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  1. #81
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Update as promised Install was supposed to be today, but due to what is going on in SA inverter only arrived late this afternoon. The install team did however come at 3pm today to do a second site check, make sure we all on the same page. It was suggested and they agreed, that i install rails for extra 1 x panel per side, so if i do see i need just that extra, i can add 1 x panel per side, then i am at my max at any case. That will basically mean i over panel, 420w x 10, less 20%, = 3.36kw, Solis is 3.6kw. In a way, i hope i dont need to add these extra 2 x panels as i am hoping my calcs and timer settings on pool and heat pumps work out like i thought they would. Only time will tell. Next update will be tomorrow, install starts at 9am.

    Installer mentioned i might get 420w panels instead of 400w, that will be such a nice bonus. So as you can see, the double story right hand side roof above garage is where the East side string goes, 4 x 420w panels. The larger north roof is the other 4 x panels. I have had so many opinions, and i still hope my idea of dual mppt is the correct one as the east roof gets sun from 8am, proper sun. Both roofs have no shadows, trees etc...except for the hip on the right, north roof only starts getting sun at 10am, that is why i wanted 2 x separate strings.

    Looking forward to finally getting started on this, will update with pics tomorrow.
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  3. #82
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Hi all,
    Itís been a while since I was last on this forum. Anyway, after browsing through a few threads, Iíll start replying where applicable.

    This is my system, and how I use it. Doesnít mean Iím right and other are wrong, but instead itís what works for me:

    I installed a system in December, so have limited experience in varying conditions, i.e. hot summer days, rainy periods, winter, extended supply problems in my area and more.

    I have 8x 390W panels, a 5kVA inverter and a 5.1kW battery. I have a full gas oven/hob (vroutjie loves baking), a solar geyser and LED lights everywhere as well as a 0.75kW pool pump.

    I changed my geyser element to a 2kW, after having had a 4kW element before. Panels are North and West facing (4 each). My battery drains to 30% then I start pulling from the grid.

    I run my appliances in the following order:

    09:00 - 11:30 Dishwasher, Washing machine and pool (7500L, so only needs an hour to cycle)
    12:00 - 13:30/14:00 Geyser
    14:00 - sunset (charge battery back to 100% for night use).

    Night usage is 400-600W depending on what is being used. The battery lasts anywhere between midnight and 02:00, then I use the grid (100 free units per month) before the sun starts itís magic.

    Iím planning to install another 6 panels on the second MPPT as soon as the supplier has stock. This is to bring my generating capacity up to/above 5kW. On a good day, I get about 2800W in winter, and 3200W the warmer days. Surprisingly, the very hot days doesnít give the optimal Watts, and found out excessively hot days are less efficient compared to the days close to 25įC.

    I use about 140kWh per month from the grid, on a bad month and about 100-110 kWh on a good month. Deduce the free 100 units, my purchases with the council is less than R100.

    If you have questions, I donít mind answering based on my experience.

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  5. #83
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Hey Frosti, thanx for the info, very similar set up to what i am planning to install today. So a few questions. Do you have graphs you can show, what is your idle always on in the backround consumption as in fridges, freezers, pc's etc....It is probably around 1.5kw i assume. I am glad to see you have multi mppt, i am sure it makes a big difference getting sun earlier, having a split, or are both sides connected on 1 x string for now?

  6. #84
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    Hi all,


    Iím planning to install another 6 panels on the second MPPT as soon as the supplier has stock. This is to bring my generating capacity up to/above 5kW. On a good day, I get about 2800W in winter, and 3200W the warmer days. Surprisingly, the very hot days doesnít give the optimal Watts, and found out excessively hot days are less efficient compared to the days close to 25įC.


    If you have questions, I donít mind answering based on my experience.
    Do you have actual figures for your daily yield in kWh per day or months.

    It would be good to see the difference in kWh between summer and winter.

  7. #85
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    I do have, but if the demand is not high it doesnít generate. Iíll take some screen shots to show the monthly generating value. February was a horrible month with about 2 weeks of overcast and rainy conditions.

