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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Also went for a hybrid solution in Jan, could have saved a few grand if I bought the components seperately but have space constraints. Got a Victron easy solar 5kw, 2x US3000's (thinking of adding two more, then I will basically eliminate Eskom on an avg sunny day) and 18x 335w panels.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    The Goodwe hybrid can not parralel.....this is a turn off.
    Just how much PV, inverter power do you require? Most households will find a Goodwe 4.6/5 grid tied, split dbs to be enough.. Also remember the issues experienced with > 3.5 KW inverters and normal residential 60 A supply..

    If it's more than 4.6KW and 5 KW then instead of mixing & matching, going in parallel etc, just buy a 10KW inverter or a Victron setup.. Or am I missing something here?
    Last edited by NewLandy; 2020/02/20 at 10:21 PM.

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by 1lum1nat1 View Post
    Also went for a hybrid solution in Jan, could have saved a few grand if I bought the components seperately but have space constraints. Got a Victron easy solar 5kw, 2x US3000's (thinking of adding two more, then I will basically eliminate Eskom on an avg sunny day) and 18x 335w panels.
    I always joke, with solar, the costs NEVER stop. We always go bigger and better as we see the data! Hobbies = Priceless.


    Here is a thought: If you get another inverter, how much would that save you on Eskom? Would you be able to recover the cost of another EasySolar? I would bet not.

    On the other hand, more panels on a 2nd separate MPPT MAY be a better spend, IF you can use the power, and IF you can connect it with a VE.Direct cable to your CCGX in the EasySolar.


    There is a point with all and any hybrid grid tied system, where one start overcapitalizing.
    The ROI becomes goes from 5-7 years to wot, 30 (?) years IF you don't replace anything in that time.

    On the other hand, if you don't save like R1k+ per month, or your Eskom bill is like <600 units ... you also are not going to recoup the costs.

    Having said all that, it is not my money, you can spend it as you wish!
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  6. #64
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    Just how much PV, inverter power do you require? Most households will find a Goodwe 4.6/5 grid tied, split dbs to be enough..
    I found over time, and with other users, that 3kva is more than enough for most households. How much does the loads over say 2.4kw cost one per month?
    The loads that cost the most, are <500w 24/7/365 and if you have a poolpump, 800-1kw 24/7/365.
    Assuming your geyser is on solar already, or has a 2kw element if not.


    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    Also remember the issues experienced with > 3.5 KW inverters and normal residential 60 A supply..
    I presume you are thinking of the restrictions on a 60amp beakers of 3.5kw max?
    Two ways to resolve that: 5kva/10kva/20kva inverter can be installed IF:
    1) It can be limited to 3.5kw whilst grid tied.
    2) If your inverter cannot be limited, then install a max of 3.5kw array.

    And IF you already have say a 4-5kw array on a 5kva inverter than cannot be software limited, like a GoodWE, then get a report from a engineer that can prove with said official report that your array can never produce more than 3.5kw, due to type of panel and/or angle mounted and/or direction they face.

    I know this because a internet pal of mine got his GoodWE signed off, on a 4kw+ array, using said report.

    And I am busy upgrading my 3kva signed off install, with a 5kva inverter by registering 5kva inverter, 7kw panels (only have 3.5kw today) and 20kWH battery bank (only have 10kWH today). I will get it approved because I can limit the inverter to 3.5kw.

    Titbit: If you have a signed off installation, and you change the inverter, panels or battery, at this point in time, you must re-apply, as I now have to do.
    So, if your Sparkie / Engineer can work with you, apply for a bigger array / battery bank, than what you intend to start with.
    But if the inverter changes, a new serial number is required, so that one necessitates a re-register.

    Registration is very easy to do, just take a LONG time for them to do the paperwork, not enough staff, LOTS of applications.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2020/02/20 at 10:59 PM.
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  8. #65
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    I always joke, with solar, the costs NEVER stop. We always go bigger and better as we see the data! Hobbies = Priceless.


