Taking lights and internet off the Grid (mostly)

Kosmik

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
19,162
100% what Im looking at...

More looking for suggestions as to which ones, and what sort of things I need to account for.

I figure I'm in for R15 - R20k on a decent inverter setup and cost to wire it into the house....
Sounds right. Also check out Segan Solar in Jhb.

https://segensolar.co.za/

Lots of various options on components. Met the CEO once, engineer gone business so pretty good stuff.
 

wetkit

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
1,086
If you have the money and looking towards the future, look at the Goodwe Hybrid, GW5048D-ES.
With a unit like this you are covered for any future expansions.
For now add batteries and you sorted for power dips and load shedding.
In the future you can add PV panels and if you add enough, bring your electric bill down also.

P.S. Rather buy sealed batteries, as it is a real PITA to add water every month.
 

D4N_CPT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
421
Always buy pure sine wave inverters, never modified wave inverters. It's just not worth the risk as some electrical components do not like modified.
Unless you plan on installing a separate light circuit... Seriously though, do not be this cheap, if saving is such a high priority for you, that you are willing to go this low, rather leave the whole project.

I recently moved, almost all the lights in the new house are LEDs or at least CFLs now. I am also busy replacing the gas hob and electric oven with larger more efficient gas only units.

Which leaves me with garage/gate motors and the geyser as relatively high and high power consumers.

However, my pain is that the APC Pure Sinewave 3000VA UPS that were going to run my network gear, TV and CCTV until I can get a proper Inverter Installed is consuming a lot of power to keep the batteries charged. If I recall correctly, output switched off but UPS on mains power, the UPS pulls 4 Units of power a day (charging and a internal Cooling Fan), that equates to 120 Units a month.

So I guess that I will have to get that checked out first, as it is currently in storage and only being powered once a month for a few hours to keep the batteries from dying...

Unless someone know this to be normal rates of power consumption, even if batteries are fully charged, in which case I will have to get solar integrated much earlier as I was not expecting this...
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
82,371
Wow.. R25k... hmmmm looks like a good piece of kit, just makes my eyes water at that price...
 

FNfal

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Messages
5,587
Ok, I know this topic has been dealt with to death over the years, but given the current situation I think it may be high time to have a more updated look at it, as well as possibly a concise kit list built up that will enable people to get their shyte sorted out so that they can survive whilst Eskom burn the country around them...

For me, I'm looking at taking all my lights, network and possibly 2 TVs onto at least a battery backup system to start with, with the ability to expand the battery backup to be charged off Solar panels and feed those aspects of the house itself.

I've been digging through a few websites, and the options are just endless to the point that you just sit looking at everything going "Where the fsck do I start?".

I know many guys here have been down this road, so advice in terms of equipment would be greatly appreciated, or possibly some assistance in terms of where to start looking and what to look for.

I am about where you are now except i bought a 3Kw inverter a while back and did not use it , but now it is time to get my shyt together and get a system up and running .
My thoughts are 4 x 280 watt panels to start a decent controller and 4 105 Ah batteries coupled on to the 3KW inverter to run the lights ,Modem and PC , may be my CCTV system but we will see as i go along .
The idea is to build the system up as and when funds are available .
 

Chuckmyster

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
13,697
I am about where you are now except i bought a 3Kw inverter a while back and did not use it , but now it is time to get my shyt together and get a system up and running .
My thoughts are 4 x 280 watt panels to start a decent controller and 4 105 Ah batteries coupled on to the 3KW inverter to run the lights ,Modem and PC , may be my CCTV system but we will see as i go along .
The idea is to build the system up as and when funds are available .
Sounds like an overkill you have there to run so few things. I love it :thumbsup:
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
82,371
I am about where you are now except i bought a 3Kw inverter a while back and did not use it , but now it is time to get my shyt together and get a system up and running .
My thoughts are 4 x 280 watt panels to start a decent controller and 4 105 Ah batteries coupled on to the 3KW inverter to run the lights ,Modem and PC , may be my CCTV system but we will see as i go along .
The idea is to build the system up as and when funds are available .
Basically my idea as well..

