Generator or Inverter for residential use?

wingnut771

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Feb 15, 2011
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So we 'upgraded' from a little inverter that only kept a few lights on + wifi, tv, etc to solar panels.

New setup is 6x Solar panels, and 4x 12V240Ah OPR Deep Cycle batteries and new inverter.

I don't know much about electricity, so the 'experts' did it for us and guided us on the ...
It's all functioning well, by lunch time today and yesterday the sun was shining and the eskom meter was spinning backwards as we generated much more than we consumed.

And then, just out of curiosity, decided to switch off the power at the eskom meter box to simulate loadshedding, to see what remains on and what's still off.
Surprisingly, almost everything was still powered, minus the oven and separate laundry room.. we thought they would just use the existing circuits that the old inverter used to the few important household items, but turns out the whole house was fully powered by the solar panels, including refrigerators.... but my question now....

Should we experience a power outage at night, no sun-assist, how quickly would those batteries run out? (say no one switches on the kettle)
Are batteries even advanced enough to be on same circuit as heavy appliances like 3x fridges and deep freeze box? Is it a mistake from the installers side perhaps?

Just a question. I'm still a touch paranoid from anything battery related.
How much were the batteries?
 

gbyleveldt

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Apr 30, 2009
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That’s what PF store said I need, 6 brackets per 4.4m rail. It’s sort of governed by the spacing of the trusses. 1.3m apart may be too much. I don’t know. Rather safe than sorry.
Ah I see. I went with every 2nd truss on mine. Thats what my supplier recommended and it’s pretty solid to be honest. I went with 40x40 rails though, not sure what size yours are? I would’ve just died if I had to put a bracket on every truss. The roof has had so many layers of paint that it was a nightmare to move the tiles.
 

wingnut771

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I think 2 x 3.5kw pylontech batteries for the same money would have been a better option.

More capacity and longer lifetime.
What's done is done I guess. At least when they need replacing, there will be much better and cheaper lithium options.
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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I can’t remember when was the last time I wished so much for cloud cover.

another set of hands would have been good. It’s just me and my gardener.

Rails are done now. Next to run the cables in the ceiling and then lift the panels up. At least the JA panels are slightly lighter at 22kg compared to the 29 kg Canadians.
No pain, no gain. It was a pretty hot day today, so well done!
 

vassen

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Dec 12, 2006
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Today seems even hotter than yesterday. 34 degrees. Combiner box done and connection to inverter. Now just need to go up on the roof again if it cools down a bit later.
 

RonSwanson

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Are you stil using the aux as an input?
Looking at @vassen 's screenshot, it looks like he is. That 5.5k Sunsynk is going to work hard this summer!

I'd like to tie my cheapy 7.5kVA petrol generator into mine using the aux input. I don't like using it, it's noisy, smelly and needs maintenance every 40 hours, but after seeing some of the East Rand suburbs without power for weeks (due to transformer explosions/ theft / poor maintenance) these are small considerations. I bought these plugs from LiveCopper (strangely the 4 and 5 pole 32A plugs are cheaper than the 3 pole ones! Old stock?) and have requested that my installer do it when he adds my 4 extra panels.



 

vassen

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Dec 12, 2006
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Are you stil using the aux as an input?
Yeah. Still using it with the 1200w hoymiles.

will be moving the panels onto a east facing wall soon for early morning generation as originally planned. It seems to work fine early morning before the north facing string has full power.
With the east facing panels, should be able to start the solar generation a little earlier.
 

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RonSwanson

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Nah, I went up after the crazy winds. Was a good thing as that wind picked up really fast.
:love: That's the stuff South Africans are made of. My bird feeder (hanging from a thorn tree) did a loop the loop :laugh: I was in a conference call with people from Noida, Prague, Marseilles, Dallas and Cuernavaca at the time, didn't even tell them, I think that they would not understand or believe that a wind can come from nowhere and blow that hard.
Bravo!
 
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vassen

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Dec 12, 2006
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:love: That's the stuff South Africans are made of. My bird feeder (hanging from a thorn tree) did a loop the loop :laugh: I was in a conference call with people from Noida, Prague, Marseilles, Dallas and Cuernavaca at the time, didn't even tell them, I think that they would not understand or believe that a wind can come from nowhere and blow that hard.
Bravo!
Being up on the roof is scary enough. At the highest point it’s about 8m high at a 26degree pitch. Thankfully mono pitch so I put an extension ladder on the wall side, drilled the wall, added one of those raw bolt hook, tied the ladder to the hook, then tied a strap to the ladder and around my waist. Still wouldn’t take a chance with strong winds like that.
 
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