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  1. #81
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Wow wat n topic ek gaan vir my en die vrou n 5kv system laat insit my keyser en stoof gaan ek verander na gas as verhitting medium ek vertrou die 5kv sal die ding doen vir ons ek begin spaar die son gee krag moeg vir Eskom

  2. #82
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    My old house has a 5Kv solar system and solar geyser. I only used 10 Eskom kw's from 09/02/2021 - 18/02/2021 with the house standing most of the time unoccupied (Electric fencing, bathroom light 24/7 and 8 camera CCTV system with TV running. House cleaning done twice. So the Solar system did not handle required load thus indicating sunlight time was an issue.

    At the new house i will be going with a R130000 5Kv Solar hybrid system with 2 x 2.4Kw Lithium batteries and Gas stove and Geyser.
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  4. #83
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Predator View Post
    My old house has a 5Kv solar system and solar geyser. I only used 10 Eskom kw's from 09/02/2021 - 18/02/2021 with the house standing most of the time unoccupied (Electric fencing, bathroom light 24/7 and 8 camera CCTV system with TV running. House cleaning done twice. So the Solar system did not handle required load thus indicating sunlight time was an issue.

    At the new house i will be going with a R130000 5Kv Solar hybrid system with 2 x 2.4Kw Lithium batteries and Gas stove and Geyser.
    I am a huge fan of the hybrid systems. Problem was, I was stupid buying the axpert, not really knowing what I was buying until Oom Fluffy advised us all on this forum that it was a glorified UPS. It actually did fine for quiet a few years, as a UPS, but when i added panels, I discovered its shortcoming quite smartly.

    I now have 8KVA Deye and I am really happy with it. Almost my whole house is now wired as essential loads, and just the geysers and ovens are non-essential.

    My main issue was not understanding the limitations of the axpert and how much dosh you can save with a proper hybrid system.

    Good luck with your new setup.

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  6. #84
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I am a huge fan of the hybrid systems. Problem was, I was stupid buying the axpert, not really knowing what I was buying until Oom Fluffy advised us all on this forum that it was a glorified UPS. It actually did fine for quiet a few years, as a UPS, but when i added panels, I discovered its shortcoming quite smartly.

    I now have 8KVA Deye and I am really happy with it. Almost my whole house is now wired as essential loads, and just the geysers and ovens are non-essential.

    My main issue was not understanding the limitations of the axpert and how much dosh you can save with a proper hybrid system.

    Good luck with your new setup.
    My Axpert UPS does all of that including the geyser, oven, bore hole, whatever runs on electricity runs from it.

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  8. #85
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    My Axpert UPS does all of that including the geyser, oven, bore hole, whatever runs on electricity runs from it.
    Fanie I think with solar systems it All comes down to how you configure the system and what you install. With your system where the whole house runs on the Axpert and you use the grid only as a back up via transfer switch proves my point.
    In a similar fashion my grid tied saves 50% of my grid cost for below R20 000. There are so many ways to kill a cat.

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  10. #86
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    My wife has just told me that my scullery is not running on the "essential loads."

    I shall have to mend this as I have more than enough power to run dishwasher and dryer together so shall have the sparky make a few changes when he comes to the do some COC work.

    Apart from that, I remain very happy that things are largely unchanged without eskom power, but this needs to be fixed asap.

  11. #87
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    My wife has just told me that my scullery is not running on the "essential loads."

    I shall have to mend this as I have more than enough power to run dishwasher and dryer together so shall have the sparky make a few changes when he comes to the do some COC work.

    Apart from that, I remain very happy that things are largely unchanged without eskom power, but this needs to be fixed asap.
    Be careful with this.

    The problem if almost everything is wired on essential loads, then your inverter will keep powering them until you run your battery into the ground. Now on a normal sunny day this is not a problem.

    The problem comes with overcast and rainy days and obviously at night. Or when the grid is off for extended periods when you yourself are not there.

