Going the solar route





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  1. #1
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    Default Going the solar route

    Hello everyone

    After reading a lot and having many debates with the experts I have finally decided on a grid tie system.

    I am going with 16 x 375 LG Mono X Plus panels coupled to a SMA Sunny Boy 5.0Kw inverter, which is then coupled to a SMA Sunny Island 6.0 hybrid inverter for batteries.

    I was in 2 minds over the LG pabels and the Canadian panels but have decided on the LG's due to efficiency and guarantees.

    I have not yet decided on the batteries, still doing some research, and after the panels and inverter there is not much budget left.

    So now I have to rearrange that DB board to get stuff on seperate circuits.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post
    Hello everyone


    So now I have to rearrange that DB board to get stuff on seperate circuits.
    The changes to the DB could sometimes be a challenge specially if most pipes are through the floor and some high power equipment like a kitchen is on the same circuit as the lounge.

    Enjoy the final planning.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Yes I agree. These old houses have for example 3 bedrooms and the lounge and part of the kitchen on 1 trip.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Batteries:

    Go for something like pylontech or MD Solar batteries. Please don't spend R50k on inverter and getting LA/LC batteries.

    Decent Type1/2 surge arrestors and circuit breakers also adds up quick.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Yes you are right the extra wiring and circuit breakers ans stuff is also a lot extra.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Good luck with your expensive decision... but your proposed SMA kit is very good. I have been running a Sunny Boy 5 into a Sunny Island 6 for the last 5 years, a total pleasure. And once you learn the complete control you will have thru the Sunny Remote Control, it just gets better!

    But do not stuff around with old tech batteries, start with decent LiFePO4 and make sure that the Integrated battery management system is actually supported by the Sunny Island firmware. It is very nice to see the initial handshake between an intelligent battery bank and the Sunny Island. I went with a BYD box and blades.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudi.Oost View Post
    Batteries:

    Go for something like pylontech or MD Solar batteries. Please don't spend R50k on inverter and getting LA/LC batteries.

    Decent Type1/2 surge arrestors and circuit breakers also adds up quick.
    It all depends what you are trying to achieve.

    If your goal is to supplement daytime consumption with solar and have backup power for power outages only, then LA is still you best bang for the buck, and in many ways even superior to Lithium technologies.

    If you intend cycling the batteries daily then the situation is different, but still not a foregone conclusion.
    Cheers

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    At this stage I want to try and run off the solar panels in day time and inly use the batteries when there is an outage or loadshedding during the evening.

    Yes, there are good batteries out there, but I am still of the opinion that the battery technology is not quite there yet based on affordability.

    I mean for example when I bought my first 128Mb flash disk when yhey came out I paid R1000, now you can buy 128Gb flash disk for R500. I believe the battery technology will also follow this principle.

    I went the expensive route as I want to buy once and it will last many many years.

    I might go for cheaper batteries now and then in 5 years time the technology is so advance and the price have gone down when I need to replace the batteries.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post
    At this stage I want to try and run off the solar panels in day time and inly use the batteries when there is an outage or loadshedding during the evening.

    Yes, there are good batteries out there, but I am still of the opinion that the battery technology is not quite there yet based on affordability.

    I mean for example when I bought my first 128Mb flash disk when yhey came out I paid R1000, now you can buy 128Gb flash disk for R500. I believe the battery technology will also follow this principle.

    I went the expensive route as I want to buy once and it will last many many years.

    I might go for cheaper batteries now and then in 5 years time the technology is so advance and the price have gone down when I need to replace the batteries.
    Spot on.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    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: Going the solar route

    So my system is installed. It runs like a dream.

    What a mission to re-organise the DB to make sure I know what is what.
    Last edited by Silver Shadow; 2020/01/10 at 06:30 AM.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post
    At this stage I want to try and run off the solar panels in day time and inly use the batteries when there is an outage or loadshedding during the evening.

    Yes, there are good batteries out there, but I am still of the opinion that the battery technology is not quite there yet based on affordability.

