Off-grid system prices from Solar Advice

itareanlnotani

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Sep 14, 2008
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My recommendations / rough costing below for a fully offgrid system.

20KW of storage (can do less, but potentially need to run a generator to charge batteries in deep winter with 4-5 days of overcast weather).

5kw = 25k zar+- = 50-100k zar for 10 - 20kw (LFP)
5-10KW of solar (15-30k zar)
8KW inverter (30k zar)
Mounting, Electrical 10k zar
Installation + ??? I've only DIY'd. Its basically 1 day of work plus some system tweaking post install.

Looking at 170K zar for something I'd be happy with. Let's say 200k max.

Thats my recommendation after being offgrid in CPT for a long time.

I did run with 10KW of Dead Acid for a few years till LFP came down in price, wouldn't recommend it, pricing is feasible/ reasonable now for LFP, zero point going the dead acid route unless you have extremely limited funds. Even then I would still steer clear.
 

neoprema

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Jan 12, 2016
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7,955
R132k for a "heavy" user? I was quoted over 250k and still couldnt run my Inverter AC's and geysers lol.
I'll have to stick with Eskom for now.
 

Thor

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Jun 5, 2014
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Feels expensive (I guess that is Taxes and ZAR for you)

Since R5 per kilowatt doesn't feel viable especially considering you need to replace the batteries after 8 years probably with how load-shedding is going.

6000 cycle limit with twice daily load-shedding only lasts so long.

A better solution is to use that money and form committees and legally try and force the government's hand to privatize Eskom.
 

wingnut771

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Feb 15, 2011
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Feels expensive (I guess that is Taxes and ZAR for you)

Since R5 per kilowatt doesn't feel viable especially considering you need to replace the batteries after 8 years probably with how load-shedding is going.

6000 cycle limit with twice daily load-shedding only lasts so long.

A better solution is to use that money and form committees and legally try and force the government's hand to privatize Eskom.
A cycle is from 100->0->100

6000/365 = 16.4 years. (at full load)
 

Thor

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A cycle is from 100->0->100

6000/365 = 16.4 years. (at full load)
You will cycle twice a day with Eskom, and 4 times in the coming year probably

So probably need to overspend to get much much bigger batteries to sustain winter when your solar is dead
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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You will cycle twice a day with Eskom, and 4 times in the coming year probably

So probably need to overspend to get much much bigger batteries to sustain winter when your solar is dead
Not true. With sufficient panels, you only run on batteries in the evening. If you are "off grid" then you would be running on batteries in the evening in any case.

Here's the proof: Today was a "bad" solar day in Johannesburg, with complete cloud cover and stage 4 loadshedding, see the yellow line.
1635357867600.png

I managed to:
1. Charge my batteries to 100%, so that I can use it tonight; and which were discharged to 55% from the previous night;
2. Make 200l of hot water for tomorrow's shower / bath at 67 degrees C;
3. Cook food;
4. Make many cups of coffee;
5. Work from home (1 Laptop, 1 desktop, 3 screens, 2x APs, firewall, switch, 2x Raspberry Pis, Fibre ONT);
6. Run lights, alarm, cameras and 2x Siemens VOIP phones; and
7. Charge my cellphone;

and still did not consume it all.
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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10,339
My recommendations / rough costing below for a fully offgrid system.

20KW of storage (can do less, but potentially need to run a generator to charge batteries in deep winter with 4-5 days of overcast weather).

5kw = 25k zar+- = 50-100k zar for 10 - 20kw (LFP)
5-10KW of solar (15-30k zar)
8KW inverter (30k zar)
Mounting, Electrical 10k zar
Installation + ??? I've only DIY'd. Its basically 1 day of work plus some system tweaking post install.

Looking at 170K zar for something I'd be happy with. Let's say 200k max.

Thats my recommendation after being offgrid in CPT for a long time.

I did run with 10KW of Dead Acid for a few years till LFP came down in price, wouldn't recommend it, pricing is feasible/ reasonable now for LFP, zero point going the dead acid route unless you have extremely limited funds. Even then I would still steer clear.
It depends entirely on your overall utilisation, and smart scheduling of heavier loads during the day.
 

wingnut771

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Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
15,515
You will cycle twice a day with Eskom, and 4 times in the coming year probably

So probably need to overspend to get much much bigger batteries to sustain winter when your solar is dead
Fok bru, don't know what you're using your batteries for, but you normally use the sun during the day.
 

Mike Hoxbig

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Apr 25, 2010
Messages
39,707
Going with a similar setup to the heavy user scenario. Except with 20 panels and 10KWh battery.

Need to wait for the renovations to get to the electrical work though before we can start with this...
 

itareanlnotani

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Sep 14, 2008
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It depends entirely on your overall utilisation, and smart scheduling of heavier loads during the day.
Definitely, some people will need more.

I got away with minimal for a long time, but at the end of the day, you're better off with more battery - the battery you have will last longer too.
 

RonSwanson

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Definitely, some people will need more.

I got away with minimal for a long time, but at the end of the day, you're better off with more battery - the battery you have will last longer too.
And some will need less. I have 10.5K, and the last time that I bought electricity was in 2020.
 

itareanlnotani

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And some will need less. I have 10.5K, and the last time that I bought electricity was in 2020.
I have 10KW, and in deep winter, I needed more, as I use about 4KW / day, and a few days of crappy weather would put me under.

I have added another 10KW of panels, so that obviates that issue now. I will be adding more storage though.

I should reiterate - I am completely offgrid.

Have been for a good few years now.
 
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