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  1. #101
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    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.
    Yes from your display it is clear that I have a huge shade problem. In winter times it kills me but there is nothing I can do about it - neighbor's trees.

    But as per my previous post, we still manage well enough according to our electricity needs even in winter. I would just like to run 2 big consumers at a time. Currently if this happens, the power for one of them needs to come from the grid. So if the panels can do this, it seems unwise to be restricted by the inverter's limits.
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    So massive update from my side, info which i hope can help others in the future. Perhaps the thread needs to change to:
    Pure grid tie with solar only, meter tripping .

    Installation recap:
    Solis dual mppt 3.6kw grid tie inverter.
    Ct clamp & wifi dongle
    9 x 420w solar panels, 4 x east, 5 x north.
    Regular Conlog pre paid meter

    Installers finished friday around 2pm. Rushed home before they switched everything on. Worked like a dream for 10 minutes pushing over 2 500w, then the pre paid meter tripped [conlog]. It tripped over and over. Double checked ct clamp direction, made no difference. It seems these meters are simply to sensitive to the slightest push back. Installer said rather switch off, we chat Monday and re group. I probably googled for 2 days straight, even dreamed about solutions / options . Decided on Sunday to switch on early morning, use only 1 x string, start slowly. Maybe i am lucky. Nope, trips at even 500w, regardless of my load, which was higher for sure. I read so many threads on various forums, meter tripping, so i had an idea it was a new meter....

    Call muni, they send out team, amazing service [george western cape], they also tell me the bad news i was dreading, need to replace with a bi directional quad meter. They have one in stock, can do it same day. I said go for it, i just want my set up to work.
    Ripped out conlog, fitted new meter in 30min, super happy with the service, especially on a Sunday. Started up inverter, no tripping but it seemed throttled. Obviously ct clamp trying to limit push back into the grid. Went into detailed inverter settings, un ticked EMP, so its off, from that moment, it was pushing 2400w, and within 5 minutes the meter arrow showed to the left showing feed back into the grid.

    The muni said i can now get credits for feeding the grid, depends on what i use, when i use, same for what i send back, when i send back [time of day]. I was not aiming for this solution but seeing as George Muni is part of the whole Western Cape's drive to encourage self generation i guess i am part of it now This Quad meter has built in gprs, every week i can a report / graphs emailed to me. This will help determine rates, credits and so on. I am only in day 2 now, so i dont have nearly enough graphs to show.

    So in conclusion, i now have a pure grid tie feeding back what i dont use. I do not worry about how much i don't use, especially in peak solar times. It is not about charging your batteries with excess power, or running as much as you can in peak. I am also glad i bought the hardware i did, [thanx ekkekan ] especially splitting east and north, as from before 8am the Solis switches on and shows 40w. From yesterday after new meter was set up [1pm] till yesterday 5pm i sent back around 1.2kw back to the muni grid. From this morning between 9am and 10am i was also sending power back which is really interesting. All big constant loads only start at 10am, pool pump, heat pump later on. I am just glad all my planning is starting to pay off. Solis is on from 7.45am till 5.45pm now in winter. In summer i recon 5.45am till 6.45pm. As i figure out rates, rebates etc...i will post more info. Lastly, very happy with Power Hour in George as supplier of everything inc installation.
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  4. #103
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ezee rider View Post
    So massive update from my side, info which i hope can help others in the future. Perhaps the thread needs to change to:
    Pure grid tie with solar only, meter tripping .

    Installation recap:
    Solis dual mppt 3.6kw grid tie inverter.
    Ct clamp & wifi dongle
    9 x 420w solar panels, 4 x east, 5 x north.
    Regular Conlog pre paid meter

    Installers finished friday around 2pm. Rushed home before they switched everything on. Worked like a dream for 10 minutes pushing over 2 500w, then the pre paid meter tripped [conlog]. It tripped over and over. Double checked ct clamp direction, made no difference. It seems these meters are simply to sensitive to the slightest push back. Installer said rather switch off, we chat Monday and re group. I probably googled for 2 days straight, even dreamed about solutions / options . Decided on Sunday to switch on early morning, use only 1 x string, start slowly. Maybe i am lucky. Nope, trips at even 500w, regardless of my load, which was higher for sure. I read so many threads on various forums, meter tripping, so i had an idea it was a new meter....

