Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    51
    Posts
    442
    Thanked: 225

    Default Load shedding buster

    The load shedding in March this year made me decide I had to have a solution to keep some lights on and my PC running. Candles weren't cutting it anymore

    So motivated by load shedding and inspired by the many forum contributors and the amazing DIY builds people have come up with, I started researching electrickery and home battery systems.
    Eventually I decided to go the lithium route and build my own DIY solution.

    When I saw this post here by StephanF who built a powerstation in an old PC, I thought 'I've got an old PC, a few actually. I want to do that.'

    I used the gutted shell of the first PC I ever bought. My cat eventually peed in it leading to its demise (the PC, not the cat ).
    The black splotches are where it rusted. My drill with a wire brush got rid of most of the rust, then I painted with rust remover and primer.

    The many posts I read here and elsewhere convinced me Victron and lithium were a good way to go. Will Prowse has also been a great source of ideas and inspiration.
    The main components are a Victron Phoenix 1200W inverter, Victron IP22 15A / 30A charger and Blue Nova 108Ah battery. All have bluetooth which is very handy.
    I also added some 12V sockets and a led light strip.

    This was a huge learning experience, great fun to do and it works most excellently.
    I can now run my PC, screen, speakers, 2 routers and a lamp, charge cell phone and laptop and it uses +- 10A / hour.
    If I add my kitchen fridge it spikes to about 27A / hour then settles at +- 20A / hour.

    Quite rough, still WIP, anyway here are some pics of my pc chassis powerstation:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1141.jpg 
Views:	471 
Size:	205.3 KB 
ID:	620396   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1143.jpg 
Views:	489 
Size:	204.8 KB 
ID:	620397   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1149.jpg 
Views:	465 
Size:	252.3 KB 
ID:	620401   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1150.jpg 
Views:	438 
Size:	256.6 KB 
ID:	620402   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1152.jpg 
Views:	426 
Size:	284.9 KB 
ID:	620404   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1153.jpg 
Views:	416 
Size:	308.5 KB 
ID:	620405   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1145.jpg 
Views:	421 
Size:	254.0 KB 
ID:	620406   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1147.jpg 
Views:	385 
Size:	206.3 KB 
ID:	620407  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1148.jpg 
Views:	387 
Size:	281.0 KB 
ID:	620408   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1151.jpg 
Views:	351 
Size:	313.0 KB 
ID:	620409   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1199.jpg 
Views:	357 
Size:	292.1 KB 
ID:	620413   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1200.jpg 
Views:	344 
Size:	270.3 KB 
ID:	620414   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1202.jpg 
Views:	356 
Size:	281.3 KB 
ID:	620415   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1205.jpg 
Views:	329 
Size:	233.1 KB 
ID:	620416   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1203_0.jpg 
Views:	319 
Size:	368.7 KB 
ID:	620417  
    Last edited by slodj; 2021/06/24 at 07:01 PM.
    Stuart

    2006 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 4.7L V8

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to slodj For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    66
    Posts
    79
    Thanked: 47

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    How do you move load from eskom to inverter when there is loadshedding?

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Jonatan For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    51
    Posts
    442
    Thanked: 225

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonatan View Post
    How do you move load from eskom to inverter when there is loadshedding?
    Manually. All the loads above, besides the fridge, are on one adapter. I shut down pc, switch off speakers and screen, unplug from mains and plug into inverter.
    If you look at the 4th last pic there's the red plug of the adapter and white plug of the extension to the fridge, plugged into the adapter from the inverter. And the lamp cable. Photo was just after shedding ended.

    For auto-changeover from mains to battery I've looked at the filax2, seems rather pricy so I'll skip for now. I also need to do way more research on this, how to do it safely etc

    I could use the power supply mode of the charger, and have my loads permanently connected to the inverter, but then the charger and the inverter would be running all the time,
    which I don't need. This would also waste power due to losses in the charger and inverter.

    Ideally I'd like two bigger batteries in parallel, mppt charger and panels. Then my afore-mentioned loads could run all day and night off the inverter, with no need for mains.
    Last edited by slodj; 2021/06/24 at 10:37 PM.
    Stuart

    2006 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 4.7L V8

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to slodj For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Roodepoort
    Age
    36
    Posts
    223
    Thanked: 22

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Looks cool and functional

    Is that a bus bar is see there in the corner cable tied to the corner post?

    What is connected to it, and is the open terminals safe?

    BTW where did you buy it and for what is it rated?

    Thanks
    Hilux 3.0 D4D 4x4; Stofpad Bashplate; LR tank; Racor

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Brand2011 For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,435
    Thanked: 8420

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by slodj View Post
    Manually. All the loads above, besides the fridge, are on one adapter. I shut down pc, switch off speakers and screen, unplug from mains and plug into inverter.
    If you look at the 4th last pic there's the red plug of the adapter and white plug of the extension to the fridge, plugged into the adapter from the inverter. And the lamp cable. Photo was just after shedding ended.

