Generator or Inverter for residential use?

ADrunkTeddyBear

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
788
What was the cost of the PV panels and installation including mounting equipment?
R65k installed. Sourced all components myself from my work place. Batteries were already there since I had an IVR system already.

Batteries are +-3 years old now so I need to look at lithium soon. 1 x AM-2 is around is around R25k so in December the system would cost me in total of R90k.

Next year I plan on adding around 8 more panels and 1 more AM-2 battery then I will be done
 

Priapus

Executive Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
7,718
.. for now I'm practically offgrid.

How many hours a day do you rely on Eskom supply?

Off-grid to me, is being able to go 24hrs without Eskom at bare min. Are you able to do that?

Nice setup btw, vey neat.
 

Saba'a

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
6,693
You can ask for a quote from my company, we are suppliers of solar products as well.

weable.co.za

Please note that I work with data and development, im not the salesman or support lol
Website takes too long! Guess because accessing on my phone.
 

neetz108

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
580
How many hours a day do you rely on Eskom supply?

Off-grid to me, is being able to go 24hrs without Eskom at bare min. Are you able to do that?

Nice setup btw, vey neat.
At the moment I only rely on Eskom for geyser heating and oven usage though we barely use the oven.

My Geyser is also solar although these winter mornings require around 2 to 4 hours of grid for those morning hot showers. A typical 4 hour cycle equates to around 16kwh daily. Quite a bit.

During the evenings the entire house runs on batteries. Stove and heaters are all gas so no issues. All lights also converted to LED so very minimal usage and strain on batteries.

The other appliances are all somewhat energy efficient as well so no major issues. Pool pump is also running during the day for around 4 hours and that's covered purely by the solar and batteries. Life is normal.

Battery SoC is around 20% before solar kicks in around 7:30am. Batteries are fully charged by around 11am or so depending on the household load and consumption for the day.

I do observe minimal grid usage via my effergy monitor and can assume it's the inverter doing some form of probing every few seconds. This is around 200w and not sure if that's an accurate reading. The old faithful effergy monitor is helpful in measuring pure grid usage.

It's only been 6 days since my solar implementation and so far it's generated around 150kwh according to the Inverter app dashboard. Not too bad.

I guess time will tell how this performs when other factors such as cloudy days, rain and load shedding is thrown in the mix.
 

RonSwanson

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
7,176
At the moment I only rely on Eskom for geyser heating and oven usage though we barely use the oven.

My Geyser is also solar although these winter mornings require around 2 to 4 hours of grid for those morning hot showers. A typical 4 hour cycle equates to around 16kwh daily. Quite a bit.

During the evenings the entire house runs on batteries. Stove and heaters are all gas so no issues. All lights also converted to LED so very minimal usage and strain on batteries.

The other appliances are all somewhat energy efficient as well so no major issues. Pool pump is also running during the day for around 4 hours and that's covered purely by the solar and batteries. Life is normal.

Battery SoC is around 20% before solar kicks in around 7:30am. Batteries are fully charged by around 11am or so depending on the household load and consumption for the day.

I do observe minimal grid usage via my effergy monitor and can assume it's the inverter doing some form of probing every few seconds. This is around 200w and not sure if that's an accurate reading. The old faithful effergy monitor is helpful in measuring pure grid usage.

It's only been 6 days since my solar implementation and so far it's generated around 150kwh according to the Inverter app dashboard. Not too bad.

I guess time will tell how this performs when other factors such as cloudy days, rain and load shedding is thrown in the mix.
There are other factors, utilisation patterns which you will only discover some months later. If you regularly and continually optimise them, you will soon reach 0kWh from Eskom.
My own Eskom bill (prepaid usage) was under 5kWh last month (June) and I have had my system since August last year. It takes time, courage and patience, but you will get there.
 

AchmatK

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,845
One year since the install and I'm pretty happy with the results.

First month and a bit was only with 21 panels active as I messed up installation on the one string. Took a few hours to fix but lost out on a few weeks of production.

A few months later I upgraded the panels by adding 6 more panels taking the total from 28 to 34 x 305w panels and total of the pv to 10.37kwp.

I also added one more 3.5kWh pylontech battery at this time taking my total storage to 14kWh.

No maintenance costs over the year except for occasionally cleaning of the panels.

Battery cycled 3MWh over the year with an 11% conversion loss. For every 1kWh discharged from the battery, it needed 1.1kWh to be charged to bring it back to the same level. Battery SOH is still at 99% and at this rate should get to 80% of rated capacity after 20 years. I will be adding another one or two batteries over the next year.

