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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by jakalswillemse View Post
    Please note, I picked up a problem in Montagu, the 3,5kW limit applies to the Inverter size, my inverter is 5kW. I have to install a dedicated cable from transformer to my house. Another R30 000.
    Could you not just limit the size of the PV array to 3.5kW?

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by jakalswillemse View Post
    Please note, I picked up a problem in Montagu, the 3,5kW limit applies to the Inverter size, my inverter is 5kW. I have to install a dedicated cable from transformer to my house. Another R30 000.
    Eina!!!

    If they follow CoCT, the inverter you have is on the NRS list, then theoretically they should accept an array of 3.5kw on a 5kva inverter.

    GoodWE users in Cpt had a engineer calculate the max their 4.5kw arrays could generate, taking all the factors into consideration.

    Unless spending that 30k is in your interest.


    For the rest of the thread followers. For this particular warning, I did a quick Google search for "Langeberg Municipality SSEG":

    https://www.langeberg.gov.za/irrigat...ded-generation

    https://www.langeberg.gov.za/langebe...llation-3/file

    Interesting, and I may read it wrong, but it seems that one must get a bi-directional meter (at your costs) in Langeberg Municipality.
    VS CoCT having the option of getting a PAYG meter (ITron) if you don't want to feed back at all.

    Feeding back is complicated ito net metering as the law does not accommodate selling electricity today.
    CoCT busy with the court case as we speak.


    Anyone wanting or already having panels on their roofs, Google your local SSEG regulations.
    In CoCT one must register, either as Grid-Tied (using only NRS certified inverters) OR Off-Grid (using any inverter you want), if you have PV panels on the roof.

    Just Google your local regs. It can save you unforeseen costs later, even avert a forced removal of the system with a fine, like the municipal regulations allow for in CoCT.

    And re. Eskom. Far as I know, and it could be outdated info by now, if you buy direct from Eskom, note that they did not accommodate grid tying last I checked.
    Political Correctness
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  3. #83
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Here are two graphs, to demonstrate what I do.
    Could not do it this as easy or as good with lead acid bank ever because lithiums 1) are charging at 60amps and 2) they don't have an absorption time.

    Under pressure, I can recharge the lithium bank in just over and hour from a DOD of 50% ... the lead acids took about +-6-8 hours from a DOD of 20%.

    Array is 3.5kw, it is sunny today and cold.
    I need about 2.5kw in winter from the array. Summer I get +-3.2 - 3.3kw with spikes reaching 4.25kw due to cloud effect and cool days.

    I can add more panels, min 5 x 350w with the resultant costs of the mounting?
    So now the question begs?
    Will I really get the ROI on that additional expense?
    And is it a WANT or a NEED?
    That is the question I need to answer.

    So I'm playing with when to switch the geysers on, to get this beautiful graph i.e. ALL the panels can give is drawn, surplus needed drawn from the batteries, with enough time during the day to have them at least 95% by 4pm for evening use.

    At 11h00 - 13h00 geyser 1 goes on - on top of general loads.
    At 13h30 - 15h30 geyser 2 goes on - on top of general loads.
    Before 11am is general loads and recharge batteries.
    After 15h30 general loads and recharge batteries.
    Run off batteries from, at 500w draw (limiting the inverter) each night too.

    This is how one sits with the data over time, as winter and summer differs, and see how much you can optimize the system, as affordable as possible.
    And it obviously differs when there are days of rain, clouds, you adjust those days individually.
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    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2020/06/15 at 02:47 PM.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  5. #84
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    The only thing I can find for Tshwane is a bidirectional [email protected] and selling back at 10c/unit. Nothing about approved inverters, and currently nothing yet enforced, so everybody just grid tie.

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    The only thing I can find for Tshwane is a bidirectional [email protected] and selling back at 10c/unit. Nothing about approved inverters, and currently nothing yet enforced, so everybody just grid tie.
    Exactly, so fcuk Tshwane, do your own thing as long as it is safe.
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  7. #86
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    The only thing I can find for Tshwane is a bidirectional [email protected] and selling back at 10c/unit. Nothing about approved inverters, and currently nothing yet enforced, so everybody just grid tie.
    Geez, since 23 May 2019, Tshwane has still not progressed further than this ito SSEG applications!

    http://1greenplanet.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Tshwane-SSEG-Application-Form-Nov-2017-V4.docx

    http://www.tshwane.gov.za/PublicPart...0procedure.pdf

    https://www.salga.org.za/SALGA%20Ene...Generation.pdf

    That after it was reported that Tshwane could become SA's solar capital

    And Tshwane to ‘buy back’ electricity with new solar power programme

    Must have fallen apart when DA and EFF started arguing.
    Political Correctness
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    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    Nothing about approved inverters ...
    It is wise to follow the NRS 097-2-1 and SANS, I think, 2020, release of the newest SSEG regulations.

