifestyle change requirements.

    Was the best years of my life.

    thanks for the reply

    funny but i think ill be into it , but the wife she always leaves lights on etc our baby is turning 3 so dont think she will be bothered to much by solar limit living

  14. #13
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    OK. Off-grid and Grid-tied are two completely different kettles of fish. Off-Grid system, and for what I can see seems to be a weekend/holiday rondavel, we are way closer to R150K than R400K 1/. 5kVA Axpert Solar controller Inverter X 2 : R20K 2/. 12 X 12V 250AH high quality Solar batteries (48v 750AH) : R60K 3/. 5kWp of PV panels R30K 4/. 2kVA Silent Inverter backup generator : R15K 5/. Wiring, fuses, mounting etc misc : R25K Now we are really styling. This will run toasters and microwaves and air-conditioners and washing machines and dishwashers, power tools, lawn mowers, pumps, you name it. Not all at the same time mind you, you will have to manage peak power yourself. And you will have to adhere to the "make hay while the sun shines" principle. Because the application isn't a 24/365 system, we can get away with murder. Those batteries will last forever, even if they are in the next door neighbors bakkie. ------------------------- The system above is highly scalable, you could start with something a third of the price I mentioned above and add on to it as you need to without losing or removing anything. In fact you can even extend it even more. I hope Jam Sandwich is watching this.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: going offgrid and needing help ?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What Fluffy says, yes really.
    My years of experience is OFF-GRID, no Eskom, family home of 4 (wife and 2 teenage daughters, add 2kW!), with a 5kW diesel genny as the "grid tied" power supply on remotde and auto start when batteries get to 55%. Water was pumped with a solar system too, but I inverted to AC for the submersible pump. 34m head, 12kL per hour.
    That system ran!

    House system Inverter was a 5kVA, 48VDC Victron Energy,
    MPPT Charge Controller an Outback Power System FlexMax70, panels and batteries, some arb make with warranties.


    I was the only one who loved the off-grid.
    Rest of the family battled for more than a year to adapt. They also never really accepted the lifestyle change requirements.

    Was the best years of my life.
    Now we are really styling. This will run toasters and microwaves and air-conditioners and washing machines and dishwashers, power tools, lawn mowers, pumps, you name it. Not all at the same time mind you, you will have to manage peak power yourself. And you will have to adhere to the "make hay while the sun shines" principle.

    This quote right here

    Wanted to ask if there are ways around the toasters? aircons maybe later ,microwaves a must as things are maid so easy with them but will have to monitor usage. washing machine a must , dish washing will be by hand , but might keep a dishwasher for odd times.

    tools as and when, hand lawn mower can work . No pumps unless we install a pool or bore hole. will gravity feed a tank stand. How does a wind mill work? for a bore hole ? or am i just dreaming ? if the demand is not high then a wind mill can work? also we get fresh water from the comunity system so borehole for backup and watering plants etc

    u right on using big items while sun shines.

    will have to try and really take alot of things to alternatives .

    Whats beter running a saperate system for 12V LEDS to light the house or just have the lights on the same AC system?

    what all appliances can u have 12V? is it benificial seeing as things like the TV will be AC?

    What do you need to run a 12V system ? regulators ? or DC DC Inverter?


    Last edited by rourke; 2018/10/26 at 04:18 PM.

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