    I'm not saying it cannot or should not be done. I'm saying, you will need to educate your family members on this as it will require you having to constantly monitor the battery levels, and switch of what needs to be switched off when the load becomes too much.

    I have everything on essential loads save for the oven, geyser, tumble dryer and dishwasher. The family knows that these are only to be used on sunny days, or after 17h00 in the afternoon when we run on grid power for 4 hours to keep the batteries full for whatever happens during the night.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2021/03/11 at 01:20 PM.
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  12. #88
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Also, one has to consider how well the next owner of your house will manage the system and how everything was wired.

    Maybe a good thing to draft a small explanatory instruction manual with do's and don'ts in terms of how same was wired.

    I haven't thought of this before but luckily my house's power can be very easily reset to factory settings should I move one day and decide to remove my inverter also.
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  13. #89
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Be careful with this.

    The problem if almost everything is wired on essential loads, then your inverter will keep powering them until you run your battery into the ground. Now on a normal sunny day this is not a problem.

    The problem comes with overcast and rainy days and obviously at night. Or when the grid is off for extended periods when you yourself are not there.

    I'm not saying it cannot or should not be done. I'm saying, you will need to educate your family members on this as it will require you having to constantly monitor the battery levels, and switch of what needs to be switched off when the load becomes too much.

    I have everything on essential loads save for the oven, geyser, tumble dryer and dishwasher. The family knows that these are only to be used on sunny days, or after 17h00 in the afternoon when we run on grid power for 4 hours to keep the batteries full for whatever happens during the night.
    This is a good point, and I have considered this. I think overall you need a smarter control strategy than is available from the current market. You really need a proper programable device in the loop that can switch things in and out based on your own algorithm and how you want it to function, but this means you must have matric in software and also enough electrical engineering under your belt to know what you are up to.

    I was quite pissed on the weekend that I could not run any appliances while I had around 8kW being generated with no where to go as eskom was off.

    I have however drilled into the clan the fact that they cannot run things that are big consumers while the mains is off. Either that or more batteries, but I am not convinced of the economics of that argument.

  14. #90
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    It all depends on what your aim was in going solar. To save electricity costs, or to have independent power supply, or anywhere in between, in which case its a compromise where one will either have to spend too much, or not have enough backup for the outages.

    Then the additions/mods begin, a bit more panel, a bit more battery, and soon one forget what the initial aim was.

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  16. #91
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I was quite pissed on the weekend that I could not run any appliances while I had around 8kW being generated with no where to go as eskom was off. .
    May be I miss your point. If you run in mode 4 you CAN run your appliances = plugs and lights from your 8kW solar when the grid is off. The 230V output on the far right should be the always on loads from Battery and solar.

    May be the configuration needs a tweak or 2.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2021/03/15 at 08:12 PM.

  17. #92
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    May be I miss your point. If you run in mode 4 you CAN run your appliances = plugs and lights from your 8kW solar when the grid is off. The 230V output on the far right should be the always on loads from Battery and solar.

    May be the configuration needs a tweak or 2.
    For Victron setups like he has:

    All consumers that are wired as non essential loads, can not be operated when the grid is down. Not from batteries, not from solar.

    That's what he means and he refers to the heavy consumers.

    If the batteries and solar capacities are enough, then sure one can wire all loads as essential loads. But hence the caution I alerted to. If the grid is down, your inverter will keep powering all that is wired as an essential load and kill your batteries if you are not there to switch off what is not necessary, or if the rest of the family is not aware of what is going on.

    The Victrons has to 2 AC outputs.

    AC1 - everything that must always have power.
    AC2 - appliances that only gets power (from solar, batteries and the remainder from the grid) while the grid is up (heavy consumers) If the grid falls away, those cant be operated.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2021/03/16 at 01:47 PM.
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  18. #93
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    This is a good point, and I have considered this. I think overall you need a smarter control strategy than is available from the current market. You really need a proper programable device in the loop that can switch things in and out based on your own algorithm and how you want it to function, but this means you must have matric in software and also enough electrical engineering under your belt to know what you are up to.

