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How about a solar car port on a budget?


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6 hours ago, Crossy said:

Phase-1a is working after some frantic emailing to the manufacturer's support line, very responsive and helpful, a software update was performed and we are now working with the new inverter and the original 8 panels.

 

The rest of the panels will go up on Sunday when my step-son visits (he does the climbing thing).

 

Inverter and assorted bits box containing 30A mains breaker, mains surge suppression and DC surge suppression (will be installed when the beasties arrive from Lazada). Cables to be tidied when the panels are all up.

 

20200615_144826.jpg

 

EDIT And now it seems that the unit I've been sold is a "not for export" model, so Sofar Support won't help me change the language from the default Chinese. Hoping for help from the seller who is also very responsive to questions (one reason I keep going back to them).

 

I do have the Chinese manual, so scanning and online translations are in order too.

 

Luckily I quite enjoy these challenges, I'll get there in the end. If it saves me a few $$$ I'm happy (I count my time as no-charge). 

 

 

Cunning, very cunning. So instead of going for more incoming phases, you're going to get what your single phase can't supply from the sun. 

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Some of you may remember us building this back in 2015.     Thread here https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/481794-housebuilding-thread/?do=findComment&comment=9603407  

Warning - solar panels are 'kin heavy when you have to lift them onto the roof 🙂   Finally, the 4 panels are in place.     Panels are fixed using plates and long screws i

Something like this:-  

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:26 AM, gamb00ler said:

Phase 1

  • Fully populate the car-port roof with panels, there's room for 18.
  • Install a new 6kW GTI.

 

6 hours ago, Crossy said:

Phase-1a is working

 

Then, it is a 3phase inverter and I am wondering how is the generated energy balanced over the phases?

All the energy divided by 3 for each phase? Or is is fast enough to pump charge the toroid 150 times (or three of them?) in a sec and delivering to all phases? Or just giving out to each phase sequentially?

 

I've monitored my inverter and it's dumping and charging each second. You can see that pattern with an analog meter or oscilloscope at the DC side.

 

Also, curious as what it does with the 'over-generated-power' on a phase is it going to waste or giving it to another phase.  (3 phase loads in the house with one of the phases using lesser then the generated power)

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Ah, it seems we have a spot of wrong end of the stick grasping and it's my fault 😞

 

I'm using the term "Phase" as in phase (stage) of the job rather than phase of a 3-phase supply, should have been clearer.

 

To clarify, it's a single-phase inverter on our single-phase supply, I'm not doing anything clever there.

 

And I've completed Stage-1a to this point, the rest of Stage-1 (filling up the roof with panels) is next weekend.

 

Stage-2 is currently not scheduled, let's see how we get on for a few months with what we have.

 

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I have been trying to find out more about your SoFar inverter but not getting much info. (Just found the spec. for it. Looks very impresive). Did you get it locally or imported from China?

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18 minutes ago, Muhendis said:

I have been trying to find out more about your SoFar inverter but not getting much info. Did you get it locally or imported from China?

 

Manufacturer's website http://www.sofarsolar.com/

 

This is the unit I have http://www.sofarsolar.com/product-detail/462/SOFAR 6KTLM-G2

 

Chinese import (AliExpress). Be aware that the unit I have has been identified by Sofar support as a "Mainland China Only" variant!

 

The support chap at Sofar has been very good even after identifying the unit as a grey-import.

 

EDIT They are available in Thailand, the 5kW version is 24000 Baht on Shopee

 https://shopee.co.th/กิตไทร์อินเวอเตอร์-5Kw-Grid-tie-inverter-SOFAR-มีกันย้อน-รับประกัน-5-ปี-i.18653128.2460737043

 

EDIT2 My grey-import 6kW init was 17,300 Baht all in (including shipping and duties).

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Did you need to wait long for delivery of the inverter? 

A bit off topic but the reason I ask is that I am finding deliveries from AliExpress seem to have have stalled at the moment.

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1 minute ago, Muhendis said:

Did you need to wait long for delivery of the inverter? 

A bit off topic but the reason I ask is that I am finding deliveries from AliExpress seem to have have stalled at the moment.

 

2.5 weeks via "Thailand Special Line", duties paid by the seller (included in the shipping price).

 

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1165517-anyone-used-evereast-special-line-shipping-china-to-thailand/

 

I've got half a dozen orders "stuck" somewhere in limbo. Things seem to appear at random.

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6 hours ago, Crossy said:

Ah, it seems we have a spot of wrong end of the stick grasping and it's my fault 😞

 

I'm using the term "Phase" as in phase (stage) of the job rather than phase of a 3-phase supply, should have been clearer.

 

To clarify, it's a single-phase inverter on our single-phase supply, I'm not doing anything clever there.

 

And I've completed Stage-1a to this point, the rest of Stage-1 (filling up the roof with panels) is next weekend.

 

Stage-2 is currently not scheduled, let's see how we get on for a few months with what we have.

 

I was wondering this 🙂  First I read the 'Phase' as in the stage, as your intention was, but.. 1a is populating the carport roof, 1b was the inverter. 

That is where I had to change my understanding and changed it into a 3phase inverter :whistling:

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The new inverter seems to be more efficient than the little micro-inverters.

 

Using the original 8 panels and micro-inverters the most we got in a day was 10.1 units (last Saturday), with the same panels and the big beast the last 3 days have been 11.1, 12.8 and 13.5 units.

 

Same monitoring hardware and software so only the inverter and cable arrangements have changed.

 

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15 hours ago, Crossy said:

The new inverter seems to be more efficient than the little micro-inverters.

No surprises there.

You had a lot of heat dissipation with the micro's so much so that you needed a fan to keep them in working temperature range. That, without a doubt is inefficiency.

Some things from China are well designed and a pleasure to own and some things not quite so. Your choice of inverter is good. How long did you look before you found it?

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It's about now that one realises that, whilst they are all about the same size, solar panels are not actually a standard size. So we have 3 different panels which are different widths, lengths and thicknesses. Oh well they all make electricity.

 

20200621_170206.jpg

 

We have:-

String 1 - Eight new Trina Tallmax TSM-345PE15H 345W panels (these are half-cell panels, supposedly more efficient and more reliable).

String 2 - Eight Trina 300W panels (our original ones) + two 345W Lazada cheapies.

 

Inverter has two independant MPPT channels so mis-matched strings are no problem.

 

Total installed solar power = 5,850W. Recommended maximum for the inverter is 6,600W (max 3,500W per channel) so I think we are pretty much optimal. I may add a couple more panels later we shall see how it performs.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Muhendis said:

How long did you look before you found it?

 

I was actually looking for on-grid hybrids and suffering from serious sticker-shock when these popped up on my favourite AliExpress seller. Spec looked good (it can do zero-export), price was right (particularly as it came duty / VAT paid).

 

The hybrid and batteries can wait until we run foul of PEA installing a no-reverse or electronic meter.

 

Sofar do do a hybrid of similar spec so it should be an easy (but not cheap) change over if it becomes necessary.

 

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