Want it somewhat overspecced just in case...

What inverter did you buy?
 

greg_SA

Expert Member
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
1,794
This is my setup, wired into the DB. From the previous round of load shedding - still going strong.
Only 1 kVA inverter/UPS. For all lights (LED), alarm, TV, fibre/Wifi.
Not using solar at all... just charges from 220V.
Axpert Inverter Install.jpg
 

D4N_CPT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
421
This is my setup, wired into the DB. From the previous round of load shedding - still going strong.
Only 1 kVA inverter/UPS. For all lights (LED), alarm, TV, fibre/Wifi.
Not using solar at all... just charges from 220V.
View attachment 586596
Damn, that is one fine looking install.

Was it DIY or an Installer?

How much power does the setup consume to keep the batteries charged?
 

greg_SA

Expert Member
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
1,794
Damn, that is one fine looking install.

Was it DIY or an Installer?

How much power does the setup consume to keep the batteries charged?
Thanks :) DIY

Never measured the power consumption to keep the batteries "floating", but should be negligible IMHO.

Edit: Just checked the spec, and it should be <5 W, or <15 W depending on the conditions...
 
Last edited:

D4N_CPT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
421
Thanks :) DIY

Never measured the power consumption to keep the batteries "floating", but should be negligible IMHO.

Edit: Just checked the spec, and it should be <5 W, or <15 W depending on the conditions...
Thank You for the information.
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
82,371
Awesome little setup actually...

One thing my digging today has shown me, I need to have a much better idea of just how much power I'm planning on putting on the system. Need to overspec it of course, but not to a ridiculous level.
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
5,135
My 2c if you interested.

This is what i am planning.

Using LED bulbs in all rooms and outside connected to a single battery.

Another battery pack to feed my tv and computer.

Solar panels to feed both those battery packs.

Last but not least. Got myself a good gas cooking system.

I will post pics when i am done.
This is probably the most cost-effective strategy.

I assume you will be adding separate 12V LED lights throughout the house - this can work and look neat if you add switches and hide all the wiring in the ceiling.

You obviously will need an inverter for the TV and PC.
 

Chuckmyster

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
13,697
Awesome little setup actually...

One thing my digging today has shown me, I need to have a much better idea of just how much power I'm planning on putting on the system. Need to overspec it of course, but not to a ridiculous level.
Yup exactly, my apartment runs at 400 watts maximum power.
I see that by entering 050 Enter into my pre paid meter to show current wattage usage.
That is excluding the geyser, stove, heaters, kettle, toaster etc.
Just the normal running stuff including big fridge, all lights, extractor fan.
If i am conservative my flat runs at 200 watts whilst still enjoying my internet and laptop.
 

thechamp

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
21,586
This is my setup, wired into the DB. From the previous round of load shedding - still going strong.
Only 1 kVA inverter/UPS. For all lights (LED), alarm, TV, fibre/Wifi.
Not using solar at all... just charges from 220V.
View attachment 586596
Nice, I would feel much better if the was a clamp securing those batteries onto the wall.
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
5,135
Can't remember exactly (back in 2015).
R 3 000 for inverter
R 2 000 per battery
Say R 1 000 for Battery cables, wiring, and some stuff for the DB
Total = R 8 000 (but probably more now in 2018...)
Did you split the DB yourself or use an electrician? Is that a 24V system? 100AH batteries?

What is your total load, because if its a 24V system, would 1 bank not be too little to power all that you mentioned for roughly 4 hours without discharging the batteries below 50%
 

lsheed_cn

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
2,865
@ToxicBunny Where are you?

Different locations have different rules on grid tied/ offgrid.

Notably Cape Town who are anti-solar, and have a lot of hoops to jump through, and a restricted approved product list.
 
Top