    I was quite pissed on the weekend that I could not run any appliances while I had around 8kW being generated with no where to go as eskom was off.

    I have however drilled into the clan the fact that they cannot run things that are big consumers while the mains is off. Either that or more batteries, but I am not convinced of the economics of that argument.
    Agree wholeheartedly with this!

    There are ways and means to do some of this with Victron (although it is still far from perfect), but I have not had a need for it yet. Its called cronjobs.

    TTT has this in place in his setup but yes, it involves programming of sorts.
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  19. #94
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    On a side note, I have it from a reputable source that in the very near future, Victron owners will be able to do firmware updates to the equipment via internet as well.

    Currently it is only normal software updates that we receive and install via the app.

    So currently you have to get a technician out to program your inverter or do so yourself with programming cable etc and fork out some dough for this. Soon, it will be a thing of the past.

    Exciting times.
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  21. #95
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    On a side note, I have it from a reputable source that in the very near future, Victron owners will be able to do firmware updates to the equipment via internet as well.
    I'm already testing it. :-)
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  23. #96
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    I'm already testing it. :-)
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  24. #97
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    It all depends on what your aim was in going solar. To save electricity costs, or to have independent power supply, or anywhere in between, in which case its a compromise where one will either have to spend too much, or not have enough backup for the outages.

    Then the additions/mods begin, a bit more panel, a bit more battery, and soon one forget what the initial aim was.
    I was just chatting to a chap in Dbn yesterday about installing a small system in our place in hillcrest and he was saying something along the same lines. He said if you want to save money on electricity, then a grid tied inverter is the way to go and you can do ROI calculations and everything it great.

    As soon as you add batteries to the system, you are making a lifestyle choice and the ROI calculation goes out the window unless you are willing to put a number on "comfort" so I think you are right. I think Fluffy has been going on about this a lot as well as, he keeps saying that Eskom remains the cheapest option compared with using batteries as storage.

  25. #98
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I was just chatting to a chap in Dbn yesterday about installing a small system in our place in hillcrest and he was saying something along the same lines. He said if you want to save money on electricity, then a grid tied inverter is the way to go and you can do ROI calculations and everything it great.

    As soon as you add batteries to the system, you are making a lifestyle choice and the ROI calculation goes out the window unless you are willing to put a number on "comfort" so I think you are right. I think Fluffy has been going on about this a lot as well as, he keeps saying that Eskom remains the cheapest option compared with using batteries as storage.
    Thus is very true.

    I have both types installed
    - Backup battery system for the house.
    - Grid tie for the factory.

    The grid tie wins by miles in saving but the backup wins by comfort.
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  26. #99
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohanMaree View Post
    Thus is very true.

    I have both types installed
    - Backup battery system for the house.
    - Grid tie for the factory.

    The grid tie wins by miles in saving but the backup wins by comfort.
    I also have both. While one saves with the grid tied part of this saving from the grid tied can be used to charge the battery for the comfort during LS.

  27. #100
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    Default Re: How are all you Vaalies who are off grid doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    I also have both. While one saves with the grid tied part of this saving from the grid tied can be used to charge the battery for the comfort during LS.
    We all know the biggest difference between:
    A UPS + Grid Tied Inverter which has panels and no batteries, when the inverter disconnects from the grid, any potential power from the panels are therefor null and void.

    VS

    A Hybrid Grid Tied Inverter which has panels and batteries will keep on using all the potential panel power to power the loads and/or recharge the batteries, during LS events.

    Now a little tibit that is overlooked, not mentioned often enough on these threads ...

    Next level up: Because one has bought batteries for LS events that occur in the evenings / bad weather days, it does not have to stop there.
    Between periods of no LS a Hybrid Grid Tied inverter will continue to supply ones house at night, thereby further reducing ones Eskom bill, by using the power stored in the batteries, only recharging them the next day using solar power only.

    It all boils down to ones NEEDS and best ROI options from having spent monies on batteries.
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