    Call muni, they send out team, amazing service [george western cape], they also tell me the bad news i was dreading, need to replace with a bi directional quad meter. They have one in stock, can do it same day. I said go for it, i just want my set up to work.
    Ripped out conlog, fitted new meter in 30min, super happy with the service, especially on a Sunday. Started up inverter, no tripping but it seemed throttled. Obviously ct clamp trying to limit push back into the grid. Went into detailed inverter settings, un ticked EMP, so its off, from that moment, it was pushing 2400w, and within 5 minutes the meter arrow showed to the left showing feed back into the grid.

    The muni said i can now get credits for feeding the grid, depends on what i use, when i use, same for what i send back, when i send back [time of day]. I was not aiming for this solution but seeing as George Muni is part of the whole Western Cape's drive to encourage self generation i guess i am part of it now This Quad meter has built in gprs, every week i can a report / graphs emailed to me. This will help determine rates, credits and so on. I am only in day 2 now, so i dont have nearly enough graphs to show.

    So in conclusion, i now have a pure grid tie feeding back what i dont use. I do not worry about how much i don't use, especially in peak solar times. It is not about charging your batteries with excess power, or running as much as you can in peak. I am also glad i bought the hardware i did, [thanx ekkekan ] especially splitting east and north, as from before 8am the Solis switches on and shows 40w. From yesterday after new meter was set up [1pm] till yesterday 5pm i sent back around 1.2kw back to the muni grid. From this morning between 9am and 10am i was also sending power back which is really interesting. All big constant loads only start at 10am, pool pump, heat pump later on. I am just glad all my planning is starting to pay off. Solis is on from 7.45am till 5.45pm now in winter. In summer i recon 5.45am till 6.45pm. As i figure out rates, rebates etc...i will post more info. Lastly, very happy with Power Hour in George as supplier of everything inc installation.
    Please keep us posted when you have more data.

    I'm very interested about the rates, and at how much you're selling back units to the municipality, and what you'll need to pay monthly for this privilege to do so.
    Nico Swart

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  5. #104
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Please keep us posted when you have more data.

    I'm very interested about the rates, and at how much you're selling back units to the municipality, and what you'll need to pay monthly for this privilege to do so.
    Me too!!! I generate 3000w easily on sunny days, going to waste now...
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Please keep us posted when you have more data.

    I'm very interested about the rates, and at how much you're selling back units to the municipality, and what you'll need to pay monthly for this privilege to do so.
    I think we are all interested in the rate for feeding into the grid. When I saw Eezi Rider running a heat pump and the pool pump for 8 hours a day I saw here is a good oppertunity to use grid tied as the normal line of thinking to have power during LS was a low priority.
    Glad to see that even the east side contributing quite a bit of power in the afternoon.
    Although a happy ending a lot of thinking how to prevent the feed in.
    The lesson here is prepaid is a major challenge. It is a major plus when one can get this kind of service from a munic over a weekend.
    Interesting to see how big the 4 quad power meter is. No wonder all these small power meters cannot measure export.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2021/07/19 at 09:10 PM.

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  8. #106
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Are you allowed to combine AC and DC in one DB?

  9. #107
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    I think we are all interested in the rate for feeding into the grid. When I saw Eezi Rider running a heat pump and the pool pump for 8 hours a day I saw here is a good oppertunity to use grid tied as the normal line of thinking to have power during LS was a low priority.
    Glad to see that even the east side contributing quite a bit of power in the afternoon.
    Although a happy ending a lot of thinking how to prevent the feed in.
    The lesson here is prepaid is a major challenge. It is a major plus when one can get this kind of service from a munic over a weekend.
    Interesting to see how big the 4 quad power meter is. No wonder all these small power meters cannot measure export.
    Absolutely no reason why a 4 quadrant meter need be bigger than a match box, or a non directional meter. The sensor is about the size of a pin head.

