getting started on grid tied





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  1. #1
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    Default getting started on grid tied

    Hi All

    This has been a plan for the past 3-4 years and finally seems to be coming to fruition.

    I'm in the fortunate position that i can get good pricing from Ellies electronics on the bulk if not all of my components.

    350w panels @ R1999 ex https://www.ellies.co.za/product/can...ar-panel-330w/ (Yes it's a 330w but link for reference)

    5kva inverter @ R10500 ex https://www.ellies.co.za/product/5kw-hybrid-inverter/

    150ah AGM @ R3800 or 200ah AGM @ R4270 or I can ask about the Lithium Ion https://www.ellies.co.za/product/dyn...module-2-4kwh/ which I found elsewhere https://www.solarpanelenergy.co.za/p...um-ion-battery for reference


    Those are three of the big expenses at good rates. The rest will almost be associated ancillaries and labour.


    My current situation is around 10-12 units per day during summer and maybe around 15-18 in winter with full time domestic, the missus and I, a 2 year and 4 year old. with my evening
    I have a preheat configuration on my geysers (150lt roof mount Solar into 150lt ceiling mount on mains)
    Ideally I would like to be able to try and get this 150lt heated by the solar PV during the day (13:00-14:00 is lunch and load could effectively be dedicated).
    All other major appliances are A, A+ or A++ rated.
    Heating in winter is also closed combustion wood burning and cooking is gas hob electric oven.

    But I'm getting a bit bogged down and hesitant on one or two things.
    Am I over capitalising going with a 5kva? I've always been a fan of buying into growth potential and head room for as the kiddos get bigger.
    Been told by Ellies rep that minimum I need 8 panels for this inverter! Does this make sense, as I seen similar ready made kits advertised with 6 panels of smaller capacity.

    Please guys any thoughts and reasonable considerations that should be made here.
    Do I get a bit smaller or will I later regret it.

    Thank's all
    Last edited by Kershmeister; 2019/11/29 at 05:08 PM. Reason: I used google like a clever kid for a change
    Hyundai ix35 2.0 crdi 4wd (Current, untill i get a proper 4x4 again )
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Pretoria
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Hi Kershmeister

    It is always n great idea to start off with a grid-tied system .

    I'm owner of DFGS Pty Ltd,we install and sell photovoltaic systems.
    Having a grid-tie hybrid inverter will be a great plus. If you only start off with a grid-tied system,energy meter will tell you exactly what your energy consumption is over a 24hour period.

    Battery wise,if only for backup use, Lead Acid, AGM or Gel will propably be fine,but the the 5KVa axpert won't give you grid-tied savings,it is an off grid inverter,it can only charge batteries with solar,but that is how far it goes.
    Lithium prices these days have reached an acceptable price point when looking at return on investment..
    You can send me a mail ([email protected]) or whatsapp (0828556730) if you have any questions,will gladly help out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Sorry,just saw that you do have the Ellies hybrid inverter on your list.
    I think they say x8 panels propably because of an high voltage MPPT charge controller built in.

    Kind regards.Danie

  4. #4
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Kershmeister View Post
    Been told by Ellies rep that minimum I need 8 panels for this inverter! Does this make sense, as I seen similar ready made kits advertised with 6 panels of smaller capacity.

    Thank's all
    The inverter selected can run from 5 panels but on some cloud days might not kick in so it seems correct that it can easily run of 6 panels (the type you selected) . Not sure why Ellies told you a minimum of 8 panels are needed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    My rule of thumb would be to plan for worst case scenarios: cloudy winter days for instance.

    If your system is sized for that, then you're on the right track. It's no use in my mind to have a system that needs optimum conditions to deliver what you need.

    Apart from that, you need to also factor in peak load and current draw spikes (microwaves, electric appliances, etc).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Shop around for some more prices - that R1999 ex vat for the panels is expensive

    I didnt even look for the cheapest and found theses

    https://www.inverter-warehouse.co.za...65w-poly-kumax
    Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 DI-D 4x4
    BL925 - Ratel 4

  7. #7
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    I found that my panels are delivering max 88% of their rated capacity, North facing, no shade, jhb. On a string rated at max 3340 watts I get about 2900 watts generated as of today, summer, totaling 18kwhrs per day.

    I have 6KW PV capacity, the most I have seen is 4.8 kw generated, which I think is due to a limitation on the inverter (not sure about that). Can somebody comment on this, it's a goodwe 408....

    So for your requirements, 10kwhrs/ day, based on my experience you'd only need 2kw pv input... I'm not sure what winter generation will drop to, so you'll need to up the 2kw pv to cater for winter as well..
    Maybe somebody else can give us a decent estimate of summer VS winter generation..
    Last edited by NewLandy; 2019/12/01 at 08:24 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    I have 6KW PV capacity, the most I have seen is 4.8 kw generated, ( THIS IS IN LINE BEING 80% OF PV INSTALLED )which I think is due to a limitation on the inverter (not sure about that). Can somebody comment on this, it's a goodwe 408....

    Maybe somebody else can give us a decent estimate of summer VS winter generation..
    Actual figures as recorded by my grid-tied inverter. With no cloud in winter the energy is about 20-25% lower in winter. Sep much higher than Oct, Nov due to cloud the last 2 months.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Kershmeister View Post
    Hi All

    This has been a plan for the past 3-4 years and finally seems to be coming to fruition.

    I'm in the fortunate position that i can get good pricing from Ellies electronics on the bulk if not all of my components.

