Author Topic: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)  (Read 1881 times)

Offline xenithon

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Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« on: February 10, 2020, 10:46:47 AM »
Hi all. Can anyone recommend a company or contractor that can advise, supply and install a backup power system? I am not very technically inclined when it comes to these things, so looking for someone that can assist in putting a system together and installing it directly to my DB board - in the JHB region.

I have come across a few scheisters out there selling "pre-assembled" kits for R30k which have parts summing up to R15k or so - trying to avoid those of course!

Cheers
X

Offline Rhino

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 02:12:51 PM »
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Online Gerlach

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 02:50:54 PM »
Just stay away from Voltronic/Axpert units. JHB city is still lagging behind with the NSR en SANS rules but the catching up now with us from Cape Town side that leading with this stuff. Any inverter that is connected to the grid by grid-tie must be NSR approve , that list you will find on City of Cape town list of approved inverters. Pop in by Rubicon up in JHB side and find out what they have in stock. They import some good brands of units that will work for you. If you planning to go something bigger and got some money to spend, I can show you the rite ropes. I'm running full offgrid this side now.
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Offline Carnajo

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 03:44:58 PM »
Just stay away from Voltronic/Axpert units. JHB city is still lagging behind with the NSR en SANS rules but the catching up now with us from Cape Town side that leading with this stuff. Any inverter that is connected to the grid by grid-tie must be NSR approve , that list you will find on City of Cape town list of approved inverters. Pop in by Rubicon up in JHB side and find out what they have in stock. They import some good brands of units that will work for you. If you planning to go something bigger and got some money to spend, I can show you the rite ropes. I'm running full offgrid this side now.


Heya, what do you mean by grid-tie? Looks like my inverter is an Axpert unit, was never aware of this, installer put it in :(

Online Gerlach

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 05:31:14 PM »

Heya, what do you mean by grid-tie? Looks like my inverter is an Axpert unit, was never aware of this, installer put it in :(

When you grid runs via the inverter to your DB and you running hybrid mode so when the power go's off your house power stays on. The relays inside the unit don't approve to the NSR standards , and if you run Solar via the unit, big problems.

This is what  :ticked: me off because the installers knows about this but they still go on till the City come to your front door. You must run a 3 way change over switch between the unit an your grid and DB and inverter. There can be no connection from the grid via the inverter.
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Online Den123

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 06:05:22 PM »
AFAIK, that is only applicable if running PV on the roof. There are NRS / City of Cape Town approved ways of running non-approved inverters such as the Axpert with PV. Requires splitting your load. I am busy with two such systems presently.
Incidentally, I only just learned that there is a very low limit to the amount of PV one can have on the roof, if grid tied.

Online Gerlach

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 07:01:30 AM »
AFAIK, that is only applicable if running PV on the roof. There are NRS / City of Cape Town approved ways of running non-approved inverters such as the Axpert with PV. Requires splitting your load. I am busy with two such systems presently.
Incidentally, I only just learned that there is a very low limit to the amount of PV one can have on the roof, if grid tied.

@Den123 you will see that I stated a 3 way change over switch , you can use this to help with the NRS approval and you need to split your grid non essentials and essential loads. Max inverter output must be 3.5kw software limit and max PV array is 3500w. If you got the rite brand pannels you can over pass that 3500w and i know someone system that can do that.

I'm still busy with my system and it's a big one with some expensive toys in it. 
Good drivers have dead flies on the side windows. (Walter Röhrl)

Online Jacobus

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 08:01:54 AM »
Have you looked up SJ Andrews in Eastgate park off Marlboro rd? They are well worth a try.

Offline Carnajo

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 02:39:25 PM »
Thanks @Gerlach and @Den123

In layman's terms, what does that mean? I don't run solar at the moment but was thinking of doing so, does that mean I need a different inverter, how does the 3 way switch work, I don't want to have to flip a switch when the power cuts, currently it runs UPS style. The whole point of getting the inverter I did was because it was meant to be able to run solar  :headbanger:
And what is it that makes it non NRS approved, is it potentially dangerous or something else?

If Max is 3.5kw then one can never fully run their house (well, larger house with geyser etc.) or is that a max per inverter (i.e. one can use 2 inverters to get 7kw?)

Online sajunky

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2020, 12:29:09 PM »
@Carnajo. I don't see any replies regarding the concept of 3-way switch, I am also interested with links to the regulation details.

I will try to cover things I know. Split power is neccessary, unless you want to feed geyser, ovens, washing machines and other devices with buit-in heaters from the backup battery. There are specific requirements for a geyser: it should be fed from the solar to save grid consumption, but power must be cut off when running on battery. A separate solar charging circuit for geyser would simplify things. BTW, A much better solution saving cost and some energy is a real time heating (flow heating) from the LPG gas burner (meaning - no geyser).

