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I installed an Enphase/Jinko system in late 2018. I have been very happy with it ever since. I wanted to future proof it as much as possible and be ready for 2 x electric cars so I went the biggest I could fit on the roof - 35.65kW of panels and 30kW of inverters. Actually had to extend the car garage to fit all 115 panels on! Anyway, it was a fun project and is on track to pay for itself in the next couple of years (assuming FiT does not crash horribly).

In summer it prints me quite large monthly cheques,  and in winter it mints smaller cheques but still ensures zero bills. Best day to date was a hair under 250kWh, worst day on record a poultry 6kWh (an exceptionally stormy and crappy day). Typically in the middle of winter it is unlikely to drop below 80kWh a day.

I went Micro's as I have a myriad of roof faces at a variety of orientations. It was a tricky install, but came up well.

I'm watching battery tech closely, but it still has a long way to go before its cost competitive. I'm hopeful that V2X will be viable soon as then the cost of the battery is amortised between vehicle and storage. Watch this space.

 

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1 hour ago, IXXI said:

Best day to date was a hair under 250kWh

Holy @%#t. That's crazy good! What capacity and number of inverters did you need?

I assume you have some good analytics / control of the system? Are you diverting any excess locally (hot water etc?) or just feeding it all back in? Are there no export limitations in SA?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Marc,

Being a micro inverter system, I need one inverter per panel, so I have 115 inverters in total. Every inverter is rated at 260 Watts continuous, so 115 x 260 = 29,900 W of inverters. In reality the inverters can spike to 270 Watts for a combined temporary output of  31,050 W. There is a pretty specific set of conditions required to exceed 30kw however and I have only ever seen it a couple of times for brief periods. Output of the system to grid is limited to 30kW, so thats the max that will ever pump back to the grid, but I can exceed that briefly if consuming the delta in the house.

Analytics - Enphase is probably one of the best. As you have an inverter per panel, you have per panel data. I have the optional consumption CT's installed so it gives me a pretty good idea of what is going on. Panel outputs can be viewed as a map overlay so you can identify dirty/faulty panels and inverters and know exactly which one it is. You can also view lifetime data which is very interesting to see the impact of shading and panel orientation. You hear people always rattling on about panel orientation, but in my system, with a 18 months of data the difference is not substantial. Yes north facing is the best,but not by a margin that would keep me up at night. East and west seem to pump out roughly 90% of what my north facers do. 

Additionally, I have the installer toolkit which lets me see real time production and consumption data. That's great for determining specific loads, i.e. turn on the Anthem P5, crank it up and watch the power consumption on the house increase a fair bit, lol (SNA'ers may know what I'm on about here).

Specific diversion is not really needed on my system. We just have the hot water on a timer to come on during the day and run the appliances we can during the day also. There is always plently of power there to cover what is going on. Smart controls become somewhat redundant. Even the Zappi rarely has to throttle, it only throttles as the sun goes down, then turns on again once off peak kicks in (if needed).

I have been following solar for a few years waiting for just the right time to get in, the perfect storm of system size, solar subsidy (many people don't know that the STC subsidy reduces annually) and equipment cost. In SA i believe this occured mid to late 2018 when I installed. SAPN reduced the maximum residential system size for single phase from 10kW to 5kW but retained the 30kW limit for three phase systems. I felt that wouldn't last long so pulled the trigger on the biggest system I physically could as I was certain they would restrict 3 phase systems soon. Turns out I was right, and I slipped in just before the rules were changed to 15kW max on 3 phase. Just need to hope now that they do not introduce retrospective limits.... Not sure that they really could though. 

I've included a few happy snaps below, best production day, biggest consumption day, total production and a view showing per panel lifetime production on various orientations (you can see impact of shading on a couple of the panels in that one too).

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Screenshot_20200802-062152.png

 

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Edited by IXXI
Removed site ID from pic in case its sensitive.
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