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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    There are many of us legally grid-tied and feeding into the grid.

    This month alone I fed in 145kWh of excess power.
    We're in the process of considering a grid-tie solar solution with li-iron batteries etc. I'd love to earn some return from excess power back into the grid. Can you please explain the process to get grid-tied? and whether it makes a huge difference to your costs etc?

    The alternative is to drop the grid availability entirely, but this seems like an extra R100K option that isn't IMHO warranted.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by garetho View Post
    We're in the process of considering a grid-tie solar solution with li-iron batteries etc. I'd love to earn some return from excess power back into the grid. Can you please explain the process to get grid-tied? and whether it makes a huge difference to your costs etc?
    It depends on the regulations of your utility and these aren't all the same.
    Contact your electricity provider and enquire about grid tie feed back into the grid (SSEG)
    Where are you located?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Hi Everyone

    Been toying with this idea for a while as well.

    If you have a second geyser in series that you heat up during the day you can always use that hot water to heat a room / bathroom with a radiator heater and a geyser circulation pump set on a timer / sonoff.

    Something like this.

    https://leroymerlin.co.za/radiator-p...000mm-81441483

    Water going into the main geyser will also not be heated from supply temp.
    Last edited by Procrates; 2021/05/17 at 10:45 AM.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    There are many of us legally grid-tied and feeding into the grid.
    This month alone I fed in 145kWh of excess power.
    Sounds good... by my understanding Tshwane does not allow this yet. Hopefully I'm wrong and someone can correct me?
    Also, what ratio of selling price vs buying price do you get, Fluffy?
    Make it happen!

    2018 Mobi Lodge

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Toccata (Roelof) View Post
    Sounds good... by my understanding Tshwane does not allow this yet. Hopefully I'm wrong and someone can correct me?
    Also, what ratio of selling price vs buying price do you get, Fluffy?
    It depend on what meter you have installed. I have the old disk meter and push back at the same rate as I buy using Victron Multiplus 2.

    There is talk of all post paid meters being replaced by prepaid, and I have seen some implementation of that. So it's only a question of time, before I will be prevented from pushing back as well. And even if it will be allowed, talk of basic "access" fees as well as very low repayment tariffs, will likely make it unfeasible.

    I am also eagerly looking for alternatives when the day arrive. I found hot water storage the best option for my setup. Implementation is still an issue for me. There is a 3kw module that can communicate via canbus to victron to vary the power output to a geyser depending on the available access power, but at almost R20k, its not worth the investment at this stage. Also, it inverts to ac using alot of my available inverter capacity.

    The main issue with a diy setup is calculating the "excess" power, and diverting it to a geyser element. You likely have to install more than one smaller elements and switch one or both depending on available excess or have some sort of triac, pwm or some sort of device to vary the input voltage or current to the element based on excess power.

    If your solar system is in close proximity to the geyser you can use a dc element, and play with soc, but that will shorten your battery life. This is more efficient, and spare the inverter as well as negating potential capacity issues.

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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Interesting thread, I also try to run everything I can during daylight. In addition I also charge my electric car from it since I started working from home the car is a home during most of the day. A positive spin-off from COVID!

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  9. #27
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    I see crypto mining was already considered ..

    My 2C - Generate hydrogen from electrolysis.....not yet sure how to practically store and use it safely
    Last edited by vlakkie; 2021/05/17 at 09:27 PM.
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  10. #28
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Petri_S View Post
    It depend on what meter you have installed. I have the old disk meter and push back at the same rate as I buy using Victron Multiplus 2.

    There is talk of all post paid meters being replaced by prepaid, and I have seen some implementation of that. So it's only a question of time, before I will be prevented from pushing back as well. And even if it will be allowed, talk of basic "access" fees as well as very low repayment tariffs, will likely make it unfeasible.
    Based on some more research as well as an offline conversation I had today:
    Apparently my old meter is faulty in that it will reverse the wheel spin, but the counter just parks and does not reverse as well. So no luck there. Otherwise I could register with Tshwane (prerequisite), and then do as you mentioned. Newer, non-prepaid meters will not measure reverse. Apparently (I have no official confirmation) a pre-paid meter with reverse will be made available in the future. I have very little interest in getting pre-paid - too many people complain about issues with the system and/or the vendors.
    Make it happen!

    2018 Mobi Lodge

  11. #29
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    CoCT require that you buy a bidirectional meter (R15k?) to determine the power that is exported and consumed.
    This is due to the difference in the credit paid for feeding back into the grid and your consumption.
    I assume the Tshwane utility would require something similar..

