Taking lights and internet off the Grid (mostly)

Geoff.D

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
8,413
Done many years ago... solar geyser and gas stove done.... I can't stand cooking on he-leck-tricity anyway
Spend some quality time and read all the threads available last time around. There are real experts there who thoroughly described their solutions for different scenarios.
It is never a good idea to do something like this in a panic and in a hurry. Have a look at the threads where Arthur described his setup as just one example.
Then decide what you want to do. This forum has plenty of info available on this subject.

Feeding power back into the grid in a cost effective manner is no mean feat. Only viable if you build and maintain a pretty large system and the authorities play ball because your grid power meter requires modification.
 

Chuckmyster

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
4,535
Ok, they came to fetch my 50w LEDs tomorrow. Waiting for them to pay my money back then I am going to try and get the basics sorted.

Going for 3 x 20w LEDs instead, then I don't know what else I need to buy.

Is there a detailed list on what I need and what one can recommend? (Please don't get too technical :X3:)
1st off you need a proper future proof solar charge controller. This where I have learnt you do not skimp and buy chinese crap. I recommend a brand called Victron (this is the one i run in my caravan https://www.sustainable.co.za/victron-blue-solar-100v-30a-mppt-charge-controller.html )

A big ass battery, the bigger the better because you will drain the battery less and hence you will get more life cycles out of the battery. Drain a battery flat everyday and you will end up replacing it in a year or less. Unless you go for lead crystals, I have 10 of them in my caravan, so start with one for now or 2 in parallel, and if you see it isn't coping you simply add another. http://deltecenergysolutions.co.za/...solar-batteries/lead-crystal-solar-batteries/ I buy my batteries from Deltec, they are in CT & in JHB.

During the day you are going to want to put back energy into your battery bank. Here is the trial and error part to see how much you yield and is it enough? Remember in winter you don't get as much energy as now in summer. Start with a 100w panel and see how it goes, if not enough add another and remember to wire it in series. https://www.sustainable.co.za/renewsys-deserv-100w-solar-panel.html

i have 4 x 100w wired in series producing around 80 - 82 volts at 5.5 amps, my MPPT charge controller converts this down to around 13 volts whilst pushing the amps to around 28 - 30 amps into my bank of batteries.

And lastly you are going to need a 12v daynight sensor https://www.takealot.com/automatic-...ec_TTRhJGzwb2rdH9tEaAtlHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Get proper charge controller, buy a battery or 2, get 1 solar panel and a sensor and do the testing. Your charge controller is future proof to allow up to 440 watts solar energy or if you were to configure it into a 24v array you can achieve 880w which is waaaaay more enough of what you want. But you never know where this exciting solar adventure leads you to next.
 

Honey Badger

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
16,698
1. Can someone provide a link or excel document that allows you to plug in your numbers to see what type of system you require. For example, during the day, my house on average uses 360w/400w . When the pool pump is on, it bumps to 1.1Kw. At Night (if geysers are off), with outside lights on, house uses 550w.
I assume you have an electric fridge in there, and if in the affirmative that, and your pool pump will throw a moerse spanner in the works. That's because these contains motors which needs about three times its normal to start spinning - an analogy is a car, you cannot pull away in 5th from a dead stop (not my car anyway :D ). So first check how much surge power is needed for these. Use the model numbers and check online. Then redo your calculations to determine your total (max) power requirements.

2. I've seen some of the pics of the setups posted in this thread and while they look good - I can't do this for my house as my DB board is in my passage which means I can't do put the batteries, there. My ultimate aim is that the entire house should be powered so how the heck will this be done if for example, I put the inverter, etc all in my garage (seems like a sensible place for me)? More importantly, if I build the system to only charge specifics plugs/circuits ... how much work is that from an electricians point of view?
Your inverter and batteries need to be as close to each other as physically possible.

The current between the batteries and inverter (in an average household) will be very high and require high wire gauge cable. Current is dangerous and can cause fires. 12v at 100a will give you the same power as 96v at 12.5a, but the former will require much more safety measures to be put in place because of the high current.