  8. #86
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    Default House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ezee rider View Post
    Hey Frosti, thanx for the info, very similar set up to what i am planning to install today. So a few questions. Do you have graphs you can show, what is your idle always on in the backround consumption as in fridges, freezers, pc's etc....It is probably around 1.5kw i assume. I am glad to see you have multi mppt, i am sure it makes a big difference getting sun earlier, having a split, or are both sides connected on 1 x string for now?
    My idle mode consumption is around 400W

    Here is January - was away on holiday. green line is consumption, blue is generation, red is grid usage.
    The only stuff consuming power is fridge, alarm, modem, solar geyser pump (at night, to circulate the water in holiday mode).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here was yesterday - the red line is my grid usage, blue is generation. I havenít shown my consumption in this graph as Iím showing the difference between winter and summer generating capabilities of my system. Winter is not much less than summer for peak power.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is the 7 months for 2021 - February was a terrible month with the rain, and June with load shedding and problems at our local substations.
    Red is generation for the array, blue is consumption. I am not showing grid usage in this chart. As you can see, June is the third best month i.t.o. Total monthly generating
    Click image for larger version. 

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    edit: currently everything in on 1 MPPT, but the extra panels will be added to the second one.

    Second edit: reworded colours and what they meant to represent.
    Last edited by Frostii; 2021/07/15 at 05:50 PM.

  9. #87
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Do you have actual figures for your daily yield in kWh per day or months.

    It would be good to see the difference in kWh between summer and winter.
    So have a look at my previous post. You can see two different daily charts.
    One is when demand is constant, so the panels will generate based on demand - you get that bell curve showing the highest peak around midday.

    The other graph is based on little, to no demand, so the demand isn't high so it doesn't need to generate. I know it was while I was away on holiday, but that's how it works.
    So it's difficult to compare a summer month to a winter month, based on what I currently have.
    February had 2 weeks of rain, so it's output is lower June.

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  11. #88
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    My idle mode consumption is around 400W

    Here is January - was away on holiday. green line is usage, blue is generation, red is grid.
    The only stuff running is fridge, alarm, modem, solar geyser pump (at night, to circulate the water in holiday mode).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here was yesterday - the red line is my grid usage, blue is generation.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is the 7 months for 2021 - February was a terrible month with the rain, and June with load shedding and problems at our local substations.
    Red is generation, blue is usage. As you can see, June is the third best month i.t.o. generating.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    edit: currently everything in on 1 MPPT, but the extra panels will be added to the second one.
    Maybe edit your post.

    It seems you're swapping blue and read around. Is blue now generation or grid usage?
    Nico Swart

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  12. #89
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Hi Frosti, thanx for the info. It seems you really use very little versus what you produce, do you really need extra panels, maybe i am missing something here. I calculated my idle consumption roughly, and bear in mind all of them are not on all the time, maybe every hour, but i have: chest freezer, normal freezer, fridge, bar fridge, odd pc, tv, some lights, under counter electric geyser by scullery, i get to over 1000w idle, but i also get to around the same peak is you, under 3kw.

    My plan is as follows, and this is for winter.
    Pool pump starts at 10am, runs till 1pm, enough time to circulate entire pool.
    Heat pump which drives my geysers start at 1.15pm, runs till 4.30pm, enough time to get 300L up to 55 degrees.
    Besides that, its the usual consumption of the rest of the house. My calcs lead me to believe i should be fine with
    8 x 420w panels. Only time will tell.

    I am pure grid tie, last thing i want is to produce energy i cant use, so my thinking is use as much in peak.
    I have added the rails, max i can go is 2 x extra panels, but i really dont think i will need this, but as i said,
    time will tell. The team carries on tomorrow, should be up and running by tomorrow 2pm.

    As you can see, its now 5.10pm, north panels getting direct rays, east, at an angle, i know its weak sun but its something at least.
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  14. #90
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Maybe edit your post.

    It seems you're swapping blue and read around. Is blue now generation or grid usage?
    I had to read your post and my post a few times before I edited. Please check now and see if this makes more sense.

    The text above each graph is correct. Please donít try compare one graph to another by using the colours - itís not the most user friendly (Chinese) app. Iíll try do more screenshots showing the same colour for each line.

  15. #91
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ezee rider View Post
    Hi Frosti, thanx for the info. It seems you really use very little versus what you produce, do you really need extra panels, maybe i am missing something here. I calculated my idle consumption roughly, and bear in mind all of them are not on all the time, maybe every hour, but i have: chest freezer, normal freezer, fridge, bar fridge, odd pc, tv, some lights, under counter electric geyser by scullery, i get to over 1000w idle, but i also get to around the same peak is you, under 3kw.