    For auto-changeover from mains to battery I've looked at the filax2, seems rather pricy so I'll skip for now. I also need to do way more research on this, how to do it safely etc

    I could use the power supply mode of the charger, and have my loads permanently connected to the inverter, but then the charger and the inverter would be running all the time,
    which I don't need. This would also waste power due to losses in the charger and inverter.

    Ideally I'd like two bigger batteries in parallel, mppt charger and panels. Then my afore-mentioned loads could run all day and night off the inverter, with no need for mains.
    I would opt for running the inverter permanently as a no break UPS.

    The loss in efficiency at this power level is peanuts, but the risk of costly equipment failure due to frequent stop-starting is enormous, not to mention the hassle.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,572
    Thanked: 1035

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I would opt for running the inverter permanently as a no break UPS.

    The loss in efficiency at this power level is peanuts, but the risk of costly equipment failure due to frequent stop-starting is enormous, not to mention the hassle.
    Does this also imply switching off the PC and other electronic things say 3 times a day when not in use has a mayor affect on life cycle?

  12. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,435
    Thanked: 8420

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Does this also imply switching off the PC and other electronic things say 3 times a day when not in use has a mayor affect on life cycle?
    Devastating effect. Retyping. Misread.

    Most modern devices don’t really switch off when you use their own OFF/ON function. They more kinda go to sleep and wake up gracefully.

    But, your removing and replacing mains power has all manner of surges and spikes. Eskom doing so is even worse for the equipment.

    So by leaving the appliances connected to the UPS in on mode permanently achieves two things. Firstly it reduces the number of events to almost zero, and secondly it protects them from brownouts and surges which are common from power outages.

    Just have a look at how many insurance claims there are for electrical appliance damage from load shedding.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/06/25 at 08:48 AM.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Gaborone, Botswana
    Age
    58
    Posts
    5,525
    Thanked: 1658

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    My PCs run 24/7
    Kobus

  15. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    4,853
    Thanked: 1024

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    I agree. Lithiums that are there just as a backup is a complete waste of money. Then a lead acid would've been better.

    They should be used.

    I would look at making the setup run permanently.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

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

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Die SwartKat For This Useful Post:


  17. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,572
    Thanked: 1035

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Thanks Fluffy. The reason I ask is that up to 4 years ago my desktop, routers were never switched off and went though every LS. The same with my fridges. I have not lost a single item apart from 2 ADSL routers due to lightning in 15 years.
    I would attribute it to a grid network very well earthed and very little spikes.
    Then on the other side of the coin a see a number of PCBs and transformer power supplies every day with surge damage and also a fair amount of 275V MOVs that were clapped.

  18. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Bryanston
    Posts
    345
    Thanked: 223

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Even though we have good security, i choose to power laptops down at night and put them away. Some neighbours had some disadvantaged felons get to their homes, ingeniously, and lift laptgops and camera stuff positioned far away from windows. Managed to apparently not trigger alarms.

    Some business friends had the same experience as well.

    We had armed robbery long ago with same result. Now have multi layer security with warning etc. Does not remove the risk entirely but reduces.

    Just as careful when carting laptop to meetings as well.

    Just saying

  19. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,435
    Thanked: 8420

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Thanks Fluffy. The reason I ask is that up to 4 years ago my desktop, routers were never switched off and went though every LS. The same with my fridges. I have not lost a single item apart from 2 ADSL routers due to lightning in 15 years.
    I would attribute it to a grid network very well earthed and very little spikes.
    Then on the other side of the coin a see a number of PCBs and transformer power supplies every day with surge damage and also a fair amount of 275V MOVs that were clapped.
    Likewise, never had a personal experience, but repaired/replaced many.

    Without a doubt, unless a circuit is very specifically designed not to, there are very large (but short, time wise) voltages and currents present in a circuit on startup and even shutdown.

    EDIT - Actually I need to rethink that. For the bulk of the last six years most of my home has been on a PV system with on line UPS function. Prior to that load shedding wasn't such a biggy. mmmm
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/06/25 at 12:49 PM.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  20. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,572
    Thanked: 1035

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Likewise, never had a personal experience, but repaired/replaced many.
    Quite a difficult one to advise clients the danger of spikes and surges when you yourself have no problems over many years. I still like to indicate to switch things off 5min before LS and switch on 5 min afterwards. My PV back up is off line so I do a manual change over when we have LS. Surely I would have kept some items on the inverter if I had damaged equipment.

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to ekkekan For This Useful Post:


  22. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,435
    Thanked: 8420

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Quite a difficult one to advise clients the danger of spikes and surges when you yourself have no problems over many years.
    Not really. If the facts point towards a risk, then it is reasonable to point that out, irrespective off or despite the fact that the risk hasn't resulted in personal damage to my equipment.

    I would still advocate using seat belts and having Air bags in a car despite the fact that I have never needed them.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  23. The Following User Says Thank You to Fluffy For This Useful Post:


  24. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Rietkuil, Suurbraak
    Age
    37
    Posts
    57
    Thanked: 36

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    My biggest headache is potentially cross connecting 5 live phases between 5 active inverters, 3 solar charge controllers and battery systems within 2 outbuildings!?

