Talk to me about solar for house.




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  1. #1
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    Default Talk to me about solar for house.

    Ok so looking at going over to solar in my house.
    I want to keep it as simple as possible and in winter times still want the option to changeover to eskom power.
    I have one
    1.Box freezer
    2.fridge/freezer
    3.Microwave
    4.Dishwasher
    5.Tv x2
    And need a little bit more for other usages.
    What do I have to look for I got no clue.
    Changing geyser to gas first.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    sorry
    Last edited by Festi1; 2021/12/03 at 06:56 AM. Reason: sorry, didn't read enough!

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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Take a piece of paper and write down the W value on the data plate of each appliance. You then add them up to get to the total Wattage of your need.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    There is solar and then there is Solar.

    To establish some things....
    1) Budget
    2) Do you just want to supplement eskom during the day?
    3) Or be off grid completely in the summer

    There are so many options that can be taken. Budget is a big deciding factor.

    IMO (which is worthless) more often than not a "simple" cheap system often ends up costing more and becoming more complicated further down the road. Rather purchase a proper inverter and build the rest of the system around that as time and budget allows.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiceman View Post
    Take a piece of paper and write down the W value on the data plate of each appliance. You then add them up to get to the total Wattage of your need.
    This is the best thing to do.

    The second thing to do is to get an idea on what time you use each appliance and for how long that appliance runs (including lights and fans)

    Once you have the total watts you get what yoir max wattage required could be at any time, they recommend 30% extra for start up loads etc.
    When you got the total watts needed at each hour of the day you can then work on coat savings to your system by calculating the amount of battery power needed and if you are able to reduce the size of the inverter.

    In real world situation, my cousin house we installed a 5000 watt inverter and 100ah batteries. His stove, geysers and aircon is not connected but everything else is and he can run through a 2 hour load shed without any issues, even when at level 4 he had no issues. He has a big house which has 4 bedrooms, study, 2 lounges, dining room, kitchen, scullery, spot lights in gardens.

    In my house I have a 1440 watt inverter and run everything except the heavy loads in kitchen (kettle, dishwasher, tumble drier, microwave) stove, geyser. Everything else is on my inverter and I can run for 12 hours easy on my 150ah batteries. I do have a smaller house which also has led lights everywhere only so everything is light load and my fridge is energy a rated so about 300 watt max.

    Hope this will help you.

    P.s. look at the thread of real world figures by dirk. Very good and informative thread into solar and batteries etc.


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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    The best option would be to get a power meter installed that can give you readings of your power and give you exactly your consumption and times of day. Then based on budget you decide how much of that power you want to get from solar and how much must be backed up if there is power failure. What ever you decide on these decisions will determine what you need to install, also check municipal regulations in your area so you don't get something that they disallow.
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbike View Post
    Ok so looking at going over to solar in my house.
    I want to keep it as simple as possible and in winter times still want the option to changeover to eskom power.
    I have one
    1.Box freezer
    2.fridge/freezer
    3.Microwave
    4.Dishwasher
    5.Tv x2
    And need a little bit more for other usages.
    What do I have to look for I got no clue.
    Changing geyser to gas first.
    Honestly it's like asking what car you need to drive from Jhb to CT. Start by 1. Understanding the power (kW) you need by adding the w rating of simultaneous load and 2. Understanding the energy (kWh) you need in the absence of sun or grid.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    1. What is your budget?
    2. Do you have a home loan, with an access bond facility? If yes, do you have excess funds funds available?

    For R800/month, over 10 years, you will pay off the installation. Deduct the amount you spend on electricity per month, and you will see the nett amount it costs you per month.

    For R100k you could go off the grid completely, with occasional grid time during extended rainy days and bad days in the middle of winter. It depends on how you spec the system and the way your spread the load over the day time hours.

    I have a gas stove, but everything else is on the 5kW inverter and battery. I have a 2kW element and run the geyser between and hour before and after the sun is at the highest point (11:00 - 13:00). The solar geyser does the job outside those times. We seldom have water below 60įC on any day, unless it completely overcast and raining (Alberton).

    Washing machine and dishwasher run in the morning and the maid irons after 13:00. Pool pump (0.7kW) runs from 09:00 - 15:00 daily for a 30-33įC pool water.

    I get 100 free units per month, and use about 60-80 units per month, thereby spending absolutely zero on electricity from the grid for most of they year.

    If you want to know more, ask me.


    I stopped DStv 5 years ago, and put the R900 per month into the home loan. 4 years later (Dec 2020) it was worth R43200 of savings, and paid for just under half my costs of the solar system installed. Add the R600/month electricity I was spending, thatís another R7200 paid back. Iíve paid back 50% of my installation.

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarleyD View Post
    Honestly it's like asking what car you need to drive from Jhb to CT. Start by 1. Understanding the power (kW) you need by adding the w rating of simultaneous load and 2. Understanding the energy (kWh) you need in the absence of sun or grid.
    What complicates things immensely is that any car will do it.

    Hard fact, there is no optimal or best system or solution.

    For the morning.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2021/12/03 at 09:58 PM.
    Cheers

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostii View Post
    1. What is your budget?
    2. Do you have a home loan, with an access bond facility? If yes, do you have excess funds funds available?

    For R800/month, over 10 years, you will pay off the installation. Deduct the amount you spend on electricity per month, and you will see the nett amount it costs you per month.

    For R100k you could go off the grid completely, with occasional grid time during extended rainy days and bad days in the middle of winter. It depends on how you spec the system and the way your spread the load over the day time hours.

    I have a gas stove, but everything else is on the 5kW inverter and battery. I have a 2kW element and run the geyser between and hour before and after the sun is at the highest point (11:00 - 13:00). The solar geyser does the job outside those times. We seldom have water below 60įC on any day, unless it completely overcast and raining (Alberton).

    Washing machine and dishwasher run in the morning and the maid irons after 13:00. Pool pump (0.7kW) runs from 09:00 - 15:00 daily for a 30-33įC pool water.

    I get 100 free units per month, and use about 60-80 units per month, thereby spending absolutely zero on electricity from the grid for most of they year.

    If you want to know more, ask me.


    I stopped DStv 5 years ago, and put the R900 per month into the home loan. 4 years later (Dec 2020) it was worth R43200 of savings, and paid for just under half my costs of the solar system installed. Add the R600/month electricity I was spending, thatís another R7200 paid back. Iíve paid back 50% of my installation.
    For sure prices have got to the point where it is a no brainier.
    Cheers

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    What complicates things immensely is that any car will do it.

    Hard fact, there is no optimal or best system or solution.

    For the morning.
    Once you start to understand your requirements it makes life far less complicated, but I'm sure you know that.

  20. #12
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarleyD View Post
    Once you start to understand your requirements it makes life far less complicated, but I'm sure you know that.
    The possible permutations are so vast, that your statement does not hold true.

    There unfortunately is no shoe that fits all.
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    The more I learnt about solar, the less I knew and the harder the final installation was to decide on.

    A year later and I still wonder if I should add or change.

    Otherwise get someone out to quote you and take their advice but I would recommend understanding it all (mostly) first then get quotes so you at least have an idea. There are just too many variables to recommend a setup to someone. Batteries, budget, load shedding, eskom savings, cloudy days, max load, average load etc etc.

    But I do agree it should be on everyone's radar to install a decent setup these days.

  22. #14
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Impossible question to answer without knowing the budget. The kw needed in my opinion does not feature, as the system size and config would probably be dictated by budget availability.

    Assuming a budget of R60k for example would get you something like this:

    5kW Kodak King Inverter
    6 or 9 415w Panels
    2.4kWh Lithium battery, something like Pylontech that is directly supported by the inverter.

    Inverter - R12000.00
    6 Panels - R24000 (estimated price, but should be close including all brackets, labour, wiring etc needed)
    2.4kWh Lithium Pylontech Battery - R12300.00
    Raspberry PI with Solar-Assistant - R2300.00
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Total R50600.00
    --------------------------------------------------------

    This means you have backup for load shedding and power interruptions, but can use the panels directly the rest of the time, with pv and grid power blended to make up the requirement.

    Above inverter can only go up to about 9 panels, with nine that takes the panel price up to about R35000.00
    You can get a bigger battery, 4.8 kWh for example, price increases to about R24000.00

    If budget was not a limiting factor, well then definitely at least 9 panels, with an inverter like the Deye, and 5.5kWh battery.

    There are definitely "better" inverters with more features better panel integration, more mppt controllers, but at double the price, again it is all about how much money you want to spend.

    So, in my opinion you need to start with that figure, then see what fits.
    Last edited by Dirk; 2021/12/04 at 08:12 PM.

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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Do yourself a favour and jump onto artsolar website. They are a local company that make amazing panels. We been buying the 545 watt mono black panels for work lately and they giving that wattage with ease. Also they are only about R2500 of you ask for a discount when speaking to a sales guy.
    They have options of set up with batteries, panels and inverter for sale also.
    Lots of options and really decent panels. (Have Canadian solar panels mono crystalline which I can compare against and the artsolar ones give closer to actual wattage than the Canadian solar ones but they are also different technology now too)


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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Which is a good reliable company in kZN Pinetown area that does solar for houses and know what they doing

    thanks
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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Thanks everyone need to do abit of homework.

  27. #18
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    I have just installed a 16kwh per day system with 5 kva battery. DOD is 80%.

    I will pay for it in 5 years at these tariffs, after next years 20% increase maybe even less.

    My meter stand still for most of the day and it only draws Eskom on rainy and cloudy days even though it is still charging from the PVs.

    Management is the key. Go LED through the house. My geyser now runns during the day when the sun is at its best. The early morning, (dark) time slot is not needed as the water is still hot enough.

    Pool, fridges etc all run for free. Love it. My battery normally dropps to about 75% during the night.

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  29. #19
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    What I've done was to get an Ellies monitor to monitor my daily usage, hour by hour.
    From that I could see that a 5kw Inverter would be fine except maybe in the evenings so I went with the following, a bit more expensive but working fine.

    My geyser is on solar.

    Power;
    8kW Inverter with gennie input
    10 x 200W solar panels
    2 x 3.6 kWh batteries.
    6.5 kVA Generator (old - Had it since load shedding started the first time)

    Used the generator now a few times when the substation near us blew and it was rainy so that the batteries don't get charge as needed.
    Even sometimes with normal load shedding is happens that you have 3 session (late afternoon, middle of the night, early morning) then the batteries don't have enough power and the gennie came in handy.

    Upgrades: Another 3.6 kVA Battery and another 4 panels will enable me to get completely off the grid.

    My electricity savings per month is about R2000.00
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  31. #20
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    Default Re: Talk to me about solar for house.

    Quote Originally Posted by dtheron View Post
    What I've done was to get an Ellies monitor to monitor my daily usage, hour by hour.
    From that I could see that a 5kw Inverter would be fine except maybe in the evenings so I went with the following, a bit more expensive but working fine.

    My geyser is on solar.

    Power;
    8kW Inverter with gennie input
    10 x 200W solar panels
    2 x 3.6 kWh batteries.
    6.5 kVA Generator (old - Had it since load shedding started the first time)

    Used the generator now a few times when the substation near us blew and it was rainy so that the batteries don't get charge as needed.
    Even sometimes with normal load shedding is happens that you have 3 session (late afternoon, middle of the night, early morning) then the batteries don't have enough power and the gennie came in handy.

    Upgrades: Another 3.6 kVA Battery and another 4 panels will enable me to get completely off the grid.

    My electricity savings per month is about R2000.00

    Some good advice here... I have a reasonable system at home and it is a real pleasure. All plugs and all lights on the system and oven, geyser, swimming pool pump and heat pump on separate feeds. If I had to start again, I would go...

    8kVA Inverter (I currently have a 5kVA and it occasionally... not often, but it does happen... trips when the kettle is on, the microwave is going and my wife switches on her hair dryer);
    12 or so solar panels... you are getting 400 watt units these days;
    About 10kWhr lithium iron phosphate battery pack.

    This should cost you about R100k to R150k, but will be the best investment in your home that you can make.

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