    Also, look closely at that meter. It's a 3 phase industrial meter being used for a single phase circuit.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/07/19 at 10:20 PM.
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  11. #108
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by bees View Post
    Are you allowed to combine AC and DC in one DB?
    Nope, unless it is a control signal. But power supply, nope.
    Cheers

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  12. #109
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Nope, unless it is a control signal. But power supply, nope.
    Thought as much. So illegal installation then?

  13. #110
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Weather was bad for solar yesterday, cloud and rain, today 100% rain whole day, storms, winds, maybe snow till end of week. So data not great. Speaking to Muni yesterday, here is the low down:

    With the new bi meter my tarrif is 6c more than pre paid for units used. On this option currently i do not get credits for feed back.
    They are keeping me on this till they have enough data to justify the option of moving to a feed back tarrif.
    The feed back option comes at a price, think the standard monthly charge is between R280 and R350 per month, however, you then get credits on your account with how much you feed in, that gets deducted from how much you used. This is why they want a few weeks data to check and see which option will work me out the cheapest. At least they trying, at least i have these options.

    I have no idea how much in rand value i can get back when feeding back, i suspect its not great, but then again, it all depends on how much you send back in a month. Looking at my possible data, maybe i can send back around 40kw per month, i have no idea what that is worth. Maybe it is enough to break even [pay the standard fee] and get me credit. I guess this is the question i will be able to answer in a few weeks.

    I am a bit miffed that i am paying 6c more, and that i had to fork out 8.5k for the new meter. Then again, i am doing this the right way, no tripping meter, also, i saw for myself how much throttling happens with ct clamp on the old conlog, so i guess i had no choice.

    On the brighter side [excuse the pun], my set up pushed 3kw at a stage yesterday, for 9 x panels, its awesome, and to have my pool, heat pump, every single other item running from this small system is amazing.

    I will update when i get more info.

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  15. #111
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ezee rider View Post
    Weather was bad for solar yesterday, cloud and rain, today 100% rain whole day, storms, winds, maybe snow till end of week. So data not great. Speaking to Muni yesterday, here is the low down:

    With the new bi meter my tarrif is 6c more than pre paid for units used. On this option currently i do not get credits for feed back.
    They are keeping me on this till they have enough data to justify the option of moving to a feed back tarrif.
    The feed back option comes at a price, think the standard monthly charge is between R280 and R350 per month, however, you then get credits on your account with how much you feed in, that gets deducted from how much you used. This is why they want a few weeks data to check and see which option will work me out the cheapest. At least they trying, at least i have these options.

    I have no idea how much in rand value i can get back when feeding back, i suspect its not great, but then again, it all depends on how much you send back in a month. Looking at my possible data, maybe i can send back around 40kw per month, i have no idea what that is worth. Maybe it is enough to break even [pay the standard fee] and get me credit. I guess this is the question i will be able to answer in a few weeks.

    I am a bit miffed that i am paying 6c more, and that i had to fork out 8.5k for the new meter. Then again, i am doing this the right way, no tripping meter, also, i saw for myself how much throttling happens with ct clamp on the old conlog, so i guess i had no choice.

    On the brighter side [excuse the pun], my set up pushed 3kw at a stage yesterday, for 9 x panels, its awesome, and to have my pool, heat pump, every single other item running from this small system is amazing.

    I will update when i get more info.
    This is pretty much the word I got as well.

    Your meter price was good though. I heard bi-directional meters are North of R12k and yes, you have to fork that our yourself which is a problem for those for which a ROI is a real consideration.

    At R280-R350 per month "subscription" for this privilege, plus the cost of the meter would simply not be worth it for smaller setups such as I have. My electricity bill is already only R200-R250 per month, and I doubt that I'll be able to generate the "subscription" in addition also to make it worthwhile.

    One also has to consider the fact that if you feedback constantly with a marginal system, to break even or even score a little, your inverter will work very hard non stop every day and this will affect its longevity. I'd rather have mine last me as long as possible.

    This should work nicely for the bigger households with big systems.
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  16. #112
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Hi Swartkat, what you said is true, you lucky your monthly bill is so low, i dont really understand how the inverter will work harder, if you have a ct clamp on, and it is being stopped, started all the time, me thinks that puts more strain. As it is now, its full open, the meter is doing the hard work of changing direction in my mind.

