Load shedding solution

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Stevie H
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Load shedding solution

#1

Post by Stevie H » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:04 pm

My dear oppressed friends from the dark hole,

I sincerely feel your pain when it comes to ridiculous practice of "load shedding". Not much we can do about it, I suppose, other than complain all day (a favourite pass time for the inhabitants of the dark hole) and blaming the Racist Government of the dark hole AKA the cANCer. But what if that could all change and I am referring to the load shedding and not the complaining? There is a simple and a cost effective way to power your house up. You don't have to go big all at once, but rather build on as you are expanding your system.

What do we need?

    70Ah car battery, preferably two depending upon total draw
    6-10 Amp car battery charger or 30 Amp Charge Controller for your solar system
    30-40 meters of 4MM of cabling depending of house length (well insulated SABS approved)
    100 meters of 1,5MM cabling depending on house length (well insulated SABS approved)
    10 LED light strips 8 Watts
    2 10 Watt spot lights
    Switches and switch box housing or remote controlled switches
    Inline fuse 7,5 or 10 Amp depending of total draw

What does it cost?

    200 Watt solar panel if you want to power your house by means of solar at R3300
    70Ah battery, lead acid around R900 per battery
    6-10 Amp battery charger around R800 or 30 Amp Charge Controller at R1000 for the solar panel
    4MM cabling at R24 per meter
    1,5MM cabling at R15 per meter
    10 LED light strips R1000 (R100 per LED strip)
    2 10 Watt spot lights at R180 per spot light
    6 switches and box housing at R130 for all, remote controlled switch price unknown
    Inline fuse box and fuse at R150

How does it work?

I will keep this article simple so that even people from Brakpan will have a general idea on how to do this properly. Below I have included a simple schematic on how you should have it wired. Make sure to pair the batteries (if you decide to go with a 2 battery system which will give you more capacity) in parallel and NOT in series, IE the plus connects to the plus and the minus to the minus. The lead battery will be the one you hook your charger up to and draw from, NOT from the second battery.

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At the battery side, place an Inline fuse (7,5/10Amps) using a 4MM piece of cable at the plus pole (around 50MM away from the pole).
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To work out how many Amps the fuse should be, calculate the following: add total wattage together (10 LED strips: 80Watts, 2 LED spot lights: 20 Watts) and divide that by the total Volts= 100Watts/12Volts=8,3 Amps. That's with all lights running at the same time or running at max capacity.

From the other end of the fuse you can run your 4MM Main Supply Line to the house. Run a 4MM cable from your the end of your fuse through the roof of your house/shack to the last or furthest room in your house/shack. Make sure that the 4MM cable is properly insulated (the flex type) and NOT the "speaker" type. If you decide to go cheap and use the "speaker" type you will have to run the cabling in a conduit as it will not comply with the code and law of the dark hole, the flex type well insulated cabling does comply and doesn't need to be placed into conduits or trunking. This 4MM cable will serve as a Main Supply Line.

Mark in your house where you would want to place the LED strips. For best results I would place them on the cornices so they will shine still above your curtain line. Insert a hole into your ceiling panel where you can fit the 1,5MM wire through. Once you have all your LED's fitted or marked to be fit and the holes are made it's time to wire it up. Splice from the 4MM Main Supply Line a 1,5MM line to your switch (should you decide not to use remote switches).

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From the switch run the 1,5MM line back to the LED light strip so the LED light strip can be powered through an ON/OFF switch. Do the same for the LED Spot Lights (designed for outside usage). See the basic wiring picture above how to wire to the switch

Your house once wired correctly will look something like this:

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Now that we have lights, let's stay connected to the internet shall we?

All we need is a "voltage regulator". This device will regulates DC voltage between a range of 9 to 18 Volts DC and costs around R500.

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Check on the back of your router what voltage it uses, they vary from 9 to 12 Volt DC.
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Check on the back side of the modem for polarity, the inner side of the connector is usually the plus. In my case it's 12V DC and the plus is in the centre.
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Again, we tap off a wire in the ceiling (from the Main Supply Line) with a 1,5MM cable. This cable will go in to the "supply in of the "voltage regulator". Make sure the polarity is correct!!! You can easily test this with a volt meter, should the reading become minus, the polarity is reversed and will result in damaging your router. On the output of the voltage regulator check for the correct voltage output that you will need. There is a small turn knob which you can turn to adjust the voltage. Connect your router to the voltage regulator on the output side. Now with that connected you have working internet.

As I will be expanding my shack, I will update this thread. So far I have powered my shack inside and outside and have working internet. In fact the lights and the modem are continuously working off my 12V DC Main Power Supply and the battery is charged by a battery charger. I will change in the next few months to solar. The installation is simple and needs no changing to my existing setup. The only thing that will be obsolete will be the battery charger as a solar panel requires a charging regulator. The battery charger will come in handy when I will build my own UPS module so we can watch TV in the dark hole during load shedding.