    Here is a thought: If you get another inverter, how much would that save you on Eskom? Would you be able to recover the cost of another EasySolar? I would bet not.

    On the other hand, more panels on a 2nd separate MPPT MAY be a better spend, IF you can use the power, and IF you can connect it with a VE.Direct cable to your CCGX in the EasySolar.


    There is a point with all and any hybrid grid tied system, where one start overcapitalizing.
    The ROI becomes goes from 5-7 years to wot, 30 (?) years IF you don't replace anything in that time.

    On the other hand, if you don't save like R1k+ per month, or your Eskom bill is like <600 units ... you also are not going to recoup the costs.

    Having said all that, it is not my money, you can spend it as you wish!


    There is another factor at play here. Everybody does their calculations based on current Eskom cost, but we have to consider the collapse of Eskom as well. Without turning this into a political fred, we must become self reliant for longer periods. I don't see de Ruyter and Oberholzer staying long enough to resolve the problems at Eskom before political interference remove them. And then things are going to crush. Solar prices will spike and then the finances will never make sense.


    There comes a time when only those who can plant will eat.

    And:

    There comes a time when only those who can generate electricity will have power.
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

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  10. #66
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Uys View Post
    There is another factor at play here. Everybody does their calculations based on current Eskom cost, but we have to consider the collapse of Eskom as well. Without turning this into a political fred, we must become self reliant for longer periods. I don't see de Ruyter and Oberholzer staying long enough to resolve the problems at Eskom before political interference remove them. And then things are going to crush. Solar prices will spike and then the finances will never make sense.
    O Yes, there is that!
    To this effect I built my system LEGO wise to where we are today.
    5kva inverter that can parallel with up to 5 more = 25kva - if Eskom pushes our buttons.
    3.5kw array that can expand to 7kw and if I buy another MPPT, another 7kw and so on - if Eskom make a move downwards.
    In the market for a 10kWH lithium bank ... which can expand to as big as we need - because of Eskom be damned.

    AND, the most "expensive part" of any solar system: We are "trained" to check our usage!
    Yeah, that took a bit of negotiations, some mollycoddling, some swearing, some shouting (once or twice), but in the end all 6 adults "got it".
    And SWAMBO, easy! She turned around on a dime when she could use her hairdryer whenever she wanted. ;-)


    Quote Originally Posted by Uys View Post
    There comes a time when only those who can plant will eat. And: There comes a time when only those who can generate electricity will have power.
    The darker side to the above wise words, if Eskom gets where we expect it to go, then the "Have Not's" will go "shopping" at the "Have's", re-appropriating batteries, like they do with the cell tower batteries.

    Now we don't advertise we have power ... but the panels on the roof, that is a dead giveaway.

    So there is that too to consider.

    Me, if it gets really bad, then the panels must "be-gone".
    Don't know how yet. Portable array or some such mad idea. Deal with that later.
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  12. #67
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, you helped my understanding a lot and assisted me from buying the wrong inverter foolishly.
    Ford Ranger 3.2 Auto 4x4 XLT
    Paj DiD SWB Auto
    E92 335i 430kw at the wheels!
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  14. #68
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Het my panele flush teen die dak gesit saam met sinkdak. Jy sien gladnie hulle nie, 100mm van sink af
    Last edited by circe; 2020/02/21 at 04:13 PM.

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  16. #69
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    Default Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    Just how much PV, inverter power do you require? Most households will find a Goodwe 4.6/5 grid tied, split dbs to be enough.. Also remember the issues experienced with > 3.5 KW inverters and normal residential 60 A supply..

    If it's more than 4.6KW and 5 KW then instead of mixing & matching, going in parallel etc, just buy a 10KW inverter or a Victron setup.. Or am I missing something here?
    I think at the time I was slightly more green than I am now. Having the option of adding was based on the fact that other inverters had that option. Like you said, perhaps its not required for home power requirements. The Goodwe is very hard to pass by without serious consideration....and it’s still on my list.

