Taking lights and internet off the Grid (mostly)

ProAsm

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
2,186
@ToxicBunny - I have:
2 x 300 watt solar panels: R6200
4 x 105 A/Hr Silver Calcium batteries: R8800
1 x 2nd hand 1kw Luminious Inverter (Gumtree): R1500
1 x Ecco 20 Amp Solar Controller: R700
1 x DB Board: R600
Cables, plugs, lights etc: R1000 (approx)
Been runing solidly since 2015 and we have many outages here.


inv.jpg
 

IzZzy

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
5,910
Can anyone recommend an electrician in Pretoria to convert all my downlighters to LED? My system is fairly old and still uses transformers to drop voltage to 12v. Half of my downlighters are also dimmable so you can't just replace them with LED units.
If said electrician has experience with hooking up inverters and similar, that would be useful as well.

You can use the electrician who did mine. Was very reasonable. Also you get dimmable LEDs... check lighting warehouse
 

Pineapple Smurf

Pineapple Beer Connoisseur
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
39,592
@ToxicBunny - I have:
2 x 300 watt solar panels: R6200
4 x 105 A/Hr Silver Calcium batteries: R8800
1 x 2nd hand 1kw Luminious Inverter (Gumtree): R1500
1 x Ecco 20 Amp Solar Controller: R700
1 x DB Board: R600
Cables, plugs, lights etc: R1000 (approx)
Been runing solidly since 2015 and we have many outages here.


inv.jpg
Nice setup, your bottle neck there is your PWM solar charge controller. Swap it out for an MPPT from Victron or Microcare. Up to 30% more efficient.
This is the one I have in my caravan https://www.sustainable.co.za/victron-smartsolar-100v-30a-mppt-charge-controller.html
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
@ToxicBunny - I have:
2 x 300 watt solar panels: R6200
4 x 105 A/Hr Silver Calcium batteries: R8800
1 x 2nd hand 1kw Luminious Inverter (Gumtree): R1500
1 x Ecco 20 Amp Solar Controller: R700
1 x DB Board: R600
Cables, plugs, lights etc: R1000 (approx)
Been runing solidly since 2015 and we have many outages here.


inv.jpg
Very cool setup....

Think it might be slightly undersized for what I want but it's a great starting point for me to work from...

So far I'm sitting at about 700w for all the lighting in my house and around 100w for the networking stuff... Just need to figure out the entertainment center stuff and then I will have a number to work from for sizing the system.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
14,575
So I spoke to a buddy of mine that works at Eskom, he told me:

"Any installation which generates electricity must be done and certified by an approved inspection authority, in most case it will be a licensed electrical contractor who is able to install solar systems. You need to get the certificate otherwise we both could go to prison for installing and operating a solar system illegally."

Are the rest of you bounded by this as well?
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
So I spoke to a buddy of mine that works at Eskom, he told me:



Are the rest of you bounded by this as well?
The whole country is bounded by this by and large...

Changes to your electrical installation need to be certified theoretically.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
14,575
The whole country is bounded by this by and large...

Changes to your electrical installation need to be certified theoretically.
So my question is, did you and the others get a certificate to go ahead with the installation yet?
 

MightyQuin

Not amused...
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
25,586
I wonder if my Fiber exchange will be on during loadshedding? I have never bothered to plug my router into my inverter power during.
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
So my question is, did you and the others get a certificate to go ahead with the installation yet?

Hell no.. and I have no intention of doing so either really...

It becomes an issue if your house burns down and they find out it was due to dodgy crap wiring job, or when you're selling the property.
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
6,485
So far I'm sitting at about 700w for all the lighting in my house.

Can you not reduce that, 700W is a crap load - why so much?

As I am sure you know, the load is directly proportional to the cost of the system
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
6,485
Hell no.. and I have no intention of doing so either really...

It becomes an issue if your house burns down and they find out it was due to dodgy crap wiring job, or when you're selling the property.

If you get an electrician, as far as I know, they can sign off the work and issue a COC.

Worse case scenario, make the system modular, so that you can easily disconnect the inverter and solar panels without having to dismantle the entire system for whatever reason.
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
Can you not reduce that, 700W is a crap load - why so much?

As I am sure you know, the load is directly proportional to the cost of the system

Of course I know that...
and 700w is for EVERY light inside and outside my house, plus a bit extra for future growth on that front.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
14,575
Hell no.. and I have no intention of doing so either really...

It becomes an issue if your house burns down and they find out it was due to dodgy crap wiring job, or when you're selling the property.
But.... What's wrong with just getting a certificate? The dodgy crap wiring can come from your solar setup as well, and your house can still burn down in any case where insurance won't cover this...

What am I missing here regarding you defying the law around this?
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
But.... What's wrong with just getting a certificate? The dodgy crap wiring can come from your solar setup as well, and your house can still burn down in any case where insurance won't cover this...

What am I missing here regarding you defying the law around this?

Well its a cost thing, unless a certified electrician does the install in the first place and gives the certificate anyway.
 

ProAsm

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
2,186
Very cool setup....

Think it might be slightly undersized for what I want but it's a great starting point for me to work from...