Cheers for now,

Stevie



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Raffles
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Re: Load shedding solution

#2

Post by Raffles » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:03 am

Soon as I get a salary again I will be able to complete my similar setup. In the meantime its candles.



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Bell 407
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Re: Load shedding solution

#3

Post by Bell 407 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:20 am

Excellent stuff.

Unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to build my own system so we bought a 3.6kva inverter and 2 x 150mah batteries. Works like a charm and the whole house is powered. Runs everything except the geyser, heaters, stove, kettle and microwave. We have a 2 plate bench top gas stove for cooking. Our lights are on and the only one of 74 units in our complex that operates normally when loadshedding hits.

Cost a pretty penny but it's as simple as plug and play when connecting the system up. The inverter has a plug in point for solar so we will be going that way for charging in the future :clap:



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: Load shedding solution

#4

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:06 pm

Inline UPS modules are nice but over priced. On top of that suppliers will sell you anything they can just because they don't have a clue what they're selling or understand what your demand is. If you're going for a UPS module to let's say power your lights only, go for a "modified sine wave" UPS, they are cheaper and don't need the prefect curve on the AC side. If you want to run a fridge (or anything with a motor) you'll need a "pure sine wave" inverter otherwise you'll damage the unit (motor side of it).

I've heard mixed feelings about powering TV's (LED TV's) from a "modified sine wave" inverter. I haven't tested it yet, but I'll find out soon enough, my instinct and experience tell me that a modified sine wave will be good enough for a LED TV, but don't quote me on that.



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Bell 407
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Re: Load shedding solution

#5

Post by Bell 407 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:31 pm

I see there is a high risk of loadshedding today because of units tripping. You can't win. In winter it's because it's too cold and high demand. In summer it's because it's too hot and high demand :wacko:



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: Load shedding solution

#6

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:44 pm

No worries about load shedding here...I'm set. Next week I'm putting the first solar panel up along with a 30Amp controller and 1 gel 105A battery for starters. I'll add on to the system bit by bit until I'm completely off the grid.



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Bell 407
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Re: Load shedding solution

#7

Post by Bell 407 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:49 pm

What solar panel have you bought Moertoe?



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: Load shedding solution

#8

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:14 pm

Haven't bought it yet, but it will be a 200Watt 12V one.



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Re: Load shedding solution

#9

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:41 pm

Anyone interested in prices or best deals, contact Boepie on the forum, he just did his whole house (lights only) from solar power via battery/inverter. Worked out to about the same price as my setup, but I've got wifi when the power goes off, he doesn't :bingo:



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Bell 407
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Re: Load shedding solution

#10

Post by Bell 407 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:44 am

Eskom has been congratulated for alleviating load-shedding, but demand for electricity has dropped dramatically since the start of the year.

It is likely there will be no load-shedding until at least May 2016, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe said on Wednesday.

While maintenance on Eskom’s ageing fleet has been increased, the power utility has managed to stave off implementing load-shedding for more than 80 days.

“We are doing all that maintenance without load-shedding,” Molefe said. “We will step up our maintenance in December as everyone goes on holiday. We will add quite a lot of units to the maintenance programme to catch up on backlog.

“We do not anticipate load-shedding until at least the 30th of April,” he said, adding that Eskom was working on overcoming the maintenance backlog ahead of the winter season. “We know when those problems will occur, so we know when to put plans in place.”

Molefe told Parliament that Eskom was celebrating 50 days of no load-shedding and 87 days where only two and a half hours of load-shedding took place.

“After July, load reductions and load-shedding has been very minimal,” he said.

“Going forward, it won’t be necessary to update [the public on these daily load-shedding stats] as having electricity will become a normal thing,” he said.

While Eskom has been congratulated on alleviating load-shedding, electricity usage has dropped dramatically since the start of 2015. This has raised concerns that Eskom has avoided implementing load-shedding because of this drop in usage.

Trader, investor and stock market researcher Dwaine van Vuuren wrote on the News24 voices blog on Tuesday that an examination of the data from Stats SA gives the real reason for no load-shedding.

“Electricity output has plummeted because demand has plummeted dramatically to 2008 recessionary levels. Not a good sign for the SA economy,” he wrote.



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Moertoe Pilut
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Re: Load shedding solution

#11

Post by Moertoe Pilut » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:18 pm

Celebrating 50 days of no load shedding? What are these clowns smoking? They should be embarrassed that load shedding is a method not to collapse the grid! They'll be in for a big surprise as most people are going "off grid".

To get you're entire house lighting "off grid" will cost you less than R10,000. Mine is done, next step solar geyser and solar unit for my fridge and tv.



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