    Since @TTT’s last statements I’m haunted now by thoughts of apocalyptic future where living in a zombie proof bunker and self generated power will be the way of future
    Last edited by SchyffS; 2020/02/21 at 10:04 PM.

  17. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    Since @TTT’s last statements I’m haunted now by thoughts of apocalyptic future where living in a zombie proof bunker and self generated power will be the way of future
    Embrace it! It will be fun they said. (CWL)

    But we all know Zombies cannot be real!!!

    So let me raise you ... What is worse than a fictitious Zombie Apocalypse bunker in real life?
    How about a 100/500/1000 rioting people, the have dealt with the liquors shops already, coming down your street looting everything they pass ... and your house is next?

    So you run into your bunker right, the one with concrete walls and panels ... Safe right?

    Your panels will be gone in minutes ... and have you ever seen a really committed group of people with the right tools taking down a concrete structure, at their leisure?
    Ask the cell companies ... they cannot keep those committed people out of their concrete cell tower bunkers either.

    Sorry, but I just HAD to!!!
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  18. #71
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    The Goodwe is very hard to pass by without serious consideration....and it’s still on my list.

    It seems like all our members are totally ignoring the Solis as per the info below.



    Specifications

    The Solis RHI series is designed for residential hybrid systems, which can work with batteries to optimize self-consumption. The unit can operate in both off- and on-grid modes. The Solis RHI series has three different models: RHI-3K-48ES; RHI-3.6K-48ES; RHI-5K-48ES

    For me anytime comparable with a Goodwe and AFAIK also on the approved list.

    One thing that one must say they cannot work in || on the same installation.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2020/02/21 at 10:35 PM.

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  20. #72
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    The Goodwe is very hard to pass by without serious consideration....and it’s still on my list.
    Back to the subject matter ... please add a Victron kit on that list too?
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  22. #73
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Uys View Post
    .Row 1:
    Incoming power form municipality through the main switch. Then the Earth leakage distributing power to circuit breakers. Here I have most plugs, the stove and oven, pool pump etc. From this row I then feed my hybrid inverter. 5kVA Axpert.

    Row 2:
    Incoming power from the inverter - whether from 220V straight through the inverter, batteries or solar, passing through another main switch and earth leakage. Then all the loads. In case lights, office power (for computers, wifi etc) and now also the fridge and my borehole pump.

    With this setup I can remove a circuit breaker from row one, move it into row 2 and it is immediately on the inverter system.
    Hi Uys,

    I’m intrigued.

    For an earth leakage unit to work correctly the live and the neutral to a circuit must pass through the earth leakage unit feeding that circuit.
    If you reallocate a load circuit (as per your description above ‘remove a circuit breaker from row one, move it into row 2 ....’ ) how do you move that circuit’s neutral connection to the Row 2 neutral bar?
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, you’re missing the point.

  23. #74
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    Back to the subject matter ... please add a Victron kit on that list too?
    Victron seems complicated, I will need to read through a few install threads on power forum before I can understand the system.

  24. #75
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    Default Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    It seems like all our members are totally ignoring the Solis as per the info below.

    The Solis RHI series is designed for residential hybrid systems, which can work with batteries to optimize self-consumption. The unit can operate in both off- and on-grid modes. The Solis RHI series has three different models: RHI-3K-48ES; RHI-3.6K-48ES; RHI-5K-48ES

    For me anytime comparable with a Goodwe and AFAIK also on the approved list.
    Solis is at the top of the list though, I think it’s normal to sway from one choice to other when you are still undecided.
    Due to budget constraints, the Solis/Axpert combo suits me better as I can start off with the Axpert power backup inverter. I have 10 deep cycle batteries that I picked up at an auction, new, wasn’t thinking about power backup at the time....
    Last edited by SchyffS; 2020/02/22 at 01:00 PM.

