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Solutions for loadshedding


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You could technically use a car battery but I wouldnt recommend it. Car batteries are designed to give large amps for a short time and are not designed to be run down and charged back up again, it wont last long at all like that.

A deep cycle battery is designed for that purpose and there are some relatively affordable options in smaller batteries.

 

These guys are good:

https://www.battery.co.za/products/solar-batteries/

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You could in theory also use this:

https://www.takealot.com/sherlotronics-6-4a-battery-backup-power-supply/PLID61031389/description

plugged in to the mains, and with the outputs connected to a set of 10W lights. 

 

1 light - 20h

2 lights - 10h

3 lights - 6h

4 lights - 5h

5 lights - 4h

 

You would probably not get all of that, but even at say 60% of that performance you might find that's a useful solution. You might find a better spec 18Ah battery if you're planning this as a long term solution.

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You could in theory also use this:

https://www.takealot.com/sherlotronics-6-4a-battery-backup-power-supply/PLID61031389/description

plugged in to the mains, and with the outputs connected to a set of 10W lights. 

 

1 light - 20h

2 lights - 10h

3 lights - 6h

4 lights - 5h

5 lights - 4h

 

You would probably not get all of that, but even at say 60% of that performance you might find that's a useful solution. You might find a better spec 18Ah battery if you're planning this as a long term solution.

 

I was thinking of something like this and putting LED light strips behind curtain rails (or similar) with a local switch behind the curtain.

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what do yuo monitor consumption with?

daily readings or active monitor.

 

i'd REALLY like to look at a low tech solution for monitoring power consumption on prepaid systems.

basically involves a cheap cellphone mounted onto the prepaid box. uses the flashing light (1000 flashes per kWh) into the lightsensor and times it.

 

i could ofcourse do this with an arduino with RTC and a photodiode too. but cheap cellphones are more available.

I have been doing it the low tech way for now and taking readings twice a day for the last while.

I do have a few Sonoff POW R2's though which I attached to an extension cable, those are integrated into Home assistant and I use those to check individual appliances over time.

 

Its a cheap and handy way to monitor power use on anything that plugs in. I still need to add one to my solar geyser but I have had its breaker down for most of summer and still had hot water, so no big rush there.

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Hey guys, need some advice. 

 

What setup would I need to power a laptop and a iMac together with my wifi-router?

What would I need to budget roughly? Any good deals / suggestions?

 

We live in a complex with pre-paid electricity box and neighbors are close - so a  petrol generator won't work in our setup.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Beer4Recovery
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Hey guys, need some advice. 

 

What setup would I need to power a laptop and a iMac together with my wifi-router?

What would I need to budget roughly? Any good deals / suggestions?

 

We live in a complex with pre-paid electricity box and neighbors are close - so a  petrol generator won't work in our setup.

 

Thanks.

Get an ellies ups with a pure sine invertor

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I have a 1kW Microcare (pure sine) inverter (24V) that is available for sale. I recently had a 5kW solar inverter with backup battery installed, so no longer need this smaller (ICE) unit. (This unit is also solar compatible).

 

Just needs two new (lead-acid) batteries (12V, 102Ah) and will work for up to 8 hours (depending on the load). I'd say 4 hours is more average when using a router, computer, printer, TV and a few chargers. I just don't want to spend money on batteries when I won't be using it.

 

I haven't placed a "for sale" advert (yet), but putting it out here for anyone that would want to keep their work from home office going during load shedding.

 

edit, (additions in brackets)

Edited by Frosty
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I run a CCTV, alarm, router, small LED desklamp and my desktop off a 720w inverter and 100ah battery,  just looked at the invoice...paid R4500 for it in March 2019......this was all I could scavenge up back then...I get a good 4 hours on it, but then hopefully the power is back on or I wont run the desktop, swop to the laptop and leave it so it can still keep the alarm and cameras and router going (and these days the service providers like MTN etc go down after about 2hrs. Its even worse if we get a double dose of load shedding...)

If I had had more money I would have gone bigger and better knowing that in reality loadshedding, like taxes, will always be with us....but ja....! Its done its job over the last 2 years though with no problems. I have a Energiser battery in it...not sure if there are worth anything but again there were not too many options available.

https://www.geewiz.co.za/long-run-ups-inverter-battery/5361-mecer-1200va-inverter-100ah-battery-4-hour-battery-life-kit-720w.html

 

Edited by Mojoman
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Get an ellies ups with a pure sine invertor

 

There is a lot of confusion around pure sine wave vs modified sine wave and when/where they should be used.

Some equipment doesn't mind, while its critical for others.

 

I remember getting quite confused about it all and got a pure sine wave version.

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Hey guys, need some advice. 

 

What setup would I need to power a laptop and a iMac together with my wifi-router?

What would I need to budget roughly? Any good deals / suggestions?

 

We live in a complex with pre-paid electricity box and neighbors are close - so a  petrol generator won't work in our setup.

 

Thanks.

 

When choosing an inverter, always go one up on what people suggest.

Once you start using it, you start plugging more stuff into it.

 

You mention laptop, iMac and router. What about a printer and a light ?

And then there is your TV, Decoder etc etc

And then the wife and kids want to charge their laptop and phone and tablet etc.

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There is a lot of confusion around pure sine wave vs modified sine wave and when/where they should be used.

Some equipment doesn't mind, while its critical for others.

 

I remember getting quite confused about it all and got a pure sine wave version.