I definitely don't have enough pv generation in winter as I needed about 350kwh from the grid every month for the past 3 months.

Overall I'm satisfied with the results and the setup should last me and save me a significant amount over the years. It's already saved me nearly R33k at my average cost to buy from CoCT. Screenshot_20210731-183419_SOLARMAN%20Smart.jpg Screenshot_20210731-183500_SOLARMAN%20Business.jpg
 

Sayf777

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,994
One year since the install and I'm pretty happy with the results.

First month and a bit was only with 21 panels active as I messed up installation on the one string. Took a few hours to fix but lost out on a few weeks of production.

A few months later I upgraded the panels by adding 6 more panels taking the total from 28 to 34 x 305w panels and total of the pv to 10.37kwp.

I also added one more 3.5kWh pylontech battery at this time taking my total storage to 14kWh.

No maintenance costs over the year except for occasionally cleaning of the panels.

Battery cycled 3MWh over the year with an 11% conversion loss. For every 1kWh discharged from the battery, it needed 1.1kWh to be charged to bring it back to the same level. Battery SOH is still at 99% and at this rate should get to 80% of rated capacity after 20 years. I will be adding another one or two batteries over the next year.

I definitely don't have enough pv generation in winter as I needed about 350kwh from the grid every month for the past 3 months.

Overall I'm satisfied with the results and the setup should last me and save me a significant amount over the years. It's already saved me nearly R33k at my average cost to buy from CoCT. View attachment 1117962 View attachment 1117964
Nice, how many people in the house?

Is that the solarman smart app? Can't seem to find lot battery info on the app myside
 

Sayf777

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,994
Is there a reason the solarman smart app has normal status for my inverter and the solarman Pro app says the "warning the plant is abnormal?"

If I have it scheduled to not supply battery backup at a certain percentage and its close to that percentage would it throw such a warning?
 

AchmatK

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,845
Is there a reason the solarman smart app has normal status for my inverter and the solarman Pro app says the "warning the plant is abnormal?"

If I have it scheduled to not supply battery backup at a certain percentage and its close to that percentage would it throw such a warning?
I don't know as I've never had that happen. Does it give a reason or does it just say abnormal?
 

RonSwanson

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
7,176
Is there a reason the solarman smart app has normal status for my inverter and the solarman Pro app says the "warning the plant is abnormal?"

If I have it scheduled to not supply battery backup at a certain percentage and its close to that percentage would it throw such a warning?
Did you pay your SABC TV license?
 

Sayf777

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,994
I don't know as I've never had that happen. Does it give a reason or does it just say abnormal?
It says its an undefined alert content.

Type: Error

Level: Medium

There's no way for me to change an inverter setting remotely via the pro app, right?

That's what I'm worried about
 

AchmatK

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,845
It says its an undefined alert content.

Type: Error

Level: Medium

There's no way for me to change an inverter setting remotely via the pro app, right?

That's what I'm worried about
Yes. No way for remote changing of settings.

There's a few alert levels. Some impacts production and some have no impact and just a warning or notice that something is not right.

It could also only be a warning for the data logger.
 

Sayf777

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,994
Yes. No way for remote changing of settings.

There's a few alert levels. Some impacts production and some have no impact and just a warning or notice that something is not right.

It could also only be a warning for the data logger.
Thanks, since its the first time I've linked this app, was just stressed.

But in any case when I checked the history of alerts it actually shows the same error historically since commission.

Will ask the installer next week.
 

AchmatK

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,845
First day in a very long time that my geyser element will not be going on at 16:00 for my kids evening shower at 17:00. I should get my 200l geyser up to 60° just from the the evacuated tubes. Domestic is also not in today so we are not likely to use any hot water until the kids go and shower. 20210802_115432.jpg
 

Tariqe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
220
Upgraded from 4200 watts to a total of 6400 kW of panels, enough to run wife’s dishwasher/washing machine/tumble dryer plus 11 kWh for the geyser, and charging the battery to 100%, these sunny days are really helping with pv production
 

AchmatK

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,845
Upgraded from 4200 watts to a total of 6400 kW of panels, enough to run wife’s dishwasher/washing machine/tumble dryer plus 11 kWh for the geyser, and charging the battery to 100%, these sunny days are really helping with pv production
That's good what did you manage to produce so far today?
 

RonSwanson

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
7,176
Upgraded from 4200 watts to a total of 6400 kW of panels, enough to run wife’s dishwasher/washing machine/tumble dryer plus 11 kWh for the geyser, and charging the battery to 100%, these sunny days are really helping with pv production
Plus you can now manage base load as well as charge batteries on overcast days.
 
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