Questions to those that have actually installed Solar

REAList_1

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Please give us feedback after one year of running whatever system you’ve been advised / decided to install.
Please include all the trying to get it to run efforts as well.
Photos will help a lot.
Much appreciated.
 

gimpex

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IMG_0204.JPG

Has anyone heard or used this set up ?

Lots of advertising for R159k , tempted .
 

Sinbad

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What about mppts and panels for that? Cos that seems expensive if it doesn't include those.
 
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JamesBoy

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What about mppts and panels for that? Cos that seems expensive if it doesn't include those.
Looks like it is this one:
Option 2
  • Alpha ESS Smile 5KW Hybrid Inverter with 2x 5.7KW Batteries – R 115 000.00
  • Includes 12 x 330W Peimar Solar Panels with mounting rails – R25 000.00
  • Installation – R 10 000.00
  • Total Price – R 150 000.00 Incl. Vat
 

Lupus

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I am waiting to see how mine affects my bill, it should go down for sure, but unless you are a heavy user imo it isn't feasible from a cost perspective (i.e the system will take forever to pay itself off) as it is still expensive, but it does give you peace of mind.

as an example we rarely run our pool, just enough to keep it clean which is way less that the recommended requirement, but now i run my pool daily for "free"`. Cable theft is a huge problem in our area, the other morning we woke up and the power was off and i didn't even realise it for a good amount of time. the sun came up and we did our cleaning etc, vacuum running on solar
Does your pool pump have it's own solar or is it hooked up to your household one?
Cause it seems to get a solar kit for a pool pump is R15k.
 

thechamp

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Does your pool pump have it's own solar or is it hooked up to your household one?
Cause it seems to get a solar kit for a pool pump is R15k.
I would take that R15k and buy more panels or an extra battery to improve the main system. It work out much cheaper to have one massive system supplying everything.
 

Steamy Tom

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Does your pool pump have it's own solar or is it hooked up to your household one?
Cause it seems to get a solar kit for a pool pump is R15k.
it runs through the regular solar. I have a 5KW axpert king, 2.4KW solar array.

that is a waste of money imo - you could much rather do what i did and get a regular inverter and solar and have it multi purpose
 

Steamy Tom

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I would take that R15k and buy more panels or an extra battery to improve the main system.
exactly this.

I am in 2 minds now what to do next, either i put in a solar geyser, or i put my geyser on my system with a timer and a way to disable it when there is no PV available and then use that money to add more panels or a second battery. Currently i waste so much potential, only using around 4KW solar a day, when i am capable of generating 10KW+ even now in "winter" sun.
 

thechamp

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exactly this.

I am in 2 minds now what to do next, either i put in a solar geyser, or i put my geyser on my system with a timer and a way to disable it when there is no PV available and then use that money to add more panels or a second battery. Currently i waste so much potential, only using around 4KW solar a day, when i am capable of generating 10KW+ even now in "winter" sun.
I wonder if anyone here has installed a water heat pump, It would be interesting to hear.
 

Steamy Tom

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I wonder if anyone here has installed a water heat pump, It would be interesting to hear.
I have seen people doing it on powerforum, my issue with it is that then you still need to store it or use it on the fly, and using it on the fly doesnt work for solar at night unless you are going to have a large battery bank.
 

lsheed_cn

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**** me. What make of lfp, what dod?
25v x 200A x 2. 10.24KW total. Usable to 90% DoD.
Daily use is less than 20% DoD overnight, so should be ok for a while.

2nd Life 5.12 kWh 25.6 V 200ah LiFePO4. Have a 10 year warranty, but really warranties aren't worth the paper they're printed on, as who knows if the importer will be around that long..

They're 2nd hand batteries, but I have a light load - worst case scenario, I'm comfortable replacing packs, and shipping my own batteries in from China.

Ironically, the batteries + solar + inverters /mppt hardware still comes in lower than CoCT pricing per KW.
i..e its literally cheaper to go off grid, than to buy electricity from the incumbents..
 

richjdavies

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i..e its literally cheaper to go off grid, than to buy electricity from the incumbents..
Is it? Don't see that myself, unless you really did want to have NO grid... Or I guess if your house is worth less than R1m...

Problem is winter... Use about 5kwh per day in warmer months, but nearing 20 per day in winter.

So would waste all the capacity in summer or need grid in winter...
 

lsheed_cn

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Is it? Don't see that myself, unless you really did want to have NO grid... Or I guess if your house is worth less than R1m...

Problem is winter... Use about 5kwh per day in warmer months, but nearing 20 per day in winter.

