My Solar setup....





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  1. #1
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    Default My Solar setup....

    12x 270W in 4 banks of 3.

    Real world supply depends on weather conditions.
    Peak supply is between 10:30am and 2:30pm, around 2600W
    1000W+ between 9am and 4pm.

    3500W 60Amp MPPT charge controller can handle 150v input max.
    Cuts out when 150v input is exceeded, or batteries bank exceeds preset voltage up to a max of 60v, mine is set to 58v and float is set to 54v.

    4x200Ah deep cycle SLA batteries in series giving 200Ah at 48v, but this is not totally true, as the inverter cuts out below 40v.
    Real usage with NO supply from the panels is 60Ah. I've got a battery monitoring system providing good info on battery usage.
    I actually need 4 more 200Ah batteries to have more power in reserve. I'm currently loosing around 30% of available power due to the batteries being fully charged, the pool pump running and the geyser already at temperature. Yes, my geyser is running off the inverter too, but on a timer to co-inside with peak power from the roof, so as to not drain the batteries. The geyser timer is two way switching, when the geyser is on, the pool pump is off.

    5kW constant 10kW short burst pure sine wave inverter.

    Manual master switch to switch between Eksdom and Solar. The system is set up to not be able to have both on at the same time, the risk is just too high.

    All lights changed to lowest available wattage LEDs. You'll be surprised how big a difference that made in consumption, also, in just how bright those things are.

    Everything except the stove is running off this system, and Adele works from home.

    After 3:30 the geyser and pool pump timers are off, and the batteries topping up. 4:30 it is at 100% as reported by the battery monitor.

    After 4:30pm the solar supply drops below consumption, and the battery voltage immediately drops to 52v, and keeps on dropping through the night, sitting between 46 and 47v when the panels start supplying in the morning.

    This can be a problem if it is seriously overcast......the reason for the extra four batteries required which will give me an additional two days (excluding the pool and geyser)

    The pool don't HAVE to run every day, and if required I can switch the geyser to Eksdom if the weather conditions require it.

    Even under solid overcast conditions the panels supply enough energy to run the house, again excluding the pool pump and geyser.
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Dankie Sakkie

    What did that cost? And I assume the 4 x new SLA 200Ah will probably cost around R20k?
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Dankie vir die deel van jou inligting. Ek het vir jou 'n PM gestuur.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Cost varies all the time.

    You can talk to "SolarMan" and "Solar Sciences"

    Solar Sciences currently supply 330W solar panels at R2050 each. The best price I could find.

    You need to do your own installation. With minimum homework it's rather easy. That way you can save as much as 50% of total cost. There are many installers who are jumping on the EKSDOM failures.

    if you have a gas stove and solar geyser (my next projects) you can get away with a 3kW installation, and definitely don't need more than 4kW.

    If you want to go this route, ask all the suppliers you can find for an exact same setup quote, but prices per item. That way you can choose what to buy where.

    The beauty of these things are the life expectancy. A solar panel is still at 80% efficiency after 25 years.
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    We already have a gas stove. A solar geyser won't work.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Sakkie, you are klapping those batteries stukend.

    47V is essentially 20% capacity left and 46V is essentially flat. That is open circuit voltage. If those readings are while still supplying power, then depending on the current the situation is a bit better.

    On a daily cycle that is murder for a lead acid.

    You are consuming about 7.5kWh when the sun isn't shining. That's an awful lot. What is consuming that power.
    Cheers

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    You've now made me think Keith, I don't use a lot of electricity at night.

    Checked the batteries, and the one is completely out of line with the other three.

    I feel a warrantee claim coming up......it's only 6months old.
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

  11. #8
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    This beggs for a question. If you have klapped the batteries surely the manufacturer can detect it and reject a claim. 6 months for quality batteries is really very low and that is where back up is costing one big time and the very reason why one should limit the draw down very carefully.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2019/03/26 at 11:47 AM.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    This beggs for a question. If you have klapped the batteries surely the manufacturer can detect it and reject a claim. 6 months for quality batteries is really very low and that is where back up is costing one big time and the very reason why one should limit the draw down very carefully.
    I am guessing here but Sakkie says one of the batteries is bad. As the batteries are in series it will be limiting the performance of the whole battery pack. So maybe he hasn't been klapping all of them, and the readings are just saying he is, but they are incorrect because of the one faulty battery.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    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.....

  13. #10
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Thanks Fluffy. The low 60Ah is thus explained. I did respond to Sakkie via PM that there must be a problem as the power to get to 40V is far below what he should get based on my own experience.

  14. #11
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Spot on Keith.
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

  15. #12
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Would a system like the one in the link work? We have a gas stove but electrical geyser and a 0,75kW pool pump which runs an hour a day in winter and 2,5 hours per day in summer. Other than that two iMac computers which draw 575W between them and a fridge freezer, front loader washing machine and a tumble dryer we only use in winter. There is also a laptop used for a few hours at night, a 1000W microwave used occasionally and a 6 plate dishwasher used occasionally and obviously LED lights and phone chargers.
    https://www.sustainable.co.za/axpert...ybrid-kit.html
    Chris Smal



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  16. #13
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    That sounds expensive for a 24v 2.4kW supply.

    Also, some of the items you mentioned draws serious power. A microwave alone can draw more than what that inverter can supply. A hot water kettle by itself too can draw more than that. Forget about using any of those at the same time.
    Sakkie Coetzee

    Some people say I have a "short temper"....I see it as swift and assertive reaction to Bull!

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  18. #14
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Cable cost R500. Batteries about R9 000. Panels for 330W x2 R3 800. R6 800 for 3000VA Axpert R6800. This does indeed seem like a very loaded price.

  19. #15
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    Default Re: My Solar setup....

    Quote Originally Posted by Baas View Post
    Would a system like the one in the link work? We have a gas stove but electrical geyser and a 0,75kW pool pump which runs an hour a day in winter and 2,5 hours per day in summer. Other than that two iMac computers which draw 575W between them and a fridge freezer, front loader washing machine and a tumble dryer we only use in winter. There is also a laptop used for a few hours at night, a 1000W microwave used occasionally and a 6 plate dishwasher used occasionally and obviously LED lights and phone chargers.
    https://www.sustainable.co.za/axpert...ybrid-kit.html
    I think if you shop around you can find that same equipment but with a 5kVA inverter for the ex VAT price, but at this point supply and demand means okes are ripping the poephol a bit.

    You can get the 5kVA inverter shipped for around R6500 from Aliexpress here. The rest of the pricing seems OK, but the batteries are expensive, 100Ah can be had for under R2500, so you could have a slightly higher capacity bank of 2Series4Parallel for around R20k.

    Their solar panels are not badly priced for what I've seen, and cable and lugs about right, so by buying separately, you're at around R31000, saving the VAT. You could knock R10k off of that price and halve the battery capacity, which I would do. Running that pool pump, microwave, dryer and geyser kill the 400Ah 24V battery bank anyway, so might as well save on that, and then you can get a 3kVA (or even a 1kVA, measure your current and confirm) inverter and reduce the cost even further.

    So, for around R21k, you're suddenly in for half that price, which is not too bad. Add R1500 for a complete DB and another R500 or so for the CoC, and you're at an even R23k.

    If you have all your lights converted to LED lamps, I reckon (thumb sucking) that you should be good through 2-3 hours of load shedding with the batteries down to 50%, depending on solar output during that time.
    Office Johnny

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