Generator or Inverter for residential use?

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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Although we are enjoying the cooler weather, internal temperatures reached just shy of 30 Deg C on Friday and Saturday, the overcast conditions are not conducive for PV generation at all but we still managed to generate 7.43kWh via PV yesterday with our small PV setup and light load.
I managed to do 14.3kWh.
Today is a different story altogether, currently struggling at around 1000W, batteries just started recharging (vs almost fully charged on other days at this time). It's pretty dark.
 

Saba'a

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May 21, 2009
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Try and get as many panels as you can. Having excess solar on sunny days is not an issue. Its about having enough for overcast conditions. I think my lowest from 8.54kw of panels was 20kwh for the day with winter monthly production expected to be less than 600kwh.

Looking to increase my panels before winter starts by adding another 6 x 305w Canadian solar panels if i can still find them at that time.
My usage with November and Oct actual readings, looks like I use between 1100 and 1200 per month.

So between 35 and 40kWh per day consumption, perfect for an 8kW solar system.

Thus my average generation should be between 35 and 45 kwh per day.

Now issue is type of panel, mono vs poly and size thus determining number of panels. Plus installation cost.

Thinking of supporting local? Artsolar has

ARTsolar – 440 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency

And

ARTsolar – 445 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency



Or is it too risky, rather go for JA Solar? Think Artsolar sells JA Solar as well although it doesnt look like they have stock at the moment.
 

Speedster

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May 2, 2006
Messages
12,350
in our complex they build a pool motor box around a generator with some insulation and that does a pretty good job but I am more for inverters and deep cycle batteries .
Deep cycle batteries have gone the way of CRT monitors
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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So here ends my bad solar day: 11.3kWh generated. Not too bad considering the slow start and rain clouds.
Best of all, from 00H00 this morning to 19H00 this evening I only used 0.8kWh (worth R1.38) from Eskom, and that's only because I've set the inverter to draw a constant 10w from the grid, and I was also fiddling with optimisation of my heatpump's timer.

1611594378800.png

Here you go Eskom: Thank you for your service.
Eskom.png
 
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wingnut771

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Feb 15, 2011
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11,806
My usage with November and Oct actual readings, looks like I use between 1100 and 1200 per month.

So between 35 and 40kWh per day consumption, perfect for an 8kW solar system.

Thus my average generation should be between 35 and 45 kwh per day.

Now issue is type of panel, mono vs poly and size thus determining number of panels. Plus installation cost.

Thinking of supporting local? Artsolar has

ARTsolar – 440 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency

And

ARTsolar – 445 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency



Or is it too risky, rather go for JA Solar? Think Artsolar sells JA Solar as well although it doesnt look like they have stock at the moment.
It's been mentioned earlier that monos perform better than poly in cloudy weather. I'm also a fan of supporting local.
 

signates

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,150
My usage with November and Oct actual readings, looks like I use between 1100 and 1200 per month.

So between 35 and 40kWh per day consumption, perfect for an 8kW solar system.

Thus my average generation should be between 35 and 45 kwh per day.

Now issue is type of panel, mono vs poly and size thus determining number of panels. Plus installation cost.

Thinking of supporting local? Artsolar has

ARTsolar – 440 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency

And

ARTsolar – 445 Watt Solar Panel – Mono Percium High Efficiency



Or is it too risky, rather go for JA Solar? Think Artsolar sells JA Solar as well although it doesnt look like they have stock at the moment.
I would size the pv array at 8kwp to be able to get something out of them in cloudy conditions. Never size for ideal pv conditions even sacrificing one of the batteries to get the array size right. No point in having a large battery bank and not being able to charge it due to cloudy conditions.
Any good prices around. Might buy a 3rd one if I have any spare cash after pv panels.
Haven't looked again but I think R18k is the lowest I've seen.
 

mariusmeyer

Active Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
30
I have a question regarding the priority order of PV on the Sunsynk inverters. If you set it to load priority, will it use PV of course first for the load output and then to non essentials and then to charge battery or will it be load, then charge battery and only non essentials last when batteries are at 100%
 

signates

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Dec 8, 2009
Messages
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I have a question regarding the priority order of PV on the Sunsynk inverters. If you set it to load priority, will it use PV of course first for the load output and then to non essentials and then to charge battery or will it be load, then charge battery and only non essentials last when batteries are at 100%
Load, loads before inverter i.e. Non essential, battery and aux if used as output and if certain conditions are met.
 

mariusmeyer

Active Member
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Aug 12, 2015
Messages
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Thanks. I had a scenario earlier today just after installing batteries where all the PV went to charge the batteries which was around 85% SOC and the grid was supplying the non essential loads. No matter what the installer tried on the controller, it would not divert the PV to the non essentials. I had nothing on the load at that point in time. The PV generation was very low due to being cloudy and late afternoon but it was enough to supply the non essentials in full if it would just do that.
 

signates

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Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,150
Thanks. I had a scenario earlier today just after installing batteries where all the PV went to charge the batteries which was around 85% SOC and the grid was supplying the non essential loads. No matter what the installer tried on the controller, it would not divert the PV to the non essentials. I had nothing on the load at that point in time. The PV generation was very low due to being cloudy and late afternoon but it was enough to supply the non essentials in full if it would just do that.
If you are using time settings and the SOC is lower than the settings it will take all pv to first charge the batteries until the target is reached.

