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Solar system installers


Frosty
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Before Off Topic is shutdown, I need to squeeze this in.

 

Anyone in Jozi know a reliable, and cost-conscious, Installer that can do a few installations of panels, inverters, wiring, commissioning and CoC?

 

A few of us (mates) are in the market, have purchased panels and inverters +batteries on a BF sale, but need someone that is good, but “cheap/economical”.

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I am somewhat affiliated with these guys (but don't earn any money from them) as they are a subcontractor that we use, and I've worked with them on other large solar projects.

 

https://solecsa.co.za/

 

Edit: Sorry, I see you're looking for an installer only.

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I am somewhat affiliated with these guys (but don't earn any money from them) as they are a subcontractor that we use, and I've worked with them on other large solar projects.

 

https://solecsa.co.za/

 

Edit: Sorry, I see you're looking for an installer only.

They have quoted me, and I declined it as they were almost double what some other installers I’ve spoken to were charging.
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Can I chip in as someone in this game?

 

'Good'  and 'cheap/economical' are mutually exclusive terms. Although that is not to say that someone who charges a lot will do a decent / proper / SANS complaint job. Some of the work I have seen, where the client has been charged mucho mucho bux is horrific to say the least, especially work done on electrical circuits, db, etc Anything goes!

 

So I wish you good luck.

 

ps hope you guys bought a decent inverter not that Mecer / axpert turd. Go Blue if there is still time, that you wont regret.

Edited by kosmonooit
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just some info to those who might not know.

it is not as simple as getting someone to install your kit and be done with it. Your solar install has to be registered with council or you can face a fine. it has been like this since 2018 (SA electricity regulation act). You are now required by law to register your grid-tied or off grid alternative power sources.

 

I know here in CT there has been plenty of notices and emails going around from council for people to register their solar installations or face a fine. Just check that whomever installs it...follows through with all the paperwork and applications.

We even get taxed for using sunlight and taking some of the strain off eskom in this country....

 

PS: as far as i know there is no service or application fee at present. it just has to be registered. The fine however is about R7000

 

http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/CCT-Energy-PV-Brochure.pdf

 

 

"If you live in a City of Cape Town distribution area, you may install a grid-tied system, but you

will require prior written authorisation from the City of Cape Town’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department. If you connect without notifying the City, you will be doing so illegally"

 

Edited by morneS555
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Can I chip in as someone in this game?

 

'Good' and 'cheap/economical' are mutually exclusive terms. Although that is not to say that someone who charges a lot will do a decent / proper / SANS complaint job. Some of the work I have seen, where the client has been charged mucho mucho bux is horrific to say the least, especially work done on electrical circuits, db, etc Anything goes!

 

So I wish you good luck.

 

ps hope you guys bought a decent inverter not that Mecer / axpert turd. Go Blue if there is still time, that you wont regret.

I got the Deye, aka Sunsynk, and JA panels (390W). I haven’t got the battery yet, but might go with the Pylontech 3.5kVA for starters, so I can add more later.

 

I have one installer who is prepared to assist us with some DIY work, eg. Installing trunking/conduit from the panels to the inverter, and possibly to mount the hardware on the wall. They then come in and wire the system, test, do the CoC and and and.

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Can I chip in as someone in this game?

 

'Good'  and 'cheap/economical' are mutually exclusive terms. Although that is not to say that someone who charges a lot will do a decent / proper / SANS complaint job. Some of the work I have seen, where the client has been charged mucho mucho bux is horrific to say the least, especially work done on electrical circuits, db, etc Anything goes!

 

So I wish you good luck.

 

ps hope you guys bought a decent inverter not that Mecer / axpert turd. Go Blue if there is still time, that you wont regret.

Like he said goedkoop is duurkoop. You only find that out when things go wrong. #justsaying.

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I never said cheap, I said cost conscious.

 

Some installers try to make money on labour and parts, others not. I’m looking for the guy that wants to make acceptable money off labour and not off parts. Trunking costs x, but some installers charge x+y, where y could be as much as double thinking we won’t notice.

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.Tim Murray. sales@jntm.co.za. Only does Victron but does really excellent work. At all costs avoid Janriek Lonte of Green World Solar should you happen to come across him.

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Can I chip in as someone in this game?

 

'Good' and 'cheap/economical' are mutually exclusive terms. Although that is not to say that someone who charges a lot will do a decent / proper / SANS complaint job. Some of the work I have seen, where the client has been charged mucho mucho bux is horrific to say the least, especially work done on electrical circuits, db, etc Anything goes!

