Author Topic: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation  (Read 3692 times)

Offline naboo

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2021, 09:56:04 PM »
Nice, congrats on your setup!

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Offline oradba69

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2021, 05:58:15 AM »
Wowww congrats. Keep us posted.
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Offline Gerlach

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2021, 06:39:40 AM »
D-day!


Signs of life ... Inverter on DC power.


System is functional but not yet tied in with the grid


Batteries connected up and working as it should


Minutes after go-live ... miserable day to be cutting the ribbon on a solar system, but even with a paltry 600W coming off the roof it is powering the house in Saturday afternoon mode and putting a bit into the batteries.  Lesson learned today: installers do not necessarily know how to properly configure the inverter. Need to read some manuals and watch some youtube videos.


Solarman Smart app ... I had the normal one installed but like this interface better.  A full 1.5kWh produced today! 2nd lesson for the day ... after paying for a solar system whatever is generated feels like free electricity!


First usage data - I installed the app after production stopped. Hope to see lots of blue tomorrow!


Some nice generation and consumption metrics.  Will be watching these with a hawk's eye in the coming days and weeks.

Tomorrow I'm starting the snag list and will test what is connected where - that is the one thing I did not check during the installation. Also on the agenda tomorrow is to optimise the inverter settings as best I can.

Nice!!! Warning!!!! Solar can be addictive  :giggle: :giggle: Take it from me and I can give you more numbers  :tongue: when you taste that firat free power, then you want more. My wife even gave my 2 inverters names, Sherly and Sandy becauae when she's looking for me, then I will be beuse there.  :giggle:

It's like you said, some installers just install and do the basics on the inverter, the owner learns the rest. That's why people start joing forums because they can find more info there between users.

Enjoy the system and learn where your limits is and how to control it. You will become a sun expert to because you will keep a eye on that warm ball to. Winter ia deffirent ball game again where you learn alot to.  :)
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It's really fun to scare people. (Sabine Schmitz 14.05.1969 - 15.03.2021) RIP

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2021, 08:08:01 AM »
I completely get the solar addiction ... I may already be ... Watching the app every 15 minutes to see if the clouds lifted.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2021, 04:35:38 PM »
Day T+1.

This is a little surprising ... around 4pm my production fell off a cliff. With the roof facing true north, the system essentially goes to sleep as soon as the sun goes south of west, as it does late afternoon in summer.  Guess that will take some getting used to.

Despite a cold and cloudy start to the day, I had good production ... 23.4kWh. It could have been better if the maximum battery charging current was set correctly. I adjusted it from 50A to 90A and immediately the yield went up.  About an hour later the batteries were fully charged - to max out production I started both geysers and a kettle, to top out instantaneous consumption at 7.6kW. At this point, 5kW came off the roof and the rest from the batteries. I briefly saw solar peak at 5.88kW on the display ... this is 92.3% of the design peak capacity and I'm very happy with this number.

Some learnings today:

I'll have to reprofile the Geyserwise programming to maximise.
Wiring was not split as I requested - part of the house is on non-essential, while the geysers are essential.
I'm starting to seriously think about a third battery.
Very glad the inverter is in the laundry and not the scullery as I intended - my wife thought the neighbours had rented a jumping castle when the fans came on. 
And then a question - the panels extend a little over the bottom edge of the roof, which causes rainwater to overshoot the gutter and cause a splashing mess.  At the top there is about 120mm clearance between the panels on the right and the parapet - is this a safety requirement or can I ask for the panels to be moved right up against the parapet (say 10-15mm clearance) so have better use of the gutter? 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Gerlach

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2021, 08:14:34 AM »
@Scubadude on your question on the other forum, always better to charge lithium/lifepo4 battery at a lower amps. Then the sells don't get so warm and it gives the cells a change to level out with volts. Remember the cells is stack in series and the only thing that keeps them in balance is the BMS. The BMS shifts millivolts around when the cells getting full to keep them in balance, and sometime you get a cell that starts running away because of the resistant that is higher in it. Then it hits the Safety level that set on 3.55v or 3.65v and stops the charge. Some sells will not be full and this causes a unbalance in the sells.

With my experience with Lifepo4 sells, they take charge volts really fast up, not like lead acid batteries. So you don't have to push a lot amps into them. Other thing I have learn and show some of the other guys is, when the lithium/lifepo4 unit getting close to to full "100% soc", it's a good thing to drop the amps low, like under 10amps, then the sells start balancing better out while they still busy charging. 
Good drivers have dead flies on the side windows. (Walter Röhrl)

It's really fun to scare people. (Sabine Schmitz 14.05.1969 - 15.03.2021) RIP

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2021, 10:32:26 AM »
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2021, 10:41:55 AM »
Posting this speparately as it is very important.  Solar installations use a current transformer (CT coil) to detect and prevent backfeed into the grid.  The positioning of the CT coil is absolutely critical.  It should be installed just after the main switch, before any non-essential demand.  This allows things like the stove to be powered by the inverter when there is excess production. My guy installed the CT coil between the inverter and the non-essential loads, so my pool pump, a/c and stove run on 100% municipal supply.   :facepalm: :walled:

This is such a critical part of the installation to achieve a good payback, but from my understanding, it is a *very* common installation error.  The guys doing the wiring simply doesnt understand how it works.  The graphic below shows the correct location of the CT coil.