As you see, getting a right solution from the beginning is a matter of importancy, it is why these guys charge a lot of money for their services.

A typical inverter box consists of number of components:
1. Charging circuit from the grid (I mean grid = Eskom power)
2. Charging circuit from the solar panels (optional)
3. Backup battery
4. Inverter circuit taking power from #1, #2, and #3, giving output power 230VAC
5. Inverter circuit taking power from #2 and returning power to the grid (another option).

State of operation of each component is displayed on the control panel. It is a good idea to read at least one user manual and see what options are user configurable. Typically units with a solar charging are built on the on-line UPS design, it means efficiency of charger (#1) and main inverter (#4) matters very much. The output power of the main inverter is not always a pure sinewave and quality of the output should always be verified. On the other side, in the online system there is no relays required for proper operation, so I don't know what the comment on relays means.

Modules #4 and #5 can work simultaneously. Returning power to the grid (Eskom) may be completely prohibited or regulated by NSR, it is not clear by reading previous posts.

In my humble opinion it it like this: If the inverter (#5) output is permanently disabled in the control panel, device works like a normal UPS, it should be no concern about NSR, even the solar panels are connected and operational.

Whatever you do, you must hire a certified electrician to do changes in electrical installation. Otherwise insurance company may refuse to pay compensation. In my personal experience a typical fault is an insufficient grunding of the UPS.

@xenithon. I may serve with some suggestions when I see your requirements.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 12:31:49 PM by sajunky »
If it measures good and sounds bad—it's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
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Offline xenithon

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2020, 03:50:38 PM »
Thanks @sajunky - my requirements are to be able to have backup power for all things in the house (plugs, lights, etc.) except for:
- oven
- geyser
- bathroom heaters

As such I think the end goal is to have a separate "inverter DB" which will provide provide the power to all but the above. This will be connected to a 3kW / 24V pure sine inverter to which I will connect 2x 180Ah 12V batteries in series. Assuming that I will not be using a lot during actual load shedding (e.g., around 500W) that should provide enough power for 4 hours (~83Ah) whilst factoring in a DOD of around 45-50%.

Having the components connected via the inverter DB also provides a level of protection against surges / dips as they will essentially be powered off the inverter rather than Eskom.

Offline creyneke

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2020, 04:42:37 PM »
Try Peter Shackleton at Solar Shack. Don’t have his number, very good and I highly recommend him but it’s not cheap 80k plus

Online sajunky

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2020, 09:05:24 PM »
With 3kVA it will be difficult to get a good brand online version, but not required in your case. Just make note that a real power will be about 2.4kW, so make adjustment. I would be looking rather for 48V inverter and 2x 24V batteries. It is because it will be easier in future upgrade to lithium batteries (assuming inverter support lithium batteries). At the moment lithium batteries are expensive, but are gaining popularity.

I suggest to look around and post your propositions. I only touched a problem 2-3 years ago when installing network in a friends home office. They had continuous problems with lightnings, blowing up computers and network equipment every few months. I advised to install class 2 surge protectors in a power distributor box. Since then they didn't have a single failure. As you will have to make changes in the distribution box, it is the best time to install protection devices too. I do recommend these two:

https://www.communica.co.za/products/crl-12-00232
https://www.communica.co.za/products/crl-12-00238

or a single combo device:
https://www.communica.co.za/products/crl-12-00417

They normally protect and do not blow itself, but when it happens, modules are user replaceable and there are not very expensive. Install as close as possible to the main switch and forget about lightning (unless it is a direct strike).

Remember that inverter can fail during a surge. When it happens, batteries will be short. Quite expensive, better think ahead.
If it measures good and sounds bad—it's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
/ Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, Chief Engineer, H.H. Scott/

Offline xenithon

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2020, 09:37:40 PM »
Thanks for all the info @sajunky

I originally looked at a 48V inverter. It got very expensive though because there are fewer batteries at 24V (looking specifically at OmniPower) and I would likely need 4 o get adequate Ah.

I do agree re Lithium compatibility. The inverter I’m looking at (Growatt) is compatible with Lithium so when prices  become more reasonable I can, for example, get two PylonTech Lithium batteries which are 2.4kWa / 24V and connect them in parallel. I’d ideally do that now but it’s prohibitively expensive. 

Thanks for the tip re protection. I’ll be sure to look into that as part of the DB’s. The “inverter” DB will likely be on the same wall as the main DB about 15cm below it.

Offline Focal Crazy

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Re: Supplier and installer of inverter with batteries (JHB)
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2020, 11:28:39 AM »
My advice regarding good quality inverters - Goodwe ES, Sunsynk (which is one of the top 3 inverters in the US under the brand name Solark and Victron Multiplus ii.

These are bidirectional, brilliant functionality and all have COCT approval which theoretically means they should be approved all other municipalities when they eventually wake up.
I can arrange any of these from the importers if anyone is keen