 

Yes indeed. Its rather crucial as well for the longevity for you appliances.

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We recently bought a new house, and I want to look at getting a "small" loadshedding setup with the idea of adding onto it at a later stage (batteries and solar panels).

 

To start of the idea is to probably get an inverter between1.5kva and 3kva (pure sinewave), since the idea is to add-on later and I don't want to get to the situation someone explained above, i.e. my inverter doesn't have enough capacity for everything added, probably 2 batteries (either 100/105AH or 150AH) and some solar panels if I can afford it all.

There are lots of information, and starting reading up on it I am getting confused, so hopefully someone here can shed some light.

 

1. Is a 24V inverter better than a 12V inverter?

2. My assumption is that I need a Hybrid inverter to use both power from solar and the grid, is this is the case?  If not, what is needed?

3. Anything else I should know, or perhaps a few links to sites I can use to get more information?

 

I will get someone to come and do the installation, etc for me, I just want to know what is happening so that I don't get bullsh**ed into something not needed or not necessarily correct.  Plus I would like to do additional add-on's myself in future (if possible).

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We recently bought a new house, and I want to look at getting a "small" loadshedding setup with the idea of adding onto it at a later stage (batteries and solar panels).

 

To start of the idea is to probably get an inverter between1.5kva and 3kva (pure sinewave), since the idea is to add-on later and I don't want to get to the situation someone explained above, i.e. my inverter doesn't have enough capacity for everything added, probably 2 batteries (either 100/105AH or 150AH) and some solar panels if I can afford it all.

 

There are lots of information, and starting reading up on it I am getting confused, so hopefully someone here can shed some light.

 

1. Is a 24V inverter better than a 12V inverter?

2. My assumption is that I need a Hybrid inverter to use both power from solar and the grid, is this is the case?  If not, what is needed?

3. Anything else I should know, or perhaps a few links to sites I can use to get more information?

 

I will get someone to come and do the installation, etc for me, I just want to know what is happening so that I don't get bullsh**ed into something not needed or not necessarily correct.  Plus I would like to do additional add-on's myself in future (if possible).

1. Yes and no :)

For a 24V system there will be lower amp requirements on the cabling but you will most likely need double the batteries for the same capacity. Most batteries are 12V. I would always recommend the higher voltage system though for handling bigger loads.

2. You can go either hybrid or a grid tied + off-grid inverters. Having separate inverters is slightly cheaper than a proper hybrid inverter. With the "hybrid" systems between R10-R15k they dont do blended power so if the load demand is higher than what it can supply from a *single* source it will just ship the entire load off to the grid. Proper hybrid inverters will supply what they can from solar+battery and then pull in the deficit from the grid, this makes a very big difference to how much power you pull from Eskom.

3. Honestly the best place for solar/inverter info is www.powerforum.co.za there are a ton of very knowledgeable people on there who would be able to give better advice.

 

 

Just some advice, if you cant afford to do a full system from the start then look at doing it in phases. Inverter and battery could be charged from the grid until you can add solar panels at a later stage.

 

The biggest long term saving is in batteries, but the downside is that there is a much higher up front cost. You can go for deep cycle AGM batteries but they have a limited lifespan and dont like to be discharged further than 50%. Lithium on the other hand has tons of cycles and can handle deep discharge, it works out a lot cheaper over time but the initial investment is quite high. 

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1. Yes and no :)

For a 24V system there will be lower amp requirements on the cabling but you will most likely need double the batteries for the same capacity. Most batteries are 12V. I would always recommend the higher voltage system though for handling bigger loads.

2. You can go either hybrid or a grid tied + off-grid inverters. Having separate inverters is slightly cheaper than a proper hybrid inverter. With the "hybrid" systems between R10-R15k they dont do blended power so if the load demand is higher than what it can supply from a *single* source it will just ship the entire load off to the grid. Proper hybrid inverters will supply what they can from solar+battery and then pull in the deficit from the grid, this makes a very big difference to how much power you pull from Eskom.

3. Honestly the best place for solar/inverter info is www.powerforum.co.za there are a ton of very knowledgeable people on there who would be able to give better advice.

 

 

Just some advice, if you cant afford to do a full system from the start then look at doing it in phases. Inverter and battery could be charged from the grid until you can add solar panels at a later stage.

 

The biggest long term saving is in batteries, but the downside is that there is a much higher up front cost. You can go for deep cycle AGM batteries but they have a limited lifespan and dont like to be discharged further than 50%. Lithium on the other hand has tons of cycles and can handle deep discharge, it works out a lot cheaper over time but the initial investment is quite high. 

 

Thank you for the information especially around the cheaper hybrid inverters, I am less confused but can see that my initial capital outlay are going to be a bit more expensive than initially anticipated if I want to do it properly, i.e. lithium batteries.  Appreciate the input  :thumbup:

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Thank you for the information especially around the cheaper hybrid inverters, I am less confused but can see that my initial capital outlay are going to be a bit more expensive than initially anticipated if I want to do it properly, i.e. lithium batteries.  Appreciate the input  :thumbup:

That was exactly the reason I stopped the build I was planning, I didnt want to have to spend twice on batteries so figured saving up would be a better option.

 

i was just checking up on battery prices and a new local supplier is pushing out some great value with these.

https://lithiumbatteriessa.co.za/collections/built-units

 

You could also go DIY on the batteries but it requires a lot of research. 

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