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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Home solar system recommendation

    Hi everyone,

    Please help me, there are so many online stores selling solar kits, but very few offer any good advice.

    Firstly is this option even possible, and if so, what kit or equipment is recommended.

    I would like to supplement the grid supply and reduce my Eskom bill, while the grid is up, without cycling batteries but keeping them charged.

    Then during outages, revert to back-up supply from battery/inverter.

    Also, the system needs to be modular to scale up capacity when the budget allows. Here im refering to Solar Panels, additional Inverter to increase output, and increase battery bank size.

    Please, steer me in the right direction if this has already been discussed to death, I then apologize for the repetition.

    Thanks
    Claude

    Defender Puma Raw Limited Edition
    Series III 88"
    Scout Nomad


    Chop your own firewood and it will warm you twice

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Linyanti, Botswana.
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Try Energenic, they designed and built some of our off grid systems for our Camps, maybe they can help.

    [email protected]
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    I don't trust anyone who's nice to me but rude to the Janitor. They lack integrity...

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Read threw this thread as a start, TheTerribleTriplet gives some good advice in there on Victron systems and breaks everything down nicely. https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...nother-)/page6

    Keeping batteries charged only for use during power failiours is false economics, the general consensus is, if you've got batteries then use them. You charge up your batteries with solar during the day and then use them during the night to lower your electricity bill even further.

    To start out with a hybrid grid tied system will require some capital, there are certain pieces of the puzzle which you'll need to put in place from the start unless you want to buy and sell later if you upgrade.

    Usually your choice of Inverter should be correct from the beginning, with Victron for example you can start out with a 3 kVA or 5 kVA Multiplus II, then you can add a second 3 kVA or 5 kVA later as your system grows.
    With solar panels you can start small, you can even start out with only 2 or 4 and then add more over time, solar panels is actually the least expensive piece of this entire puzzle.
    Batteries is the most expensive piece of the puzzle, but fortunately you can also start small and then expand over time. These days going with lithium batteries is a no brainer, don't even look at lead acid, you'll only waste your time and money in the long run.

    Please don't let a installer sell you something without them doing a proper annalisis of your usage first. The correct way is to put a electricity monitor on your house and monitor it over time, the totally useless way is to simply ask you to provide your electricity bill of the last few months.

    Try to avoid someone trying to sell you a one size fits all kit, every house and situation is different, what works on my house won't work on yours, a system must be tailored to your exact needs and situation.

    You can contact Go Solar Electrical, Jaco does great work all over the country and he knows his stuff.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2021/09/08 at 11:03 AM.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read" - Not Mark Twain

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  6. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Also see my thread:

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...ff-grid/page11

    You need a hybrid solar inverter. The brand is your choice, but Solis is mine.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Alberton
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    1. What is your budget?
    2. How much power do you use (daily average)?
    3. What is your peak power?
    4. How can you split the daily appliance usage into time slots, so you donít exceed the capacity of the panels/battery/inverter?

    I get away with 3-5kWh per day off the grid, mostly after midnight and shorty after sunrise, due to me only having a 5.1kVA battery. I do have gas (cooking) and a solar geyser. The solar geyser requires boosting in winter, so I changed to a 2kW element, so that I can use my panels to power it, while other appliances are running concurrently.

    My late Autumn to early Spring settings:

    Sunrise - 09:00
    Charge battery from 20% to 100%

    09:00 - 13:00
    Pool pump

    09:00 - 12:00
    Dishwasher and washing machine

    12:00 - 14:30
    Geyser boosting (April - October)

    14:30 - sunset
    Continue charging the battery up to 100%

    The rest of the appliances, eg. modem, fridge, computers, tv, alarm, garage motor, lights, etc., all runs 24/7 and draws minimal power (less than 300W/h).

    Mid-Spring to early Autumn, I only need to boost the geyser on overcast and rainy days. Pool is 30-35įC depending on daily temps.

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    1. Sorry to say but do not rely too much on advice from this forum. As a pro solar I find most of the solar advice here amateurish to say the least.

    2. Majority of solar kits from online sites are a waste. Will most likely leave you unhappy in time.

    3. Do not assume that a qualified electrician know about solar. Often not the case.

    4. Find yourself an accredited installer. SAPVIA approved and/or Green Card is a good start.

    5. Sorry if I offended anyone!

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Richardsbay
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Agreed, you get what you pay for!

    https://go-solarelectrical.co.za/

    Speak to Jaco, you WILL not get a better guy to help you!

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  14. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pretoria
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Hi Claude, there is another way....
    It sounds as if you do not want to lay out for a complete home solar power system yet?
    However, provided you are handy and have the time, you can source and install a system yourself at half price or less.
    Since you have a picture of a Land Rover Defender on your profile, there is a good chance you do not fear a toolbox ;-)
    There is plenty help on the internet with videos to show how to every step of the way.
    As a bonus you will learn a new hobby that will pay for itself.
    You can even build your own lithium-ion battery from new or used cells.
    All you need is courage......

  15. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Home solar system recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by HarleyD View Post
    1. Sorry to say but do not rely too much on advice from this forum. As a pro solar I find most of the solar advice here amateurish to say the least.

    2. Majority of solar kits from online sites are a waste. Will most likely leave you unhappy in time.

    3. Do not assume that a qualified electrician know about solar. Often not the case.

    4. Find yourself an accredited installer. SAPVIA approved and/or Green Card is a good start.

    5. Sorry if I offended anyone!
    Just my response after the experience of a fellow member recently.

    He got involved with a major installer to ensure all is done correctly with the needed support.
    This major installer indicated when he wanted a grid tied inverter without batteries that surely any solar inverter must have a battery. He went on to say that he has never installed a grid tied inverter. This leads me to some installers only pushing a specific type/brand for their customers.

    Luckily all turned out well for the learning curve for this major installer with the grid tied working fine.

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