    A list of approved inverters in SA with a current NRS certification, compiled with compliment of CoCT: TYPE TESTED INVERTERS/EQUIPMENT IN TERMS OF NRS 097-2-1

    That list used to be 7/8 pages long ...
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  10. #88
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    Another thing that happens after a while on solar.
    When you start keeping an eye on your data, there is this thing that happens ... you start getting "panicky/over zealous/have to have" that part/more inverter/more batteries - read have to spend more monies because of a "perceived" problem/NEED or a WANT.

    Not the case when one install all smaller to first "feel/walk the talk/slowly expand", no ... BUT ... it CAN also happen there so be wise!


    I've been caught myself many a time late at night so I'm very cautious now on using my kbd and CC when I see new things becoming available on the internet for solar.
    "Sitting on my hands drooling over the kbd" as they say.

    Like right now I have a brand new BMS, it works, but now I want data.
    So looking at the ones that interfaces, that gives the data, the control ... and they cost the price of a kidney.
    Do I NEED it or WANT it?
    How long will the BMS last?

    The good thing is that in the chat with Gerlach, this question came about:
    Does the BMS do the work or does it pass the work back to the system, i.e. BMS does not cut the discharge/charge, it passes that work back to the inverter.
    So the BMS is simpler in design so it should last longer, cheaper like half a kidney, than having to deal with the charge/discharge amps all the time.
    Sometimes good things do come from just looking. :-)
    Jip, I'm the guilty one that's making TTT spending money, keeping his hands busy. 😁😁😁 and there is more other guys to. Fun to see someone system working and working good. Same this side. Solar is like a hobby for me now and helping other and friends. Fun to have guys in the same game.

    Data is one of the key things where you know where you can make your system better and perform better. Technology is becoming more advance and more easy to do things and shearing info between everyone to help understanding.

    One of the best stuff that i did to my system to is to upgrade to Lifepo4s sells. The rate that the charge was insane and the way they supply power and how long. Month later a bought a second set 16 sells.

    This help shifting time of loads dearing the day. I'm doing the same thing like TTT running deferent loads dearing the day. I'm busy installing stuff in my house where i can have controller. Wish 3 years ago I took the wifi controlled dishwasher .

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  12. #89
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    I am also currently looking at implementing solar and was very interested when I saw this thread this morning in the 4x4 newsletter.
    A word of thanks to especially TTT for time spent on giving out good advice for free ... "gee daai man 'n Bells".

    I currently have an Axpert 3Kva 24V on 2x 200Ahs'; purely for backup on critical items - no panels. It has served it's purpose well for the year it's been in service thusfar, but recently it fell over after 5 hrs when we had a munic maintenance issue here in East London. Naturally I'm a little p'd off and now realise that I need to improve somewhat on my batteries (say, 2x 2.4Kw Lithium Ion's) and also get a few panels to at least serve as my "daytime battery" [and of course also a new inverter].

    I'm still waiting for the first quote to come in, and have one question for now:- This (1st quote) is apparently going to be on a high voltage system - not 48V. I can't remember now whether it was 96V or higher - will probably only know tomorrow for sure. I do remember from the rep that the arrays has to be either in 10 x 330V panels; or else x20 panels. But, when I Googled, 48V seems to be the standard. I also remember the LiIon battery will apparently be a Freedom, I think a 6Kwh.

    Any comment / recommendations wrt these "high voltage" systems?

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  14. #90
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by plcomp View Post
    Any comment / recommendations wrt these "high voltage" systems?
    Only a pleasure PLComp. Only a pleasure.

    48v is normally the battery side of things.
    From panels to MPPT can be volts up to MPPT's that can go high volts, like 400v or 600v. But it still takes it down to 48v for the batteries.

    There are also higher volt battery banks like i.e. a PowerWall from Tesla. But that is when you buy into a brand and stick to it for "life" as you can never make a move ever to install/connect non propriety equipment or batteries onto them.

    Freedom Won is awesome ... and it comes at a awesome price for being so awesome.
    But they do work, highly regarded and I believe exceptional quality and after sales support.
    Off the cuff, there are also Revov, BlueNova and Pylontech.

    If you are not a DIY'er, like stuff to just work, match the lithium bank with what the inverter supports.

    Me and Gerlach, we are DIY'ers who push the envelope because it is there with our non-standard lithiums banks and BMS'es.
    Our equipment can handle it.

    In your case, you can keep your Axpert for example and get lithium cells and a BMS like Gerlach and I did for a fraction of the price of what you are starting to look at.

    Your older batteries may have taken some strain, that is why they did not last +-2-5 years. A BMV would have helped with them lead acid banks.