The cabling between your inverter and DB will be your standard home cabling that electricians use, example this right here. So your inverter and batteries can be anywhere in the house, as long as they're in the same room.

3. While Solar is the future, a generator could meet my needs more cost effectively for the short term. That is a 6-7kva generator to power the whole house? I could hopefully get a quite generator. Am I being stupid?
You're possibly right, but at this point in time, you'll get ripped off anyway as everybody's trying to make a quick buck.

4. Has anybody built a mini-powerbank UPS solution for just their electronic network equipment. Eg a Romoss 30000mAh power bank to keep the router and fibre box running? Or something like this ? https://www.amazon.com/Beatit-18000mAh-Portable-Starter-Charging/dp/B01MY9FZM4/?tag=aboutcom02lifewire-20&ascsubtag=4140286|bing.com|||36,70,10,75,37,31,47|1|[/QUOTE]There are some suggestions in the Load Shedding sub-forum.
 

Chuckmyster

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
4,535

Honey Badger

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
16,698
Quiet generator - you get those ?
An inverter generator. It generates 12vdc and with its built in inverter converts it to 240vac. It's not as quiet as people think though. And with IL looking for a 6000w one, I strongly doubt he'll get one that pushes out less than 60db
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
12,291
Which 20w LEDs would you recommend?

What's the difference between these flat solar panels and those solar panel tubes?
 

The_MAC

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
4,134
Which 20w LEDs would you recommend?
To be honest, I have not seen 12V Flood Lights in Game/Makro etc. I have seen them in China Towns's. I am sure electrical suppliers like Voltex will have, but probably expensive. Camping/Outdoor shops might also sell 12V floodlights.
 

Chuckmyster

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
4,535
To be honest, I have not seen 12V Flood Lights in Game/Makro etc. I have seen them in China Towns's. I am sure electrical suppliers like Voltex will have, but probably expensive. Camping/Outdoor shops might also sell 12V floodlights.
I see them all over the place, most camp shops and 4x4 shops sell them
 

Chuckmyster

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
4,535

Neville

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
147
Great to see SMA brand is on the approved list as that is the brand i am leaning towards.
From which shops? I have no idea where to look as this list is just a mo3rse list of numbers with no indication of the type of units. Unless you're in the business and know the stuff, it is useless to us normal okes.

Looking for 2-3kw hybrid unit, possibly 24v (or 12v) that can just charge batteries for now but in the future can take solar. So must be pure sine wave and have built-in MQTT, if my home work is on par so far.

Any suggestions from the list that will fit the bill?
 

Chuckmyster

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Messages
4,535
From which shops? I have no idea where to look as this list is just a mo3rse list of numbers with no indication of the type of units. Unless you're in the business and know the stuff, it is useless to us normal okes.

Looking for 2-3kw hybrid unit, possibly 24v (or 12v) that can just charge batteries for now but in the future can take solar. So must be pure sine wave and have built-in MQTT, if my home work is on par so far.

Any suggestions from the list that will fit the bill?
My favourite shop, www.sustainable.co.za
Chat to Zeke Murphy there, very knowledgable guy and will gladly help you out on exactly what your requirements are. I have been supporting Sustainable for donkeys years as their service is great and they only sell proper stuff that lasts, no chinese kak here
info@sustainable.co.za
ph 701 2028
 
Last edited:

FNfal

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Messages
5,502
Basically my idea as well..

Want it somewhat overspecced just in case...

What inverter did you buy?
Not going to use the inverter i bought as it is a no name brand from china .
Decided to try to future proof my set up and ordered the Axpert MKS 5kVA 48vDC Inverter 80A MPPT ,R9,887.70
Received it on Monday .
Also bought 4 x 330 W panels from https://artsolar.net/product/330-watt-solar-panel-pre-order/ and received them last week , these guys are in your back yard .( panels a frikking large nearly 2 meters by one meter )
Just the batteries to buy , still doing research on these .
Busy gathering the bits and pieces to put the system together and connect it to my system .
Some problems here my house is to high to put the panels on the roof and the wind howls through the area i will mount the panels in and it is about 10 meters from my house , so to do a proper safe job is quite a PITA but i will get it right .
 
Last edited:
Top