How many panels - question for experienced users


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Nov 21, 2016
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Morning folks

I have recently had a 10kw inverter (Luxpower hybrid) and two Varta 5.1 batteries installed by a team from Somerset West. We are near Hermanus. No PV panels yet. That's next. I chose an experienced electrical contractor as I wanted safe electrics. I'm a retired electrical engineer (but no wiremans license). I know enough to recognise sloppy installs but not enough to really do my own. And not licensed anyway. The electrics are sound and neat. And we picked up some minor issues done by local electrician who was involved with the build - not wanted back.

It made sense to install my entire house on essentials. We get through about 20-25kw hours per day. We have never spent more than R1500 in a month, even with guests using our second 150 later geyser - which we turn off rest of time. Our bathroom is on heat pump. Mostly just two of us. I have now had the system running for two weeks. Works great.

What we saved on not rewiring the existing house DB into essential and non essential was invested in the larger inverter. I am happy with this plus it has assisted in not having to fuss about complex load management. Unless we turn on every appliance, we have enough surplus inverter capacity - even when it's charging two batteries as well. Data based on what I see over past two weeks.

The installer has suggested 10 panels 540watt. It seems he has those.
And my civil engineer who approved original roof design has confirmed structure is okay. Roof faces north with a 35 degree pitch. Neighbours also have similar and report no issues. So no shading etc.
I have no urge to disconnect from Eskom - but if we can pay them very little I'll be happy. May need them during bad weather or as a backup. We are getting older!

My questions to this forum, directed particularly to those who have trod this route before. So guys if you have had an inverter for a while - please let me have your feedback!

Questions: Is this enough panels? I think its enough to charge the batteries and carry a small load too.

Would you recommend more?

What pitfalls to avoid doing panel installation.

Anybody selling back to municipalities yet? Looks like a quagmire - currently you have to pay to sell to them. Not sure if there is any financial benefit when all costs of complex special bi-directional meter install are included.