  12. #30
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Very interesting thread. I am following closely as I think a "staging" geyser feeding my solar geyser would be a great way to use excess power. The problem as mentioned before however is how to manage/"detect" excess power and divert it to a secondary geyser, without having to spend a whole lot.

    My setup is grid tied, but only to the extend of using eskom as a backup for really bad production days. Nothing is pushed back to the grid. I do run my oven directly from eskom, along with my solar geyser's 2kw backup element which is set to run a few hours through the night to make up for my 3 daughter's bath routine every night. My average daily eskom usage amounts to 2-4 units per day, so not so easy to convince myself to spend more on a gas oven or staging geyser.

    With regards to prepaid meters, I had the unpleasant experience back in 2012 whilst living in Roodepoort before moving to P-Town of getting an electric bill in excess of R270 000. The expert meter reader didn't see the . on the digital meter's display. After spending the better part of a year trying to get the problem resolved and having spent close to R10k on "experts" who could help solve the problem, the account was finally rectified. I would however stay as far away from any form of government post bill system as possible after that experience. I was just one of many residence in the greater Jhb metro at the time in the same predicament. The official council response at the time was: pay the full amount, and we'll look into it...

    Since moving to P-Town at the end of 2012, I've had prepaid electricity, and it's the best thing ever. I've been "grid-independent" for almost a year now, and the prepaid "backup" is still the way to go for me.
    One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain...

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  14. #31
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Interesting thread! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would have this “problem”!

    Recently at home I installed a 8.5 kW grid-tied system, without battery, but with export meter. In Victoria Aus I am allowed to export to the grid, but this is limited to 5kW. Rooftop solar is huge in Aus, with about 20% of households country wide with a system.

    I will have to change my appliance usage patterns to match the new abundance of electricity during the day… There will be some excess during the sunnier summer months, so I am keeping an eye on this thread for more ideas.
    Last edited by boerbok; 2021/05/20 at 09:28 AM.
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  15. #32
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    There are many of us legally grid-tied and feeding into the grid.

    This month alone I fed in 145kWh of excess power.
    Thanks for this.
    Please share the arrangement that you have with the utility and any of the details of how the export power is measured.
    Last edited by Richard Mackay; 2021/05/21 at 08:53 AM.

  16. #33
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Richard, likely you will have to ask closer to home. Gauteng and KZN rules may be quite different.
    Make it happen!

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  17. #34
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Perhaps but the information is so scarce that any feedback on the subject is more than welcome..

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  19. #35
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Mackay View Post
    Perhaps but the information is so scarce that any feedback on the subject is more than welcome..
    Pun intended?
    Nico Swart

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  20. #36
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Almost all the people I know with grid tie in Pta just feed back through mechanical meters with no municipal arrangements.

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  22. #37
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    In all honesty, I have tried to do this with my mechanical meter but no success.

    Know exactly where and how to set the inverter to do this, but that disc on the mechanical meters refuse to turn back.

    This leads me to believe that there is some sort of mechanism or gadget in the unit that prohibits this.

    Otherwise I also would've done it.

    At least my inverter is on the NRS approved list and all is legal with my installation.
    Nico Swart

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    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  23. #38
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    In all honesty, I have tried to do this with my mechanical meter but no success.

    Know exactly where and how to set the inverter to do this, but that disc on the mechanical meters refuse to turn back.

    This leads me to believe that there is some sort of mechanism or gadget in the unit that prohibits this.

    Otherwise I also would've done it.

    At least my inverter is on the NRS approved list and all is legal with my installation.
    When a meter is designed to prevent turning back you will not easily modify it to do so. I have my munic meter that can turn back without the CT clamp. I also have 2 meters one is over 40 years old and the 2nd one I picked up at a scrap yard and both turn back. One needs to look at the makes and models to know which can. Sangamo Weston S200 does. Also some GEC Measurements which is a local made meter of 20 years ago.

  24. #39
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    When a meter is designed to prevent turning back you will not easily modify it to do so. I have my munic meter that can turn back without the CT clamp. I also have 2 meters one is over 40 years old and the 2nd one I picked up at a scrap yard and both turn back. One needs to look at the makes and models to know which can. Sangamo Weston S200 does. Also some GEC Measurements which is a local made meter of 20 years ago.
    Interesting. I'll go take a look to see if I can see what make and model mine is.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
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    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  25. #40
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    Default Re: Avoiding solar power throwaway

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Mackay View Post
    Perhaps but the information is so scarce that any feedback on the subject is more than welcome..
    I asked on my area's whatsapp group, and a solar guy was quick to respond. Maybe similar on your side will help? Whatsapp/telegram/facebook, whatever you have available.
    Make it happen!

    2018 Mobi Lodge

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