    350w panels @ R1999 ex https://www.ellies.co.za/product/can...ar-panel-330w/ (Yes it's a 330w but link for reference)

    5kva inverter @ R10500 ex https://www.ellies.co.za/product/5kw-hybrid-inverter/

    150ah AGM @ R3800 or 200ah AGM @ R4270 or I can ask about the Lithium Ion https://www.ellies.co.za/product/dyn...module-2-4kwh/ which I found elsewhere https://www.solarpanelenergy.co.za/p...um-ion-battery for reference


    Those are three of the big expenses at good rates. The rest will almost be associated ancillaries and labour.


    My current situation is around 10-12 units per day during summer and maybe around 15-18 in winter with full time domestic, the missus and I, a 2 year and 4 year old. with my evening
    I have a preheat configuration on my geysers (150lt roof mount Solar into 150lt ceiling mount on mains)
    Ideally I would like to be able to try and get this 150lt heated by the solar PV during the day (13:00-14:00 is lunch and load could effectively be dedicated).
    All other major appliances are A, A+ or A++ rated.
    Heating in winter is also closed combustion wood burning and cooking is gas hob electric oven.

    But I'm getting a bit bogged down and hesitant on one or two things.
    Am I over capitalising going with a 5kva? I've always been a fan of buying into growth potential and head room for as the kiddos get bigger.
    Been told by Ellies rep that minimum I need 8 panels for this inverter! Does this make sense, as I seen similar ready made kits advertised with 6 panels of smaller capacity.

    Please guys any thoughts and reasonable considerations that should be made here.
    Do I get a bit smaller or will I later regret it.

    Thank's all
    That inverter is not grid tied, itís a UPS with a solar input
    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.....

  10. #10
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    My rule of thumb would be to plan for worst case scenarios: cloudy winter days for instance.

    It's no use in my mind to have a system that needs optimum conditions to deliver what you need.

    .
    Don't we always need more than we actually have? I belief one can be satisfied that you get what the sun/PVC installed can generate for free and draw the rest from the grid than worrying that you still have to pay for the grid portion.

    There could be the risk of exporting and prepaid meters locking out.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2019/12/03 at 01:17 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    That inverter is not grid tied, itís a UPS with a solar input
    This is getting quite common that manufacturers refer to solar priority as grid tied like in this case where the spec sheet is listing the inverter as grid tied. Easy to be fooled.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    This is getting quite common that manufacturers refer to solar priority as grid tied like in this case where the spec sheet is listing the inverter as grid tied. Easy to be fooled.
    How does one differentiate between grid tied and "solar ups tied" as stated previously..

    There's so much confusion out there and the sales people don't really know the difference either... Solar Industry is a minefield if you're not informed and trying to get solar installed.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    How does one differentiate between grid tied and "solar ups tied" as stated previously..

    There's so much confusion out there and the sales people don't really know the difference either... Solar Industry is a minefield if you're not informed and trying to get solar installed.
    Many people believe that when inverter draws fom the grid to supplement the panels, it is grid tied.

    It is tied to the grid, ie connected to it, but has no interactive relationship with the grid. There are specific inverters to do that.

    As Fluffy said, the one in OP is a UPS
    1998 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    2002 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

  14. #14
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Many people believe that when inverter draws fom the grid to supplement the panels, it is grid tied.

    It is tied to the grid, ie connected to it, but has no interactive relationship with the grid. There are specific inverters to do that.

    As Fluffy said, the one in OP is a UPS
    Well, it seems like a decent unit. Why would it need to be interactive? For feeding back into the grid? I assume in ZA we can't do that yet anyway? (not trying to be argumentative, I'm just stupid)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Well, it seems like a decent unit. Why would it need to be interactive? For feeding back into the grid? I assume in ZA we can't do that yet anyway? (not trying to be argumentative, I'm just stupid)
    I was trying the explain 'misconception' that can exist with he wording 'grid tied'

    No issue with unit in OP
    1998 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    2002 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

  16. #16
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Hi all sorry for the delay in responding.
    Thanks all for the input. It is invaluable.
    Covers a couple questions. And has presented new ones.
    Especially in regards to the inverter. What now?
    What is a suitable unit that is covering all my bases.

    Looking at how the finances have panned out I may have to hold off on the batteries for the short term. But I would still like to get things moving. So Grid Tied with no back-up.

    And as was said. The consumer is walking a minefield.

    Please help.
    Hyundai ix35 2.0 crdi 4wd (Current, untill i get a proper 4x4 again )
    The Firetruck: Isuzu KB360 V6 4x4 (Sold)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    That inverter is not grid tied, itís a UPS with a solar input
    This right here actually made me laugh. It shot everything down in one sentence, but was probably the most constructive and important statement. Thanks fluffy.
    Glad I asked here. You potentially saved me a large chunk of change.

    This solar can be heavily confusing.
    Hyundai ix35 2.0 crdi 4wd (Current, untill i get a proper 4x4 again )
    The Firetruck: Isuzu KB360 V6 4x4 (Sold)

  18. #18

    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Kershmeister View Post

    This solar can be heavily confusing.
    For sure!
    I was used to off grid and grid tie systems: The off grid wasn't connected to the grid at all but had batteries.
    The grid tie system is always connected to the grid (and cannot work without the grid) but it can draw power and supply power into the grid.
    Now there's another system called a 'hybrid...'

  19. #19
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Very confusing

    So is that false advertising or just sneaky marketing? meaning its grid tied to something else or just an "auto switch over"
    Or just plain confusion on the Ellies side of what grid tied actually means?

    To me grid tied means the Inverter is synced to the grid so that both is powering your DB board at the same time?

    I also only recently discovered that not all solar inverter/chargers can operate without batteries.
    JK 3.8L 2010 Rubicon Manual 2 door

  20. #20
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    Default Re: getting started on grid tied

    Grid tied.
    Hybrid.

    Those two terms unfortunately have a multitude of definitions in solar...

    Best to check detailed specs of whatever units to make an informed decision

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