So far I'm sitting at about 700w for all the lighting in my house and around 100w for the networking stuff... Just need to figure out the entertainment center stuff and then I will have a number to work from for sizing the system.
700 watts ?
In my case:
10 x 5 watt LED lights = 50 watts although never is there more than 4 on at any one time = 20 watts
3 x TV sets, 2 at 40 watts (32" Samsungs) and on 55" Hisense all coming to 160 watts.
1 x DSTV Explorer = 40 watts.
1 x desktop computer + modems etc = 140 watts
1 x laptop = 60 watts.
Thats a total of 420 watts if everything is running which is highly unlikely.
We had an outage last night and I watched the total output current and it never exceeded 9 amps which is 9 x 24 = 216 watts.
You don't need the fridge for those 2 hours, although the average eco friendly fridge is less than 200 watts so you could add that as well.
My system is designed to run for many hours, so you could halve the batteries and get a smaller 500 watt inverter with only 1 solar panel.

If you looking at saving money, then nothing beats a 5kw generator approx R6000 and another R1000 to have it wired into your house.
Now you just switch off the stove and geyser and run the whole house for R25 per hour (1.5 litres petrol per hour) - bit noisy though :)

These are some household appliance wattage I measured back then.

http://www.proasm.com/pics/apps1.jpg
 

ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
99,498
700 watts ?
In my case:
10 x 5 watt LED lights = 50 watts although never is there more than 4 on at any one time = 20 watts
3 x TV sets, 2 at 40 watts (32" Samsungs) and on 55" Hisense all coming to 160 watts.
1 x DSTV Explorer = 40 watts.
1 x desktop computer + modems etc = 140 watts
1 x laptop = 60 watts.
Thats a total of 420 watts if everything is running which is highly unlikely.
We had an outage last night and I watched the total output current and it never exceeded 9 amps which is 9 x 24 = 216 watts.
You don't need the fridge for those 2 hours, although the average eco friendly fridge is less than 200 watts so you could add that as well.
My system is designed to run for many hours, so you could halve the batteries and get a smaller 500 watt inverter with only 1 solar panel.

If you looking at saving money, then nothing beats a 5kw generator approx R6000 and another R1000 to have it wired into your house.
Now you just switch off the stove and geyser and run the whole house for R25 per hour (1.5 litres petrol per hour) - bit noisy though :)

These are some household appliance wattage I measured back then.

http://www.proasm.com/pics/apps1.jpg

Yeah... its one of those balancing acts... I'm working out worst case scenario for the moment and then I will scale a few things back and see what the value comes out at..

I'm more looking at solar as a way to long term offset the initial capital outlay more than anything else. I have a Genny already which I use sometimes, but I'm not a fan of it really....
 

Pineapple Smurf

Pineapple Beer Connoisseur
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
39,592
700 watts ?
In my case:
10 x 5 watt LED lights = 50 watts although never is there more than 4 on at any one time = 20 watts
3 x TV sets, 2 at 40 watts (32" Samsungs) and on 55" Hisense all coming to 160 watts.
1 x DSTV Explorer = 40 watts.
1 x desktop computer + modems etc = 140 watts
1 x laptop = 60 watts.
Thats a total of 420 watts if everything is running which is highly unlikely.
We had an outage last night and I watched the total output current and it never exceeded 9 amps which is 9 x 24 = 216 watts.
You don't need the fridge for those 2 hours, although the average eco friendly fridge is less than 200 watts so you could add that as well.
My system is designed to run for many hours, so you could halve the batteries and get a smaller 500 watt inverter with only 1 solar panel.

If you looking at saving money, then nothing beats a 5kw generator approx R6000 and another R1000 to have it wired into your house.
Now you just switch off the stove and geyser and run the whole house for R25 per hour (1.5 litres petrol per hour) - bit noisy though :)

These are some household appliance wattage I measured back then.

http://www.proasm.com/pics/apps1.jpg
Nice. Also remember that fridges peak upto 1000w when starting up, only use pure sinewave for motors. Dont skimp on modified sinewave inverters :thumbsup:
 

ProAsm

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
2,186
Yes, I do use pure sinwewave inverter but for everything else a modified job is just as good and a costs a lot less.
To get the fridge to run ok I had to install a 3 kw Ecco Inverter (for the spike) but they wanted R5k for that so I told em to shove it so the fridge stays off.
If we have long outages I run the generator 5 hours off 2 hours on etc.
 

Pineapple Smurf

Pineapple Beer Connoisseur
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
39,592
Yes, I do use pure sinwewave inverter but for everything else a modified job is just as good and a costs a lot less.
To get the fridge to run ok I had to install a 3 kw Ecco Inverter (for the spike) but they wanted R5k for that so I told em to shove it so the fridge stays off.
If we have long outages I run the generator 5 hours off 2 hours on etc.
Yup my fridge stays off as well and hasn't been a problem so far. But i have installed 2 of these in my apartment of which 1 is for my fridge.
https://www.takealot.com/ellies-won...f6qbjIOqw5RYnH2AoZ0aAqDWEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Spikes are massive after load shedding
 
Top