  25. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hillcrest
    Age
    64
    Posts
    19,435
    Thanked: 8420

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by rnieckau View Post
    My biggest headache is potentially cross connecting 5 live phases between 5 active inverters, 3 solar charge controllers and battery systems within 2 outbuildings!?
    Why? Slow and methodical. Done.

    Think, measure, think, measure again, think, remeasure, do.

    An Airbus is made one, rivet, weld, wire,.... at a time.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/06/25 at 09:04 PM.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  26. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Rietkuil, Suurbraak
    Age
    37
    Posts
    57
    Thanked: 36

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Why? Slow and methodical. Done.

    Think, measure, think, measure again, think, remeasure, do.

    An Airbus is made one, rivet, weld, wire,.... at a time.
    Yip. Or in the case of SpaceX, expect an explosion gleaming with new 'data' to improve upon!

  27. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    51
    Posts
    442
    Thanked: 225

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Very interesting comments everyone, thank you for the feedback.

    I didn't know about the many voltage spikes a system faces. Food for thought. Plug into power, unplug from power, seems like it should be something a device would be built to handle. Or is there damage over time?

    I agree with using it rather than letting it sit idle. That's the plan, when I get the solar into place.

    I have one issue with this system - the charger makes a noise. A bit like a low electrical hum/drone. Similar to the sound a florescent light can make when the ballast is dying.
    The noise is almost inaudible when charging at 15A, louder and annoying at 30A. It worries me so I don't charge at 30A very often.

    Could this be a bad connection somewhere? Maybe a bad crimp? A faulty device?
    I'm going to redo the charger cabling to see if that helps.
    Last edited by slodj; 2021/06/25 at 10:32 PM.
    Stuart

    2006 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 4.7L V8

  28. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    51
    Posts
    442
    Thanked: 225

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand2011 View Post
    Looks cool and functional

    Is that a bus bar is see there in the corner cable tied to the corner post?

    What is connected to it, and is the open terminals safe?

    BTW where did you buy it and for what is it rated?

    Thanks
    Thanks Brand2011. It's a Victron 150A / 70V bus bar. I got all my Victron goodies from Current Automation, recommended by Ekkekan IIRC.
    The bus bar was R412 (excluding tax). It's a solid piece of kit. Gets a thumbs up from me.

    It's for all my negative leads. Inverter, charger and 12V fuse box go to bus bar, then a lead from bus bar to battery negative.
    I'm considering another one for the positive leads as they will get messy when I add solar.

    The safety of the open terminals is debatable. From an accidental short when working on it, or dropping a conductive tool in there, probably not.
    12V systems are, I believe, generally very safe. However, I think the inverter cables and inverter when under load, and the AC power it produces, are potentially lethal.

    The bus bar and fuse box do come with covers which I'll be putting back on.
    The battery terminals also need to be covered.

    From the Victron site on their bus bars:
    Available models:


    • 150A / 70V - 4 high current connections
    • 150A / 70V - 6 high current connections
    • 250A / 70V - 4 high current connections
    • 600A / 70V - 4 high current connections and 8 low current connections
    • 600A / 70V - 8 high current connections and 8 low current connections
    Stuart

    2006 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 4.7L V8

  29. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    East London
    Age
    25
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 7

    Default Re: Load shedding buster

    Quote Originally Posted by slodj View Post
    The load shedding in March this year made me decide I had to have a solution to keep some lights on and my PC running. Candles weren't cutting it anymore

    So motivated by load shedding and inspired by the many forum contributors and the amazing DIY builds people have come up with, I started researching electrickery and home battery systems.
    Eventually I decided to go the lithium route and build my own DIY solution.

    When I saw this post here by StephanF who built a powerstation in an old PC, I thought 'I've got an old PC, a few actually. I want to do that.'

    I used the gutted shell of the first PC I ever bought. My cat eventually peed in it leading to its demise (the PC, not the cat ).
    The black splotches are where it rusted. My drill with a wire brush got rid of most of the rust, then I painted with rust remover and primer.

    The many posts I read here and elsewhere convinced me Victron and lithium were a good way to go. Will Prowse has also been a great source of ideas and inspiration.
    The main components are a Victron Phoenix 1200W inverter, Victron IP22 15A / 30A charger and Blue Nova 108Ah battery. All have bluetooth which is very handy.
    I also added some 12V sockets and a led light strip.

    This was a huge learning experience, great fun to do and it works most excellently.
    I can now run my PC, screen, speakers, 2 routers and a lamp, charge cell phone and laptop and it uses +- 10A / hour.
    If I add my kitchen fridge it spikes to about 27A / hour then settles at +- 20A / hour.

    Quite rough, still WIP, anyway here are some pics of my pc chassis powerstation:
    This is great, the only thing I would have done differently would be to use the new style Victron MultiPlus 12/1200/50, Which is an inverter/charger and has a internal transfer switch so everything would stay on when you have a power outage.

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to shaneyake For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •