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  1. #1
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    Default Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Referring to these two old threads I'd like to share my progress and challenges.

    I don't want to reinvent the wheel while there is so much info on this forum.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...hlight=3+phase

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...r-not-charging

    After I started enquiring about Solar I was given a system that someone threw out because it was not working as he wanted it to work.


    No solar panels just 3 Kodak 7.2 Inverters ( 2 not working) and 5 Nenergy batteries.

    We tried to repair two Kodak inverters but at R 10k each decided to rather replace with a 5kva Must inverter at R 8k

    So we had two systems 1 x 5 kva Must inverter with 3 Batteries and then 1 x 7.2 kva Kodak inverter with 2 batteries.

    These systems has run reasonably problem free and Loadshedding does not bother us but long cable theft outages we last about 6 hours.

    Now we have added solar panels only 6 x 455 kva on the one inverter and tomorrow I will buy 4 more for the other inverter. SEE ATACCHED INV FOR PANELS.

    Without Solar programming is not so critical and the systems just run but now that. I am adding solar programming is critical.

    The Must inverter has a wifi dongle but we cannot access it. It has aQR code on it that according to the manual our phones should be able to read. This does not happen.

    1 So anybody that can help me program a Must and a Kodak inverter to first use Solar then batteries to 25% and then grid.

    2 Would Solar Assitant be the answer for this capability.

    3 Would I need a Solar Assistant for each inverter.

    4 Should I eventually connect the two inverters so that if one has battery or solar capacity available it can support the other.

    On the plot we have 5 building and currently 3 is on the one inverter and two on the other. So separate DBs.

    The aim from here is now reduction of electricity bill.

    Loadshedding is now covered.

    Hopefully my struggles can help someone else.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Mal Hannes; 2024/01/29 at 04:52 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Hannes View Post
    Referring to these two old threads I'd like to share my progress and challenges.

    I don't want to reinvent the wheel while there is so much info on this forum.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...hlight=3+phase

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...r-not-charging

    After I started enquiring about Solar I was given a system that someone threw out because it was not working as he wanted it to work.


    No solar panels just 3 Kodak 7.2 Inverters ( 2 not working) and 5 Nenergy batteries.

    We tried to repair two Kodak inverters but at R 10k each decided to rather replace with a 5kva Must inverter at R 8k

    So we had two systems 1 x 5 kva Must inverter with 3 Batteries and then 1 x 7.2 kva Kodak inverter with 2 batteries.

    These systems has run reasonably problem free and Loadshedding does not bother us but long cable theft outages we last about 6 hours.

    Now we have added solar panels only 6 x 455 kva on the one inverter and tomorrow I will buy 4 more for the other inverter. SEE ATACCHED INV FOR PANELS.

    Without Solar programming is not so critical and the systems just run but now that. I am adding solar programming is critical.

    The Must inverter has a wifi dongle but we cannot access it. It has aQR code on it that according to the manual our phones should be able to read. This does not happen.

    1 So anybody that can help me program a Must and a Kodak inverter to first use Solar then batteries to 25% and then grid.
    I would suggest you look at the options in the manuals. Settings are per number and perhaps easier to follow or to answer based on these numbers for both inverters.

    2 Would Solar Assitant be the answer for this capability.
    Yes not essential but does give great stats and remote settings changes via the kit.

    3 Would I need a Solar Assistant for each inverter.
    Yes.

    4 Should I eventually connect the two inverters so that if one has battery or solar capacity available it can support the other.
    No each will have to have its own load connected. If they were the same inverters running in parallel both would have split the load. Say 2xKodaks in parallel.

    On the plot we have 5 building and currently 3 is on the one inverter and two on the other. So separate DBs.

    The aim from here is now reduction of electricity bill.
    This can still be of value with the 10 panels you have and buying now.

    Loadshedding is now covered.

    Hopefully my struggles can help someone else.
    I hope the answers give you a start to work from. Even if comms to batteries are not working one can use them on voltage until the comms can work. Not sure if they can with the batteries you have.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quite grumpy now because both batteries on the Kodak system has gone into protection again.

    Worked fine for a few weeks and now for unknown. Reason during normal two hour loadshedding both dead.

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Is there any installer on the forum that can supply and install Solar Assistant?

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Hannes View Post
    Is there any installer on the forum that can supply and install Solar Assistant?
    Buy the correct parts from here, and I'm sure you'll get assistance from guys like Dirk on here, it's not difficult to install.

    https://solar-assistant.io/shop

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by bees View Post
    Buy the correct parts from here, and I'm sure you'll get assistance from guys like Dirk on here, it's not difficult to install.

    https://solar-assistant.io/shop
    Thank you Bees this has also been my first thought but when the specialists starts chatting on these many threads on Solar assist and I try and follow im soon lost in especially acronyms.

    Those who had it installed do you think you need some specialist knowledge or experience to tackle this. I think I might frustrate any reasonable person with to many questions.

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Just to show my lack of knowledge here.

    As you know my system is a hand me down system

    . I have this and I believe there is Solar Assistant loaded on it but I I have no passwords or cables. Does anyone know if this can be resurrected.

    Is it the right thing?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Ok so without the password for this software I assume its worthless.

    What did I manage to do in the last hour. Watch many videos on solar assist read on various forums and solar assistant's website.

    So buying the licence is easy but "flashing onto a sd card" is impossible for me because I do not have a reader for such a small Sd card except the one of the raspberry pi.

    I don't want to buy the licence until I know how I will get it onto a sd card.

    tep 1

    If you have purchased a SolarAssistant license, the sites page will display a link to download the latest SD card image. Go ahead and download it.
    If you want to purchase a license, please visit our online shop.
    Step 2

    Extract the Zip file you downloaded and flash the ISO file to an SD card. We recommend using Balena Etcher.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Can you boot up the rPi on HDMI screen and see if you’re able to see some sort of license key? The way I see it is the Pi is already licensed so should be able to reinstall in order to setup from scratch?

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by bees View Post
    Can you boot up the rPi on HDMI screen and see if you’re able to see some sort of license key? The way I see it is the Pi is already licensed so should be able to reinstall in order to setup from scratch?
    The problem is not the RPI license, for which there is none, but the solar Assistant.

    Solar Assistant is a web based app. SA connects to the SA webs site in the backround and the RPI chip serial number is linked to the license which you purchased, accessed via your SA Login and Password details.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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  15. #11
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Hannes View Post
    Quite grumpy now because both batteries on the Kodak system has gone into protection again.

    Worked fine for a few weeks and now for unknown. Reason during normal two hour loadshedding both dead.
    I fear that you are between a rock and a hard place. Either somebody has to help you, or you are going to have to help yourself.

    As I said on the other thread you need to program that Kodak to work correctly with the batteries. You need to get this right long before using Solar Assistant. Solar Assistant won't help you as the setting you need to get correct are not accessible via Solar Assistant.

    But don't stress. I can guide you step by step through the process.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    The problem is not the RPI license, for which there is none, but the solar Assistant.

    Solar Assistant is a web based app. SA connects to the SA webs site in the backround and the RPI chip serial number is linked to the license which you purchased, accessed via your SA Login and Password details.
    Keith am I understanding correctly that you are saying I can't put a new licence on an old Pi that had another licence linked to it before.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I fear that you are between a rock and a hard place. Either somebody has to help you, or you are going to have to help yourself.

    As I said on the other thread you need to program that Kodak to work correctly with the batteries. You need to get this right long before using Solar Assistant. Solar Assistant won't help you as the setting you need to get correct are not accessible via Solar Assistant.

    But don't stress. I can guide you step by step through the process.
    Aggenee I thought solar Assist would get me past the need for programming the Kodak.

    You see I'm learning. I easily "Jumpstarted" the batteries that were in safe mode. Now I have to avert that and make sure it does not happen again.

  19. #14
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    sled delete
    Last edited by dilligafrican; 2024/01/31 at 10:42 AM.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Step 1 - do you have the Kodak Manual.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2024/01/31 at 09:52 AM.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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  21. #16
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Step 1 - do you have the Kodak Manual.
    I have downloaded one but I cant make head nor tail of it.

  22. #17
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Hannes View Post
    I have downloaded one but I cant make head nor tail of it.
    Ok - hang in there. I will print the relevant parts. Mark it up with suggested settings, scan and post it here.

    I need an hour or so.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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  23. #18
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Ok - hang in there. I will print the relevant parts. Mark it up with suggested settings, scan and post it here.

    I need an hour or so.
    Thank you so much that will be awesome! i appreciate that Keith that is more than I can ask for.

  24. #19
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by dilligafrican View Post
    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    About to pull the trigger in my system.

    The only aspect I worry about is if a 5kVA inverter will be sufficient.

    Went for quote on a Mulitplus II 5kVA with a Freedom Lite 10/8 - I wanted the bigger battery as I run aircon all night in summer time.

    The 8kVA is about R15k more, and won;t break the bank - better to rather just get this and be sure have sufficient output?

    Or, should I try and measure peak draw when all the essentials are running? If so, where do you get these?
    Think it's best to start a new thread.

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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Hansie's solar challenges en journey.

    OK, please see PDF file attached.

    IMPORTANT WARNING and DISCLAIMER.
    ------------------------------------------------
    If anybody else intends using the setting in the document be AWARE that I have customised the settings to Hansie's specific batteries which are - 15 Cell 48V Lithium packs - and NOT the industry standard 16 Cell 51.2 V packs.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Note 1 - In the document - in Program 01 you need to choose between

    SbU - (Solar First, then Battery, then Utility)

    This will power your load from the Solar, then if not enough solar or nightime, it will use the battery until it is flat, then switch to incomming mains. This means that your load will run of batteries at night and they will probably be almost flat of flat by the morning, giving you no protection from load shedding until the batteries are recharged.

    OR

    SUb - (Solar First, then Utility, then Battery)

    This will power your load from the Solar, then if not enough solar or nighttime, it will use the incoming mains. It will only switch to battery during Load shedding or no mains. This means that your batteries will be fully charge most of the time and be available for load shedding.

    ------------------

    I strongly suggest that you use Sub for now. Once we get you up and running on Solar Assistant, we can get Solar Assistant to automatically manage modes as the load and battery state dictates.

    One of the great things about the Kodak inverter that you have is that it can mix or blend inputs. So for example if your load is 2Kw and there is only 1Kw Solar it will mix 1Kw Solar + 1Kw mains to feed the 2Kw load.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Cheers

    NAGOF

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