    My plan is as follows, and this is for winter.
    Pool pump starts at 10am, runs till 1pm, enough time to circulate entire pool.
    Heat pump which drives my geysers start at 1.15pm, runs till 4.30pm, enough time to get 300L up to 55 degrees.
    Besides that, its the usual consumption of the rest of the house. My calcs lead me to believe i should be fine with
    8 x 420w panels. Only time will tell.

    I am pure grid tie, last thing i want is to produce energy i cant use, so my thinking is use as much in peak.
    I have added the rails, max i can go is 2 x extra panels, but i really dont think i will need this, but as i said,
    time will tell. The team carries on tomorrow, should be up and running by tomorrow 2pm.

    As you can see, its now 5.10pm, north panels getting direct rays, east, at an angle, i know its weak sun but its something at least.
    I need more panels to:

    1. Generate 5kW per hour.
    2. be able to run appliances concurrently.
    3. be able to fully charge my battery every day before sunset.


    To expand on point 2.
    I need to run my geyser element in winter, as the solar geyser is not efficient at all. That means I canít run any other appliances, without using the battery/grid. 8x390W panels seldoms gets above 2800W, but it French close to 2400W. (100% efficiency is 3120W).

    A normal working day is 400W + 2000W (geyser), plus the odd spikes from certain appliances, eg. washing machines, dishwasher, coffee machine, microwave, etc.

    So if itís overcast until 11:00, then my generating capacity will be limited and I might be using the battery to top up any extra kW being used. Or I delay the use of the washing machine/dishwasher/pool pump, then use it when the sun shines.

    My objective is to uses as little of the grid as possible, and use the sun. 12 panels * 390W = 4690W. Thatís why I want 2 more to take me over 5000W and be able to run the entire house without touching the battery/grid.

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  17. #92
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    I had to read your post and my post a few times before I edited. Please check now and see if this makes more sense.

    The text above each graph is correct. Please donít try compare one graph to another by using the colours - itís not the most user friendly (Chinese) app. Iíll try do more screenshots showing the same colour for each line.

    This will drive me nuts. The OCD screams inside me.
    Nico Swart

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

  18. #93
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    I need more panels to:

    1. Generate 5kW per hour.
    2. be able to run appliances concurrently.
    3. be able to fully charge my battery every day before sunset.


    To expand on point 2.
    I need to run my geyser element in winter, as the solar geyser is not efficient at all. That means I canít run any other appliances, without using the battery/grid. 8x390W panels seldoms gets above 2800W, but it French close to 2400W. (100% efficiency is 3120W).


    A normal working day is 400W + 2000W (geyser), plus the odd spikes from certain appliances, eg. washing machines, dishwasher, coffee machine, microwave, etc.

    So if itís overcast until 11:00, then my generating capacity will be limited and I might be using the battery to top up any extra kW being used. Or I delay the use of the washing machine/dishwasher/pool pump, then use it when the sun shines.

    My objective is to uses as little of the grid as possible, and use the sun. 12 panels * 390W = 4690W. Thatís why I want 2 more to take me over 5000W and be able to run the entire house without touching the battery/grid.
    I have more or less the same problem as you, but in my case, I need to upgrade to a 5Kva inverter (have only a 2.4Kva now)

    So despite me having about 5Kva worth of PV array (4,2Kva if you work with 80% efficiency), I simply cannot extract that from the panels because of the inverter max limit.
    Nico Swart

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  19. #94
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    I have more or less the same problem as you, but in my case, I need to upgrade to a 5Kva inverter (have only a 2.4Kva now)

    So despite me having about 5Kva worth of PV array (4,2Kva if you work with 80% efficiency), I simply cannot extract that from the panels because of the inverter max limit.
    Just want to add a titbit, upgrades ... having had a 3kva myself, yeah, 5kva sorted us out nicely, as I also ran it maxed all the time, derated to 1.8kw in summer too.

    5kva installed, then I saw I needed 2 more panels (500w), data said so, to cover the daily winter loads.

    So I did that too ...

    Then this Cpt winter came ... O. My. Word. !!!

    A 4.2kw array, to get like 300w (!!!), no wait, some days 0 watts (!!!) .... the bad weather which has been going on since wot, April (?), for days/weeks on end!?

