Going Solar

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Going Solar

Postby kfxnando » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:23 am

Self wrote this, just after the water crissis as found myself repeating myself,

Hope this will help many

Self am willing to advice where I can, as I am not in the industry, however have a electronics and electrical background, combined with a habit of building and doing things myself - my way

Am currently doing my own instalation, no challenge, just a lot of work doing thing neatly and putting up the trunking
am willing to do some instalation - depending

This is what I wrote a while ago

Solar Energy

As time moves on, more and more people will make the move to solar
Some to get away from unreliable suppliers some to save the world and some aiming to save money

Self started the trip to solar due to the local municipality using an unreliable accounting system and when they dream that you are behind on your payments they disconnect the power to your home without any warning

Yes, I do own a generator However it is a smaller unit and it would not be able to run the whole house (geyser, microwave, kettle and all the toys) and fridges

However take away the geyser and the generator would cope easily. Older geyser elements were up to 5kw, my generator is only 4kw (4.5kw max)
Yes my geyser could of been a lower kw one, however it would then of left very little capacity for anything else The generator still exists for a back up So the 1st step for me was the solar geyser
Why?? Couz as long as I could take a warm shower I could keep the rest of the house going with the generator till any issues could be resolved
Two years ago, took the step and had the solar geyser done, around R16k, witch a massive hail storm took out 3 tubes just 3 days after installation.
The hail stones were just slightly smaller then cricket balls There are cheaper ones on the market, as there are different systems on the market
Namely low pressure and high pressure
Self was lucky that I picked the system that I did, at the time I did not know better
Low pressure system The water pressure at the taps will the water pressure that gravity provides from the roof to the tap Só to get past that, one can then buy a water pump (often a 12 or 24 volt pump) powered by a battery that is charged by a small solar panel
Só?? One might ask
Pumps don't last for ever, nothing does, just like swimming pool pumps, and batteries even less, so on one cold winters morning there will be no hot water couz the battery has died (batteries go most often in cold winters)
The 2nd type of system is the high pressure system
What ever pressure the municipality supplies you, you will have at your hot water tap
From that events of the last two weeks that could be a problem With or without a pump, the events of the last two weeks and ongoing would of still been an issue, unless one has a back up tank
cANCer will keep on destroying this country if allowed to continue
The high pressure systems has given us great hot water showers
The Savings?? It dropped my power usage by more yes MORE then 50%
Yes that then pays for the solar geyser
Then started changing the energy saver globes (cfg) to LED type
It can be a challenge to find the correct LED lights
Places like ac/dc have a nice variety
Kitchen Changed the fluracent tubes (4ft) @ aroun18wattsts each two LED tubes And the LED tubes are way brighter then the old style tubes, and even believe that one LED tube could be as bright as two fluracent tubes, however have left them both in Oh yes, nearly forgot When installing the LED tubes, the fitting needs to be rewired No balasters, no starters, no flikering on switching on and the crap that goes with it, and a tube that is going to last way longer, making it way cheaper in the long run

However there is a little catch here The current LED light available at least on the SA market, is geared to 230V
Well that means that we will still be dependant on Eiskom for 230V Or We need to go from 12 or 24 volts (solar system) to 230V, and that is a big waste of energy as inverters are very inefficient
Have spoken to ac/dc and to Vortex, and there is hope, however not yet
Self plan on pulling one of those LED lights apart to get them to work straight on 12 or 24 volts, however have not done that yet
Maybe I should of mentioned this at the beginning, when I started writing, however I did Not And I could of gone back and added it, however fell like adding it right here
Next step Yep, me going solar in steps Last year I bought two 235watt solar panels There was at the time just one local manufacturer of solar panels in South Africa, namely ArtSolar Made in New Germany, Pine Town Durban Believe that is now another solar panel factory in south africa, don't have more details However, the big benefit is that panels are almost half the price of the imported ones
Yep they have been sitting packed away in their protective box for almost a year Those two panels delivered to my door were R5160, at the time one similar panel imported waz R4600 plus vat
The ones that I bought use german technology and they look just as good as the imported ones
Last month I bought the charge regulator for less then R500 from AC/DC And this month will be getting the batteries

The inverters I have had for a while
The point that I am trying to make is that, going solar is not cheap, specially if one does it all in one go
However if one does it step for step then it soften the blow
Another benifits is that one stops feeding the greedy corrupt thieving municipality that buy power from eiskom and mark it up by almost double
Add to that the yearly increases, and as I have been saying for a long time that once the excuses for price increases runs out, the nuclear thing will be used to keep increasing the price of power, then add the price of coal and the currency weakness (all a load of bull shit) just to keep increasing the price of power and soon solar becomes a well priced viable alternative

Só it's a few weeks later, and have now bought the batteries, so now to connect them, not really a challenge, however finding the time is

Going Solar, does come with certain life style adjustments Instead of every one in the house having a hot bath and emptying the geyser, every one can have a shower, saves water and that hot water goes further

Then cooking Gas is the obvious one
Gas Prices are currently regulated
However, there are other issues Even though gas technology has come a long way and presume that it's pretty safe, there is always a risk
Then the instalation can no longer be a DIY, as it now needs to be certified
Self have bought all the correct pipes, correct clamps and tools and a gas alarm However, self sometimes paranoid, and the gas stove will either go outside (under cover) next to the kitchen, and will be fitting another tap to completely close the gas just after the bottle, all that and a gas alarm

Then technology keeps keep evolving Incuction stoves are available now days Very efficient, and we'll priced, they heat up quick have seen single plates going for R649 Might fit a double plate, inside to replace the current stove and leave the gas stove outside
In winter we would cook inside and summer outside - will see what happens Not sure how the inverters would handle such induction plates They are around 2000wats per plate

Air conditioning There is already on the market inverter aircon Currently about 50% more costly then conventional units However have it from a reliable source that prices will come down in the next few years And with Eishcom ability to supply power, an inverter air conditioning will be a great way to keep cool Fernando Pexirra www.kfxnando.com
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Re: Going Solar

Postby kfxnando » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:53 am

Briliant article on batteries and charging and what batteries to use for what purposes
gel batteries might not be the bets idea for an off the grid system

Http://www.necon.co.za/batttech.php?w=9 ... #openModal
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