    If you do follow Gerlach and my suggestions on lithium cells, me, I would strongly recommend a BMV as part of the purchase. You don't want to drain lithium batteries to their limits, yes you can, but you can lose a hell of a lot of cycles in the long run.
    Political Correctness
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    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
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  16. #91
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Tx TTT. Yep; I'm not a DIY'er, I'll just have to pay up [but don't want to be silly either]. Sadly, the cell DIY route seems out of my reach, unless of course you or Gerlach can pay me a visit

    I'll probably replace the Axpert, since I should get the same as what I've paid [bought mine from Rectron just before the prices went silly]. And the 2x 200Ah's I can deploy elsewhere, increasing capacity on existing gate systems.

    I like your "minimalist" approach: (a) Off grid = silly in cities (b) let the panels take care of the bulk and the grid take the strain on peaks (c) spec system according to average not peaks (paraphrased) etc. On another forum [far less likely to have threads on solar advice LOL] one contributor remarked:-
    "Dis eerder dat elegante minimale, selfs passiewe, oplossings 'n besonderse bevrediging meebring". But I think this is also a DIY'er; or at least a lot more "hands on" than myself. The point is:- Your advice seems to fall exactly between that complete DIY'er. and someone_like_myself ... while at the same time being minimalist (on overkill) and maximising (on ROI).

    I've requested x2 quotes and will bounce them off this forum [I'll be careful with posting prices of course]. Many thanks again thusfar!

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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by plcomp View Post
    ... unless of course you or Gerlach can pay me a visit
    Bit tough in EL from Cpt.

    But yes we can help with advice and how to do it. It is not THAT complicated and we took the plunge already.

    It is kind of "plug and play" now for the next people who want to, Gerlach having helped me, me now paying it forward.

    Maybe I must post some pictures here later this morning ... that all can see how simple it actually is to put together ones own lithium bank.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  19. #93
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Thanks TTT for other DIY'ers most certainly that info [how to assemble your own Lithium Ion battery] will be extremely useful. But TBH I won't have the self confidence to do that; as well as peace of mind that a COC signed off system would bring.
    However, while I'm waiting for my electrician to take some measurements, I've used my prepaid balance to calc my average usage. It seems that [w/out pumps/aircons] my avg hourly consumption is below 1Kw/h [probably (but must do further tests) around 0.8Kw/h max so it seems really silly to spec a [email protected]&rs& system around aircons and pool pumps which in my case [EL's weather actually relatively moderate throughout the year] will probably be used not even 50% of the year ... [proving your point!]
    Last edited by plcomp; 2020/06/16 at 07:30 AM.

  20. #94
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by plcomp View Post
    Thanks TTT for other DIY'ers most certainly that info [how to assemble your own Lithium Ion battery] will be extremely useful. But TBH I won't have the self confidence to do that; as well as peace of mind that a COC signed off system would bring.
    However, while I'm waiting for my electrician to take some measurements, I've used my prepaid balance to calc my average usage. It seems that [w/out pumps/aircons] my avg hourly consumption is below 1Kw/h [probably (but must do further tests) around 0.8Kw/h max so it seems really silly to spec a [email protected]&rs& system around aircons and pool pumps which in my case [EL's weather actually relatively moderate throughout the year] will probably be used not even 50% of the year ... [proving your point!]
    YES!!! The penny dropped for another person.
    On that point: Start smaller leaving the option open for enlarging the system with ease IF the data you start harvesting, tells you to do so.

    If your sparkie is AC/DC qualified to give a CoC, you cannot ask for saner.
    And you could consider asking your sparkie if he can put the batt together for you?


    What I found, having replaced the 4kw geyser elements with 2kw, was that when heating they geysers, on timers, that my sweet spot is 2.5kw during geyser heating times.
    Rest of the time it is like +-500w - as cooking time evenings is back on Eskom.

    If yours is a similar profile, and you can install the inverter in a cool place, and you where a Victron fan, I would have suggested looking at a 3kva Multiplus II system.
    With a starting array of 2kw - with the option to expand such IF you see that in winter you are not covering the base loads.

    My array is 3.5kw and so far I'm as close as damn covering the loads in Cpt winter, in summer I already know I have spare.
    Am using a 5lkva because of temp derating in summer, because of the max of 2.4kw on the MPII 3kva, became 1.8kw in my case, temp being the issue where it is installed.
    5kva is much higher.


    Here is what a lithium batt looks:
    1) You order those connectors with your batteries. The bolts, rather get stainless steel ones.
    2) Connect all those little red wires to each positive pole of each battery. They all tie back to a connector which plugs into the back of the BMS.
    3) That is the Daly BMS that one orders with the batteries. There are a legion of BMS today out there. Some cost the price of a kidney.
    4) BMS connects to the negative pole.
    5) Inverter negative connects to the other connector on the BMS.
    6) Inverter positive connection on the bank.
    That's that.
    Now get a nice rack/cabinet - Done!