My minimum SOC is set to 20%. At night it starts to use the grid from about 2am but the battery still has a standing loss of about 3% so when pv starts to activate it will first charge the batteries until the 20% is reached before diverting everything to the wall the loads first.
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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I have a question regarding the priority order of PV on the Sunsynk inverters. If you set it to load priority, will it use PV of course first for the load output and then to non essentials and then to charge battery or will it be load, then charge battery and only non essentials last when batteries are at 100%
My understanding is that at the heart of the Sunsynk is the UPS (or essential loads). In its native state (Use Timer unticked), it will use Solar PV / Wind, Batteries, Generator and then Grid to keep the UPS loads alive. It will charge batteries as a second priority with any PV / Wind /Generator / Grid leftovers, whatever is at its disposal, and in whatever quantities that are present. If there is anything left over after this, it will then service non-essential loads (loads between the inverter and the grid).

If you use the Timer (tick the Use Timer box), then it will follow your instruction as to what it does with PV / Wind /Generator and Grid, at the time that you want it to be set, and also dependent on the SoC of the battery. You can also dictate the rate (in Watts) You can set it to give battery charge a priority (from the PV /wind / generator / grid source) over essential loads by unticking the Load Priority box. In this case, the UPS still get first priority (it will draw from leftover PV/ Generator and then Grid), but the battery charge will be serviced by the main PV / wind /generator generation.

Load Priority is one of the Use Timer options, and it gives you the ability to set the overall priority of where the PV / Generator generation goes, and what to do with the leftovers. So with "Load Priority" ticked, the Sunsynk will service loads (on the UPS) with PV /Wind / Generator first, and if anything is left over, charge the batteries with the leftovers. If the batteries have reached the designated SoC at that time, it will then service the non-essential loads. Remember that the UPS (or "essential loads") will use whatever is at its disposal to keep it servicing the load, be it PV, Wind, Batteries or Grid, and it takes priority over everything else.

If the Load priority box is unticked, then it will service the UPS loads from another source (Grid) and the PV / Wind / Generator generation will be directed to battery charging. Anything left over can be directed to service non-essential loads.
 
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Speedster

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Back to my 3phase conundrum. The Solis 3 phase hybrid works with HV batteries, which I can't seem to source in SA yet.

The best 3 phase option at the moment seems to be the infinisolar at about R60k. For the same price I can hook up 3 x 5kw sunsynks, which seems to be a much better option than the infinisolar. Am I missing something?

Edit: depending on the circuit layout at the new house I might even be able to get away with 2x sunsynks (i.e. ignore the 3rd phase)
 

signates

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Back to my 3phase conundrum. The Solis 3 phase hybrid works with HV batteries, which I can't seem to source in SA yet.

The best 3 phase option at the moment seems to be the infinisolar at about R60k. For the same price I can hook up 3 x 5kw sunsynks, which seems to be a much better option than the infinisolar. Am I missing something?

Edit: depending on the circuit layout at the new house I might even be able to get away with 2x sunsynks (i.e. ignore the 3rd phase)
If you really don't need 3 phase I would just convert the whole house to single phase.

Makes for a more simple setup. I don't know if having 3 phase in a residential property makes any difference or provides any missed opportunities if you change to single phase. Or if it adds any value to a residential property.
 

Speedster

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If you really don't need 3 phase I would just convert the whole house to single phase.

Makes for a more simple setup. I don't know if having 3 phase in a residential property makes any difference or provides any missed opportunities if you change to single phase. Or if it adds any value to a residential property.
This is very much still an option, although if the price premium on staying three phase isn't too much I'd prefer to stay. There are two aircons, 3 geysers and a pool pump (amongst all the other stuff). I think that might justify staying on 3 phase?

If I understand the setup correctly, going with 3 (or 2) Sunsynks also gives me a ton of MPPTs. It appears I can hook them up in parallel and set them to 3 phase mode which will give me 5kw per phase, while sharing a common battery. Biggest drawback of this setup is finding space for the inverters close to the db.
 

Neuk_

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Jan 23, 2018
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Back to my 3phase conundrum. The Solis 3 phase hybrid works with HV batteries, which I can't seem to source in SA yet.

The best 3 phase option at the moment seems to be the infinisolar at about R60k. For the same price I can hook up 3 x 5kw sunsynks, which seems to be a much better option than the infinisolar. Am I missing something?

Edit: depending on the circuit layout at the new house I might even be able to get away with 2x sunsynks (i.e. ignore the 3rd phase)

I am following with some interest, my in-laws have a Solis grid tied 3 phase 25kVa inverter at their factory with 90 odd 360w PV panels and will be putting a hybrid 3 phase inverter or inverter setup at the new house at Pecanwood later this year.
 
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