    I mean for example when I bought my first 128Mb flash disk when yhey came out I paid R1000, now you can buy 128Gb flash disk for R500. I believe the battery technology will also follow this principle.

    I went the expensive route as I want to buy once and it will last many many years.

    I might go for cheaper batteries now and then in 5 years time the technology is so advance and the price have gone down when I need to replace the batteries.
    i heard on the radio that the auzies came up with a new type of battery, cant remember what it was called. Apparently a smartphone (smartphone battery size I presume) can last 5 days working full time, while the same size battery can run an electric car for 600km. If this can be manufactured at a reasonable rate it will be a game changer. Just look at Tesla, how their battery technology is going. Problem is, the best will always be sold for the most, even if its cheaper to manufacture than other battery types.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    It's a lithium-sulphur battery

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post
    So my system is installed. It runs like a dream.

    What a mission to re-organise the DB to make sure I know what is what.
    Hi Silver Shadow - did you split your neutral bar as well? How did you identify/split the wire pairs at the DB side? This is on my to-do list for this weekend and a quick test with a tone-and-probe did not give me the desired outcome.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Wheeler View Post
    It's a lithium-sulphur battery
    It must be that battery that is made by minerals mined in S Africa. I think our minister of minerals was talking about this. Unobtanium or something like that.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by nicom View Post
    Hi Silver Shadow - did you split your neutral bar as well? How did you identify/split the wire pairs at the DB side? This is on my to-do list for this weekend and a quick test with a tone-and-probe did not give me the desired outcome.
    Yes I did split the neutral bar at the DB with the circuits that is connected to solar.

    I basically rewired the entire DB and I traced all of the neutrals and seperayed them. This took forever to do but is now done.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    i heard on the radio that the auzies came up with a new type of battery, cant remember what it was called. Apparently a smartphone (smartphone battery size I presume) can last 5 days working full time, while the same size battery can run an electric car for 600km. If this can be manufactured at a reasonable rate it will be a game changer. Just look at Tesla, how their battery technology is going. Problem is, the best will always be sold for the most, even if its cheaper to manufacture than other battery types.
    The battery technology will catch up. There are great batteries out the but not cheap.

    In a couple years time batteries will hopefully be like USB memory stick, large capacity and dirt cheap.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Here is a pic of my installation.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Nice setup. First time I have seen this type of arrangement.

    When your batteries are fully charged and you are not using all of the available PV power from the SB, will it feed back into the grid?

    From my limited understanding of grid tied systems, if there is no battery backup, then the system won't work if there is grid outage (i.e. even though the panels could generate power, the inverter will shut off) to avoid feeding back into the grid (anti-islanding), but with your setup the SB should arguably still continue generating power from the panels to supplement the sunny island even in the event of a grid outage?

    Or is my understanding totally flawed?
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    That really looks neat!
    Congrats.
    Care to share total cost?


    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post
    Here is a pic of my installation.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Going the solar route

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand2011 View Post
    Nice setup. First time I have seen this type of arrangement.

    When your batteries are fully charged and you are not using all of the available PV power from the SB, will it feed back into the grid?

    From my limited understanding of grid tied systems, if there is no battery backup, then the system won't work if there is grid outage (i.e. even though the panels could generate power, the inverter will shut off) to avoid feeding back into the grid (anti-islanding), but with your setup the SB should arguably still continue generating power from the panels to supplement the sunny island even in the event of a grid outage?

    Or is my understanding totally flawed?
    Your understanding of grid tied systems is correct. Where no batteries and the grid fails, then the inverter shuts down.

    It is only recently installed, and we have only had cloudy weather since so I have used all of the enery generated.

    The Sunny Island has a huge number if settings and it can be programmed to be anti islanding, so not to push excess energy back into the grid. I can however manage the energy used vs generated and when there is excess, my plan is to use that to either switch on my borehole pump or run my swimming pool pump.

    This system will still work when there is a grid outage due to the batteries.
    Last edited by Silver Shadow; 2020/01/11 at 05:46 AM.

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