  25. #76
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    Victron seems complicated, I will need to read through a few install threads on power forum before I can understand the system.
    Victron is great but one needs to study the different units to make sense. Some people would rate them as a bit messy. If one follows those guys that know their stuff they will admit it is a great system.

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  27. #77
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    Victron seems complicated, I will need to read through a few install threads on power forum before I can understand the system.
    Yes, and No.

    Yes, for a new person looking at it comparing it to a all-in-one units like Axpert, Victron Easysolar, it can be "complicated".
    Thing is, in the end, Axpert, Easysolar, Victron LEGO system, they all are made up of the same base components, they ALL becomes "complicated" once in operation.

    So once the penny drops, Victron parts starts making sense, then it is a huge NO.

    And after that penny has dropped, and you start realizing the potential of the LEGO approach, that you can start small and simple and expand over time with data and as funds become available, it starts making a LOT of sense.

    Speak to someone who knows of Victron ... PM me, I will help help you with pleasure to get down to the core you need to understand.

    Because like buying panels / batteries, there are basics fundamental rules that apply across the board for all system, Axpert AND Victron, SMA, GoodWE ... all fundamentally the same rules.

    THAT is where it becomes "complicated", when you try to match your loads to your budget. You need room to move ... Victron gives you that LEGO approach.
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  28. #78
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    Solis is at the top of the list though, I think it’s normal to sway from one choice to other when you are still undecided.
    PLEASE chop and change NOW. Why? It is SO much cheaper now than after you have bought.


    Quote Originally Posted by SchyffS View Post
    Due to budget constraints, the Solis/Axpert combo suits me better as I can start off with the Axpert power backup inverter. I have 10 deep cycle batteries that I picked up at an auction, new, wasn’t thinking about power backup at the time....
    Off the top of my head ...
    You can as easily start with a 3kva Multiplus II as UPS. I THINK the price between a 3kva Victron MPII and a 5kva Axpert, is about the same, maybe a couple of rand more ... just the 5 year warranty makes the price difference a non-starter.

    Solis vs Victron MPPT, about the same price, depending on which MPPT you want first. You can have as many as you want.

    Where Victron gets a little bit more, is the VenusGX - but if you are a DIY'er and understand a RPi, free software.
    But then, on the Axpert, the cost of ICC and a RPi, you need that, about the same as a VenusGX in the end.

    And maybe on the Victorn side, a MK3 cable to program the inverter - yeah, it is nice to have, but get one.

    Both Axpert and Victron need a BMV with lead acids batteries ... trust me on this one. ICC needs it too.

    So with Victron, piece by piece, you can add the LEGO blocks, same as Axpert, till you get where you want to be ... my advice, that would be grid-tied in the end.
    For a Axpert, off-grid, does not save you as much on Eskom, as a grid-tied system does.

    It does become a more attractive option, when you have a Solis and a Axpert combination, I do concede that.

    To make it fair though, you need to dig down into Victron too, to make a proper decision.

    Not many Victron people on forums. Know why?
    Our systems work, SWAMBO is happy and we can relax, Eskom se "moer". :-)
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2020/02/22 at 02:15 PM.
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  30. #79
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Victron product offering is not that hard to understand - just spent a while reading through their different types of offerings.

    Or just read about the Victron MultiPlus-ll units.

    I've just got a Victron MultiPlus-ll 48/3000 GX (one of the first in SA) - it now is a truly all-in-one unit.

    The quality of their products and the completeness of their documentation is really exceptional and makes them a pleasure to have.
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, you’re missing the point.

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  32. #80
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    Default Re: Home solar setup advise

    Here is a very good starting point, what you need to aim for: https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ess:start

    And then there is this trove of absolute salient advice and information, irrespective of make of inverter: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...limited-EN.pdf

    Enjoy!
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