 

So I wish you good luck.

 

ps hope you guys bought a decent inverter not that Mecer / axpert turd. Go Blue if there is still time, that you wont regret.

Totally agreed with this post. Have paid the school fees and found out the hard way. Pay a bit more, go blue, get a decent installer - and never look back again.
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I got the Deye, aka Sunsynk, and JA panels (390W). I haven’t got the battery yet, but might go with the Pylontech 3.5kVA for starters, so I can add more later.

 

I have one installer who is prepared to assist us with some DIY work, eg. Installing trunking/conduit from the panels to the inverter, and possibly to mount the hardware on the wall. They then come in and wire the system, test, do the CoC and and and.

Look at Revov 2nd Life (repurposed EV) batteries. Very good bang for your buck and absolutely nothing wrong with them.

 

Another tip – look at replacing your standard geyser with a heat pump before you install your solar system. Over spec your heat pump (it will give you a longer service life and better heating in midwinter). The power saving with a heat pump is less than the cost of adding additional solar capacity to run the standard geysers. It will also take you closer to independence from Eskom – or at least as much as is possible.

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Look at Revov 2nd Life (repurposed EV) batteries. Very good bang for your buck and absolutely nothing wrong with them.

 

Another tip – look at replacing your standard geyser with a heat pump before you install your solar system. Over spec your heat pump (it will give you a longer service life and better heating in midwinter). The power saving with a heat pump is less than the cost of adding additional solar capacity to run the standard geysers. It will also take you closer to independence from Eskom – or at least as much as is possible.

Thanks - my geyser has been off the grid since 2013 (except when it’s raining and overcast), and 3 months ago my main source of cooking is a full gas oven.

 

The solar system is to keep the rest of the house running during sunny days, and to charge the batteries for minimal grid use at night.

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We have mains gas where we are (Johannesburg old areas). I worked out that it's cheaper to use electricity for cooking than gas; gas is actually very expensive. And at this time of the year certainly, anyway, we generate far more electricity than we can use (we are effectively off grid except for when it rains for protracted periods). So I eventually got a cheap induction hob and a cheap set of stainless steel induction pots (made in China but they are actually quite presentable and work very well). This has pushed down the gas consumption, which is used primarily for cooking (hob, oven is electric) and in winter for space heating in the house (Rinnai flueless heaters). I actually looked at putting in a gas powered generator with a view to potentially telling the City Council and Eskom that I'm calling it a day altogether. But after having run the numbers (ignoring the cost of the generator), I figured it's actually much cheaper to buy additional electricity from the City Council when I need it than to generate it with gas. So I have just kept my old 5 kW petrol generator is an ultimate fallback in an "all fall down" type of situation. Anyway, just sharing a few thoughts. But really, if you can scrape the cash together go with Victron and be done. It's expensive upfront but the quality is there and the stuff lasts forever.

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Totally agreed with this post. Have paid the school fees and found out the hard way. Pay a bit more, go blue, get a decent installer - and never look back again.

Plenty other kit available that offers way better value and performance than Victron

 

Victron's whole eco system feels lek en plak and they know how to charge for every little cable and connector.

 

The all in one solutions from China are way easier and more user friendly. And so far over an admittedly short period of only 2 years have proven to be very reliable hardware wise. Most still have a few software hickups at times but are update over the air.

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I got the Deye, aka Sunsynk, and JA panels (390W). I haven’t got the battery yet, but might go with the Pylontech 3.5kVA for starters, so I can add more later.

 

I have one installer who is prepared to assist us with some DIY work, eg. Installing trunking/conduit from the panels to the inverter, and possibly to mount the hardware on the wall. They then come in and wire the system, test, do the CoC and and and.

 

Not really up to speed on that inverter, I see Ellies sell it so at least there will be decent warranty support.

 

Besides the backup functions, ideally one wants to be able to 'combine' what you can produce from Solar PV with the Mains feed on a daily basis, this is where a lot of Inverters over promise and under deliver, its one or the other, and this is where Victron shines with their systems. which are such a pleasure to work with. Really good build quality as well. I am sure there are others, but I prefer to stick with Victron, if only that I have one management portal to deal with!

 

Pylontech batteries are good, I've installed a lot, most of them are daily cycling to about 30% SOC. Its also important to marry them to the right type of Inverter / charge controller for BMS and once again Victron wins for me, I prefer separate Inverters, solar chargers, a  modular construction, so you can mix and match and service and upgrade as is needed.

 

Get in touch if you would like some prices on Pylontech and Victron products.

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