    In money terms, from +-R50-R200pm to maxed out on 600units each month, +-R1500, month after month ... if we where off-grid, thank dammit we are not, the fuel bill would have been astronomical stupidly high.

    You spend on more panels, then a bigger inverter, then more panels ... then the weather comes and says: Phuck No!

    Me, I'm humbled.

    Good news is, mostly this week, the sun is back!!! Batts down to 20% at night again, as there is spare to charge.
    And it is also cold as snot, so I'm milking every single watt again.

    This coming Monday ... weather seems to be returning ... HomeAssistant says so.
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    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
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  21. #95
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    And it is this practical experience that taught us, that to go completely off grid is a pipe dream for most of us unless huge compromises in terms of living standards are made, and/or huge expensive capital outlays are made with no ROI whatsoever.

    Ja the typical Cape winter rainy weather makes your longer daylight hours seem like no consolation at all, at least in my mind.

    Then you have my mother that tells me, (but we have the mountain and lots and lots of wine...) Dankie ma, maar ons het die bosveld, bier en son dankie.
    Nico Swart

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  23. #96
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Ja the typical Cape winter rainy weather makes your longer daylight hours seem like no consolation at all, at least in my mind.

    Then you have my mother that tells me, (but we have the mountain and lots and lots of wine...) Dankie ma, maar ons het die bosveld, bier en son dankie.
    Cannot argue the bosveld, if you can get there with the roads in such disrepair, beer with the alcohol ban, with CoCT having more irradiation per annum than Guateng.

    See:
    We have LONG summer days, no rain. You guys shorter days than us WITH summer rains.
    We have short winter rainy days, you have short winter smoke filled days.

    But I will swap the mountains any day for a bosveld view, here in Cpt, where we still have tarred pothole free roads to get to the mountains, which I swapped for the bosveld views.

    O, and still no riots either. ;-)
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2021/07/16 at 11:37 AM.
    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!

  24. #97
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    So there is a benefit to living in Cow-teng?
    The sun shines a lot more than in the WP.

  25. #98
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    I have more or less the same problem as you, but in my case, I need to upgrade to a 5Kva inverter (have only a 2.4Kva now)

    So despite me having about 5Kva worth of PV array (4,2Kva if you work with 80% efficiency), I simply cannot extract that from the panels because of the inverter max limit.
    Nico may be you have more than 1 area to look at. If we refer to the figures you placed on another topic for a good and bad day. Due to your shade on the panels it is throttling what you can use. Even with a 2.4kW inverter working during the day you could get more from PV.
    Just as a means of comparing our systems both in Pta.
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  26. #99
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    Default House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    I have more or less the same problem as you, but in my case, I need to upgrade to a 5Kva inverter (have only a 2.4Kva now)

    So despite me having about 5Kva worth of PV array (4,2Kva if you work with 80% efficiency), I simply cannot extract that from the panels because of the inverter max limit.
    At least you have the array, so an upgrade or second unit added on to your existing one could help. Can you add additional inverters?

    Some friends of mine went with an 8kVA interver but they also have roof space to accommodate 20+ panels. I only have space for 16.

    But as I have gas for cooking and a geyser solution for summer, I donít need that size. One more battery and 6 panels and Iíll be off the grid on good days/nights and stretching it on bad days.
    Last edited by Frostii; 2021/07/16 at 03:57 PM.

  27. #100
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    At least you the array, so an upgrade or second unit added on to your existing one could help. Can you add additional inverters?

    Some friends of mine went with an 8kVA interver but they also have roof space to accommodate 20+ panels. I only have space for 16.

    But as I have gas for cooking and a geyser solution for summer, I donít need that size. One more battery and 6 panels and Iíll be off the grid on good days/nights and stretching it on bad days.
    My options are either:

    1. Purchase and parallel another 2.4 (Max power 3Kva) inverter which will give more capacity than with option 2 below

    2. Sell the current inverter and purchase a 4Kva (Max power 5Kva) unit

    Cost would probably work out the same.

    With option 1 I at least would have a backup (running at 50% capacity) if something blows in one of them though.

    The only reason for us to go bigger is to be able to run more than 1 big consumer at the same time. Currently I have to manually intervene for this to happen. Geyser and stove on simultaneously for example.

    And then 5-8 years from now I would hopefully be able to upgrade to lithiums. Otherwise my system is great, bigger is just for convenience, not a necessity in other words.
    Nico Swart

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

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