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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    My electricity bill is already only R200-R250 per month, and I doubt that I'll be able to generate the "subscription" in addition also to make it worthwhile.
    Apart from showing ESKOM the finger, you have no real reason to ever go Solar then. Unless this is grid usage AFTER Solar?
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ezee rider View Post
    Hi Swartkat, what you said is true, you lucky your monthly bill is so low, i dont really understand how the inverter will work harder, if you have a ct clamp on, and it is being stopped, started all the time, me thinks that puts more strain. As it is now, its full open, the meter is doing the hard work of changing direction in my mind.
    With the current rates, to gain anything from feeding back into the grid you have to produce as much as you can to feedback.

    This means the inverter, and MPPT's are constantly working when you have no/minimal loads to power.

    Electronics that work constantly, or at full tilt for short periods of time gets hot. A proper inverter however will have a setting where you can limit what you feedback but then you're sliding towards not being able to feed back enough to make it worth your while.

    Heat eventually kills most electronic components in our "disposable product" society (read, nothing is built like it used to in the past)

    Do yourself a favor and go touch your inverter when it has worked an hour or so at close to its maximum capacity. Even your MPPT's if these are separate. ( I forgot if you mentioned your make model or brand) They get hot, especially in summer!

    Your CT clamp I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it stops your setup from feeding into the grid it seems. So if there is no demand for the amps to go anywhere, my logic tells me that it won't be produced and that your inverter will just sit around and chill and idle.
    Nico Swart

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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Apart from showing ESKOM the finger, you have no real reason to ever go Solar then. Unless this is grid usage AFTER Solar?
    No this is what I have to pay Eskom after my trusty inverter and solar panels had done its job.

    Thing is, when you get your usage that low, it can become a disease. You constantly find yourself looking for more and better ways to save even more.
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  21. #116
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    No this is what I have to pay Eskom after my trusty inverter and solar panels had done its job.

    Thing is, when you get your usage that low, it can become a disease. You constantly find yourself looking for more and better ways to save even more.
    As long as you have a slight positive balance they can't come after you.........
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    This means the inverter, and MPPT's are constantly working when you have no/minimal loads to power.

    A proper inverter however will have a setting where you can limit what you feedback but then you're sliding towards not being able to feed back enough to make it worth your while.
    It depends on the design of the software and what is measured. The Solis does not have this setting as it only allows to feed into the grid or it throttles to prevent feeding into the grid if set up this way. That is the function of the CT clamp. The CT clamp is also not used to measure what is used from the grid to present in a graph.

    Heat eventually kills most electronic components in our "disposable product" society (read, nothing is built like it used to in the past)

    Do yourself a favor and go touch your inverter when it has worked an hour or so at close to its maximum capacity. Even your MPPT's if these are separate. ( I forgot if you mentioned your make model or brand) They get hot, especially in summer!
    Don't base ALL your experience what you find on your Victron or some other MPPT's. Not all MPPT's are made equal. Even if the Solis is working at full power in Gauteng's summer it never gets close to 40 degrees. This is then the reason why the Solis does not need a fan to keep it cool. It works silently. Only natural cooling with a good heat sink at the back. Also the reason why it can continue working at full power and not reduce power like you are used to on the Victron. I wonder if this has always been a problem or only since they started making the Victrons in China.

    Your CT clamp I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it stops your setup from feeding into the grid it seems. So if there is no demand for the amps to go anywhere, my logic tells me that it won't be produced and that your inverter will just sit around and chill and idle.
    Yes you are spot on. The CT clamp will give the input to the inverter to throttle back in order to prevent export. In the case of Eezi Riders current 4 quad meter it will just export and this will be measured in order to decide if one wants to go the credit for export route or just not get credits and only pay 6c per unit more for actual use.