 
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Timber_MG

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2021, 12:35:48 PM »
Why install a smart inverter and place the current sensor for the purpose between those two points? I guess like much in SA you get what you inspect, not what you expect.

Offline Gerlach

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2021, 06:50:27 AM »
Thanks @Gerlach ... informative as always.  How do you drop the charging current when close to full?  I dont think I've seen those settings on the Deye inverter - maybe the BMS takes care of that?

I'm not totally up to date how the Sunsynk/Deye inverters operate in there software. But you can maybe keep a eye when you unit gets full, how much amps is still going in and if the mppt is busy tapering down with the charge. With the Victron stuff you can control this and I know guys running Home Assist can even have more control on this by informing the the system on what SOC % to start pulling back on charge.

You can maybe check if you can maybe go in with the software to see what the states is of every battery unit. There is some software that can log in via coms or canbus with a computer and see all the info and cycles and stuff in the unit.

OOOooo yes, Solarsolved, Cape Town based got shoto batteries for R22500.
Good drivers have dead flies on the side windows. (Walter Röhrl)

It's really fun to scare people. (Sabine Schmitz 14.05.1969 - 15.03.2021) RIP

Offline Gerlach

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #70 on: December 02, 2021, 06:53:01 AM »
Posting this speparately as it is very important.  Solar installations use a current transformer (CT coil) to detect and prevent backfeed into the grid.  The positioning of the CT coil is absolutely critical.  It should be installed just after the main switch, before any non-essential demand.  This allows things like the stove to be powered by the inverter when there is excess production. My guy installed the CT coil between the inverter and the non-essential loads, so my pool pump, a/c and stove run on 100% municipal supply.   :facepalm: :walled:

This is such a critical part of the installation to achieve a good payback, but from my understanding, it is a *very* common installation error.  The guys doing the wiring simply doesnt understand how it works.  The graphic below shows the correct location of the CT coil.



Other thing to add that they guys don't check, the CT coil got a arrow that shows you what way you need to clamp it, so just check that to.
Good drivers have dead flies on the side windows. (Walter Röhrl)

It's really fun to scare people. (Sabine Schmitz 14.05.1969 - 15.03.2021) RIP

Offline DACMan1

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #71 on: December 02, 2021, 07:30:58 AM »
Other thing to add that they guys don't check, the CT coil got a arrow that shows you what way you need to clamp it, so just check that to.
That is a common mistake. I always thought it would be easier to just swap the leads when you install it in reverse (well, you can do that while the DB is powered up, I would be hesitant to remove and reclamp in a live DB).

Offline juventino

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2021, 11:47:54 AM »
Hi All

Was doing some browsing and think im looking at the below inverters, if anyone has other preference please advise. Its not particulalry from these vendors just the brand.

https://solaradvice.co.za/product/sofar-6kw-hybrid-inverter/
https://sp-energy.co.za/product/deye-5kw-hybrid-inverter/
https://www.takealot.com/sunsynk-5kw-1phase-hybrid-pv-ip65-inverter-48v-c-w-wifi-donlge/PLID72723600

There is a fusion but think that might be pushing it.

Cheers

Offline DACMan1

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2021, 01:07:33 PM »
Hi All

Was doing some browsing and think im looking at the below inverters, if anyone has other preference please advise. Its not particulalry from these vendors just the brand.

https://solaradvice.co.za/product/sofar-6kw-hybrid-inverter/
https://sp-energy.co.za/product/deye-5kw-hybrid-inverter/
https://www.takealot.com/sunsynk-5kw-1phase-hybrid-pv-ip65-inverter-48v-c-w-wifi-donlge/PLID72723600

There is a fusion but think that might be pushing it.

Cheers

The SunSynk, Deye and Fusion is the same hardware AFAIK, with the SunSynk software and support being reported as superior.

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Scubadude's 8kW Solar Installation
« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2021, 11:25:22 AM »
^^^ True that. Also sold in the US with some mods as Solar-Ark. Sunsynk will add it's own remote monitoring and control through proprietary dongle and software soon, which would be a great selling point.  I can get the same on my Deye through a Raspberry Pi and Solar Assistant.

Quick update:

Yesterday my snag list was attended to and the wiring was finally sorted out - CT coil after main switch, stove before inverter, all the rest on essential. My results so far (with suboptimal conditions):

- Average consumption before solar: 32 kWh per day
- Average daily production: 20 kWh per day
- Average grid usage after solar (but before fixing the wiring): 14 kWh

Not bad considering we had lots of overcast / rainy weather this week.  If these numbers are anything to go by my goal of taking 2/3 of our consumption off-grid will be met and exceeded.

 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2021, 11:30:40 AM by Scubadude »
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass