Author Topic: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?  (Read 6706 times)

Offline zer0

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2019, 10:43:50 AM »
Also keep in mind that bigger isn't better with a diesel generator. If you don't run it under load it will cause wet stacking because of unburned fuel.

Offline What

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2019, 04:39:10 PM »
Some good advice here, especially on gennies - thank you, guys.

The things I do not like about generators are the cost of running them (!!!) they need annual maintenance (think car) and are noisy. Once you get past those things and don't mind paying through your nose for electricity they seem great. Are my assumptions correct?

Because I cannot use a generator, think neighbours/flat, I decided to get an Axpert 1KVA pure sine inverter charger. It will only run some CFL lights, my LCD TV, PC, Router and sound.

I still need to get a battery. I am trying to avoid lead acid. Seems like gell much of a muchness too? Would love to get a Lithium Ion battery, but heck, the cost! Expensive! I see there are some 40AH Lithium Ion batteries going for a "reasonable" price. I wonder how these would compare say to a 100AH lead acid in giving power during a 2.5hour shedding, for providing power during the shedding time and longevity in the long run?

Hopefully, I can add a solar panel or two later on to my setup. Still needs some reading...

Offline Dumb and Dumber

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2019, 05:03:22 PM »
Some good advice here, especially on gennies - thank you, guys.

The things I do not like about generators are the cost of running them (!!!) they need annual maintenance (think car) and are noisy. Once you get past those things and don't mind paying through your nose for electricity they seem great. Are my assumptions correct?

Because I cannot use a generator, think neighbours/flat, I decided to get an Axpert 1KVA pure sine inverter charger. It will only run some CFL lights, my LCD TV, PC, Router and sound.

I still need to get a battery. I am trying to avoid lead acid. Seems like gell much of a muchness too? Would love to get a Lithium Ion battery, but heck, the cost! Expensive! I see there are some 40AH Lithium Ion batteries going for a "reasonable" price. I wonder how these would compare say to a 100AH lead acid in giving power during a 2.5hour shedding, for providing power during the shedding time and longevity in the long run?

Hopefully, I can add a solar panel or two later on to my setup. Still needs some reading...
You say you live in a flat? How will you mount solar panels?
What is the price of the 40a lithium compared to the lead acid? If almost the same go for the lithium but don't switch on everything. When I am on my PC my TV is off, you do not have to switch on everything together during loadshedding. Get flashlights to not have to use the lights. Me being a flashaholic I never worry about lights :thumbs:

Offline What

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2019, 09:35:34 PM »
Will put the panels on the roof.
The FOB price was about R3k for a 40ah battery, BUT then I would have to import it and not so sure how that works, probably only sea freight. I have basically decided not a viable option. Will probably throw my moola away on a lead acid.

Any recommendations on a good "cheap" (yeah, I know) "normal" battery? GEL, Calcium? What's your prefs?

Offline Dumb and Dumber

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2019, 10:12:01 PM »
Will put the panels on the roof.
The FOB price was about R3k for a 40ah battery, BUT then I would have to import it and not so sure how that works, probably only sea freight. I have basically decided not a viable option. Will probably throw my moola away on a lead acid.

Any recommendations on a good "cheap" (yeah, I know) "normal" battery? GEL, Calcium? What's your prefs?
I love the Varta brand. They seem to be one of the best out there. Since you are scared a lead acid will go bad quickly, give a Varta a try.

Offline oradba69

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2019, 08:07:56 AM »
Sold my Honda eu20i generator and upgraded to Honda eu65is. Quiet, light on fuel and clean power. Runs everything in my house and love the thing even though the price was cringe worthy.
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Offline XL1000

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2019, 07:59:07 AM »
Sold my Honda eu20i generator and upgraded to Honda eu65is. Quiet, light on fuel and clean power. Runs everything in my house and love the thing even though the price was cringe worthy.

Please do say, how much are they as I can't seem to find the information online.
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Offline oradba69

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2019, 09:21:25 AM »
Please do say, how much are they as I can't seem to find the information online.
We paid R56k but see they are over R60k now.
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Online chrisc

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2019, 01:06:26 PM »
Will put the panels on the roof.
The FOB price was about R3k for a 40ah battery, BUT then I would have to import it and not so sure how that works, probably only sea freight. I have basically decided not a viable option. Will probably throw my moola away on a lead acid.

Any recommendations on a good "cheap" (yeah, I know) "normal" battery? GEL, Calcium? What's your prefs?

Gel batteries are more reliable, but the discharge cycle of all lead-acid batteries is very shallow and all are easily damaged by too deep discharge and high current charging

I calculated (or should I say it was done for me) that I would need 12 x 105 a/h batteries to supply 230 VAC at 300 watts for 3 hours (that is a 12 amp current draw).  For that price I would get a 3000 watt/hour lithium ion battery.   Less than 5% of the size of 12 batteries, can cope with deep discharge cycles

105 a/hs are currently R1700, if you can get them (no-one in Cape Town has) so 12 x R1700 = R 20400.  Same price as a lithium-ion battery
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Offline lanties

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2019, 01:24:39 PM »
^^^ What is the life expectancy if lithium-ion battery?
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Offline Dumb and Dumber

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2019, 01:28:17 PM »
Gel batteries are more reliable, but the discharge cycle of all lead-acid batteries is very shallow and all are easily damaged by too deep discharge and high current charging

I calculated (or should I say it was done for me) that I would need 12 x 105 a/h batteries to supply 230 VAC at 300 watts for 3 hours (that is a 12 amp current draw).  For that price I would get a 3000 watt/hour lithium ion battery.   Less than 5% of the size of 12 batteries, can cope with deep discharge cycles

105 a/hs are currently R1700, if you can get them (no-one in Cape Town has) so 12 x R1700 = R 20400.  Same price as a lithium-ion battery

300 watts is 25 Amps from a 12V battery. 3 hours at 25 Amps is just 75 Amps. 2 batteries would have been more than enough.
That is if I work it out correctly.

Offline fdlsys

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2019, 02:03:27 PM »
^^^ What is the life expectancy if lithium-ion battery?
Lithium chem battery fife expectancy is governed by the same factors as all other batteries:
- Battery temp
- depth of charge/discharge
- number of charge/discharge cycles

Reputable batteries that I have seen on offer in SA go from 4000 cycles for max discharge cycles up to 7000 cycles if you limit the discharge to 10% less than what the rated maximum discharge is.
Older tech Li are specced for 80% discharge, governed by the controller of course, current tech goes safely to 90%.
The best I've see even allow 100% discharge with no ill effects on the battery.

Reputable brands normal offer 10yr warranty on them. Some offer 2-3yr in addition once you register your battery with them.

Expected life span is almost guaranteed to be 12 years even for the older tech, 15 with current tech, with the latest tech going as far as 18.

IMO, it's a no-brainer comparison between the wet-cell tech and Li. Li will give you 4 times more energy on the depth of discharge compared to Lead/Gel and over it's life time (if you are lucky to only have to replace the Lead/Gel batteries 3 times in 12 years) they give you a cheaper Watt.
But most importantly, they are reliable and communicate the correct parameters to the controller so the chance of controller over charging/discharging the Li are almost non-existant.
With all other batteries, it's a gamble. If one of the batteries in the string starts going bad, controller won;t know it - it will charge/discharge on "average" reading and soon after they will all be bad and  while they are going bad, you will experience shorter and shorter usable energy. Case of our own @chrisc ...
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Offline lanties

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2019, 02:32:16 PM »
^^^ Thank you for the excellent info
The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense! - Brian Cox

Online chrisc

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2019, 08:30:11 AM »
300 watts is 25 Amps from a 12V battery. 3 hours at 25 Amps is just 75 Amps. 2 batteries would have been more than enough.
That is if I work it out correctly.

I think what you missed is the period

75 amps is 30% of the capacity of the battery.  Lead-acid (even the "deep discharge" and gel-type, cannot be discharged to such levels).   When my batteries were new, the inverter cut out at 22.5V after 50 mins, with 6 batteries

Mantech have detailed specs of their gel batteries.  Have a careful look at the sheet, particularly the number of cycles.  This is the 12 volt 200 a/h model.  It also weighs 64kg





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Offline Dumb and Dumber

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Re: How many of you are buying an inverter system or a generator?
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2019, 08:54:53 AM »
I think what you missed is the period

75 amps is 30% of the capacity of the battery.  Lead-acid (even the "deep discharge" and gel-type, cannot be discharged to such levels).   When my batteries were new, the inverter cut out at 22.5V after 50 mins, with 6 batteries

Mantech have detailed specs of their gel batteries.  Have a careful look at the sheet, particularly the number of cycles.  This is the 12 volt 200 a/h model.  It also weighs 64kg





From practical tests I've done, my inverters cuts out at about 50% of the capacity of my batteries. For example if I have a 63 amp  battery, the inverter shuts off after I've used about 30 amps of it.
That is why I figured 2X 102 amp batteries @ 50% is 102A. Which is easily more than 75Amps needed over 3 hours. It does not make sense to me that 6 batteries could not pass 50 minutes. I am not saying it did not happen :D Just that it should not really happen.
At our camping spot, we ran at least three 6-watt led globes the  whole night through. Most of the time the 30 watt led spotlight is also used to provide light where we are fishing. My father goes to sleep at around 10pm, with his CPAP machine working the whole night. Also he has a smallish fan that runs throughout the night. We only have one 102A battery doing all of this. I do not know how many watts is the CPAP machine though.