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  24. #118
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Do yourself a favor and go touch your inverter when it has worked an hour or so at close to its maximum capacity. Even your MPPT's if these are separate. ( I forgot if you mentioned your make model or brand) They get hot, especially in summer!
    Don't base ALL your experience what you find on your Victron or some other MPPT's. Not all MPPT's are made equal. Even if the Solis is working at full power in Gauteng's summer it never gets close to 40 degrees. This is then the reason why the Solis does not need a fan to keep it cool. It works silently. Only natural cooling with a good heat sink at the back. Also the reason why it can continue working at full power and not reduce power like you are used to on the Victron. I wonder if this has always been a problem or only since they started making the Victrons in China.
    Kettle calling the pot black? ... Solis this and Solis that on thread after thread ...

    FWIW, I did look at Solis before I bought Victron. You either want Victron or you don't.
    Same as what 4x4 vehicles people prefer to go into the bush.
    Nothing more, nothing less.



    Ekkekan, let me help you ... do not base ALL YOUR experiences on Solis or some other MPPT's.

    The facts:

    First of all, Victron is not for everyone.
    Secondly, Victron MPPT's don't have fans.
    Thirdly, Victron's also deals with the boat/ship markets where ambient heat becomes a serious factor in their closed/small install spaces, for MPPT's and inverters.
    Yet they still give a 5 year warranty on all their products. I now see, one the 250/100 MPPT's, even longer warranties can be purchased. A new thing.

    What Swartkat tried to say, which I agree with, any and all equipment working at full power every single day WILL have an effect on the longevity of the electronics. Maybe not within the warranty period, but how long will it last after the warranty working at max day after day?
    That is why Victron takes cognizance of that and makes, like their inverters, adjust to the ambient temp. Some Victron equipment has been operational for more than a decade.
    With Victron having been around since 1975 ...
    And all their inverters are mostly fully repairable even years after their warranties have expired.

    Does the above facts make Solis a worse-off product? NO! It does not.
    It works for you. You love Solis ... respect!

    But please, for heaven's sake, allow Victron supporters to give their views too, like we step back and let you have your say about how good you find Solis to be.

    Return that respect, please?

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  26. #119
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by the_terrible_triplett View Post
    Kettle calling the pot black? ... Solis this and Solis that on thread after thread ...

    FWIW, I did look at Solis before I bought Victron. You either want Victron or you don't.
    Same as what 4x4 vehicles people prefer to go into the bush.
    Nothing more, nothing less.



    Ekkekan, let me help you ... do not base ALL YOUR experiences on Solis or some other MPPT's.

    The facts:

    First of all, Victron is not for everyone.
    Secondly, Victron MPPT's don't have fans.
    Thirdly, Victron's also deals with the boat/ship markets where ambient heat becomes a serious factor in their closed/small install spaces, for MPPT's and inverters.
    Yet they still give a 5 year warranty on all their products. I now see, one the 250/100 MPPT's, even longer warranties can be purchased. A new thing.

    What Swartkat tried to say, which I agree with, any and all equipment working at full power every single day WILL have an effect on the longevity of the electronics. Maybe not within the warranty period, but how long will it last after the warranty working at max day after day?
    That is why Victron takes cognizance of that and makes, like their inverters, adjust to the ambient temp. Some Victron equipment has been operational for more than a decade.
    With Victron having been around since 1975 ...
    And all their inverters are mostly fully repairable even years after their warranties have expired.

    Does the above facts make Solis a worse-off product? NO! It does not.
    It works for you. You love Solis ... respect!

    But please, for heaven's sake, allow Victron supporters to give their views too, like we step back and let you have your say about how good you find Solis to be.

    Return that respect, please?

    My friend said I must say something.
    All points accepted.
    High temps indicated by Nico is not true on all MPPTS.
    Also no higher loading(temp) and work for the grid tied because it has to export extra power generated but not used.
    Can we stick to actuals and the whole chat is not pro the one or the other. Just pointing out some differences.

  27. #120
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    Default Re: House to run ob solar when sun shines

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    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.
    Not necessarily.
    Where I live there are quite a few houses off grid completely. Yes I agree it does cost quite a bit to do that however the actual eskom costs for rural feed is also ridiculously expensive.
    To go off grid you basically exchanging cost of electricity for cost of gas/wood or diesel/petrol. But if you paying R5,50+ per unit of electricity on a plot your ROI can become possible.
    2012 Pajero Sport 3.2 A/T
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