    Different BMS'es have different ways of connecting but this is the core of a lithium bank, each positive pole is measured and balanced, the BMS itself protecting the cells overall.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  22. #95
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Here is a bit of over view of mine. 16S setup for 48v system. TTT covered all the info around building the setup. Really important thing, use stainless bolts because the machining work is way better on this stuff.

    Built my own rack to stack batteries and used enclosure from ACDC. Bms I'm using is a ANT+ Smart bms that give info what the batteries doing and control them.
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Here some photos of the part where the bms give info. They guys on the lithium/lifepo4 forums went so advance where they even can get data from the BMS via Raspberry Pi and expert it to Grafana. This way you can even keep better track of what your systems is doing. I still need to tackle this part to add it into my system.
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    A question for the clever oaks since we are all here to learn.

    Specifically with lithium batteries which comes in all shapes and sizes, I notice some guys will go with separate batteries rather than a single big battery for their system, for example they will go for 4x 12V 100Ah batteries rather than going for a single 48V 100Ah battery. Apart from cost which can be a factor, are their any good reasons for doing this? I would think a single battery means less cabling, less fuses, less complex interconnections, less to go wrong?
    It's in pubs where the world's greatest ideas begin.

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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    A question for the clever oaks since we are all here to learn.

    Specifically with lithium batteries which comes in all shapes and sizes, I notice some guys will go with separate batteries rather than a single big battery for their system, for example they will go for 4x 12V 100Ah batteries rather than going for a single 48V 100Ah battery. Apart from cost which can be a factor, are their any good reasons for doing this? I would think a single battery means less cabling, less fuses, less complex interconnections, less to go wrong?
    There some solar shops/installers that selling this sort of setups where they selling 12v 200ah lifepo4 batteries where they connect them together to make up 48v setup. Let me tell, if you want /#*@^#&÷_×¥×$ for days and month's with problems, then go for this stuff. I know of 3 setups where installed with 4s2p setups. Month later system not working. Because all they stuff is going out of sink because the battery next to the other one isn't knowing what the other one is doing. They steel each other charge and bad stuff happens. We check the batteries and found even one close to 19v and the other 11v. We opened one and the pouch sells was swelled up inside because of over charge.

    Especially this Chinese ones. They got this pouch sells inside with a bms. I added a photo that you can see how it looks like inside. My one DIY friend try to see if he can save a set of his friend after a month. Installer was inform to come replace the ^#*@¥×_÷¥@*.

    BlueNova is the only unit I know of that you can connect there 12v units in serie because they got a plug system that you connect to the batteries and they communicate with each other BMS's. The new ones got Bluetooth connections now.
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  27. #99
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerlach View Post
    There some solar shops/installers that selling this sort of setups where they selling 12v 200ah lifepo4 batteries where they connect them together to make up 48v setup. Let me tell, if you want /#*@^#&÷_×¥×$ for days and month's with problems, then go for this stuff. I know of 3 setups where installed with 4s2p setups. Month later system not working. Because all they stuff is going out of sink because the battery next to the other one isn't knowing what the other one is doing. They steel each other charge and bad stuff happens. We check the batteries and found even one close to 19v and the other 11v. We opened one and the pouch sells was swelled up inside because of over charge.

    Especially this Chinese ones. They got this pouch sells inside with a bms. I added a photo that you can see how it looks like inside. My one DIY friend try to see if he can save a set of his friend after a month. Installer was inform to come replace the ^#*@¥×_÷¥@*.

    BlueNova is the only unit I know of that you can connect there 12v units in serie because they got a plug system that you connect to the batteries and they communicate with each other BMS's. The new ones got Bluetooth connections now.

    Ok interesting, so it seams as with everything it comes down to how the things are built. Yes I know with Blue Nova you connect the batteries together via the can.bus port, then the first batteries BMS takes over all the other batteries so that your entire bank essentially gets managed by a single BMS.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2020/06/16 at 04:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Solar System for Home ( yet another :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    A question for the clever oaks since we are all here to learn.

    Specifically with lithium batteries which comes in all shapes and sizes, I notice some guys will go with separate batteries rather than a single big battery for their system, for example they will go for 4x 12V 100Ah batteries rather than going for a single 48V 100Ah battery. Apart from cost which can be a factor, are their any good reasons for doing this? I would think a single battery means less cabling, less fuses, less complex interconnections, less to go wrong?
    I found the AH cost of the cells are more or less similar. What sets the pricing apart is the BMS make and model used - and the casings.

    Connectng cells parallel depends on the BMS/design of the system i.e. it is allowed or not, as you rightfully concluded.
    Some manufacturers clearly state NO parallel connections.


    A interesting debate Gerlach and I had was about keeping the cells tightly together or slightly apart.
    Being apart allows for better ventilation and lower overall bank temperature.
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