So would waste all the capacity in summer or need grid in winter...
If you need 20kw in Winter, and only 5kw in summer sounds like you're spending all those KW on heating.
Perhaps some of that wasted money needs to go into insulation, and better windows.

I sized my system for my winter needs. I've been offgrid for around 5 years now, and I'm quite happy with my setup. Aside from buying new batteries now to increase my overnight usage, its been maintenance free.

I always planned on upgrading the batteries once LFP dropped in price, and dumping the dead acid.
 

Speedster

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Ironically, the batteries + solar + inverters /mppt hardware still comes in lower than CoCT pricing per KW.
i..e its literally cheaper to go off grid, than to buy electricity from the incumbents..
Over which time frame did you do the pricing per kW calculation?
 

lsheed_cn

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Over which time frame did you do the pricing per kW calculation?
As per https://powerforum.co.za/topic/4044-the-dreaded-revovs-on-sale/?do=findComment&comment=59036


My cost per KW for the batteries works out at - R35000 / 10KW / 3650 days (should be more, but thats what they're allegedly good for) =R0.9589 / KW

Slightly less than half the price of the sporadically available CoCT electricity for battery alone.



Rough total cost for this install was -

6 x 300w panels = R8,000

MPPT = R10,000 (FM80)

Inverter = R15,000 (3KW Victron)

10KW Batteries = 35,000

====

R68,000

Or R1.86 / KW ( 68000 / 10KW / 3650 as an incorrect* rough calc. )

*generation is obviously more than the batteries 10KW daily, as I will use in the daytime, but as a simple back of a napkin calc it suffices.



Aren't I happy I'm completely offgrid, and don't have a CoCT connection on the property, so no extra costs

Especially since its literally cheaper to be offgrid, than buy their expensive electricity...
 

richjdavies

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100% agree with you - it's ALL heating - I'm a tenant, so have been pushing my landlord to improve insulation since day 1... this house is FREEEZING... but anyway...

Your calculation seems to be a 'supply-side' calculation - i.e. you're 100% using the batteries over their lifetime (of 10 years?). I reckon I'd need to think of it more as a demand side calculation. As that is the grid you are replacing... But also you're not including inflation etc... R2.01/kWh + R150/month is CT Home right now (and more if you use over 600kWh each month - and don't spread out the buying!)

I'm probably not comfortable removing the GRID right now (R150/month I know...), if only we could find a property under R1m in CT :D (haha!) we could have prepaid only pay for what you use bliss...
If there was just some other way to charge the batteries... I guess you could keep a generator for desperate situations (or ask a neighbour :))

Once I get a chance I'll run the numbers again!
 
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Arthur

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As per https://powerforum.co.za/topic/4044-the-dreaded-revovs-on-sale/?do=findComment&comment=59036


My cost per KW for the batteries works out at - R35000 / 10KW / 3650 days (should be more, but thats what they're allegedly good for) =R0.9589 / KW

Slightly less than half the price of the sporadically available CoCT electricity for battery alone.



Rough total cost for this install was -

6 x 300w panels = R8,000

MPPT = R10,000 (FM80)

Inverter = R15,000 (3KW Victron)

10KW Batteries = 35,000

====

R68,000

Or R1.86 / KW ( 68000 / 10KW / 3650 as an incorrect* rough calc. )

*generation is obviously more than the batteries 10KW daily, as I will use in the daytime, but as a simple back of a napkin calc it suffices.



Aren't I happy I'm completely offgrid, and don't have a CoCT connection on the property, so no extra costs

Especially since its literally cheaper to be offgrid, than buy their expensive electricity...
As explained yonks ago in the Solar Power Thread, my 55-panel 12kW system installed in 2012 is fully cost-recovered. The 48 lead acid batts are still in good nick, having never gone below 11% discharge. System just chugs away giving clean power no matter what the state of the grid. Even light bulbs seem to last longer.

Nearly seven years of not having to worry about load-shedding has been well worth the cost.

I've been considering a swap to LFP or NMC, but that's on the backburner as wife has developed an itch to move.
 

Steamy Tom

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As explained yonks ago in the Solar Power Thread, my 55-panel 12kW system installed in 2012 is fully cost-recovered. The 48 lead acid batts are still in good nick, having never gone below 11% discharge. System just chugs away giving clean power no matter what the state of the grid. Even light bulbs seem to last longer.

Nearly seven years of not having to worry about load-shedding has been well worth the cost.

I've been considering a swap to LFP or NMC, but that's on the backburner as wife has developed an itch to move.
i would be interested to see you trying to push those batteries to even close to 50% under a heavy load after all these years
 
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