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Thread: Section 7.12 Alternate supplies

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    Section 7.12 Alternate supplies

    It seems the way forward is going to be solar instalations ... if you are not on the band wagon ... it might be a good idea to climb on.

    Which brings me to why i started this thread ... section 7.12

    I have been in discussion with other electricians ... about the specs ... it seems there are a few challenges they face when more than one installer/electrician completes and installtion

    So lets go through 7.12 and see why everyone cant just be happy.

    "Note 2 this part of SANS 1042 does not cover the supply to an installtion that functions in parrallel with the main supply (co generation)"

    Do I understand this correctly ... solar panels using a grid tied inverter would be regarded as working in parralel?

    by the way this thread is not to point fingers ... but rather create an understanding of the regs.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    7.12.2.1 - Notices and audible or visible power on indicators.

    A very important part of an alternate source of supply ... something I believe people dont pay enough attention to ... the details and correct location of the notice.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    "Note 2 this part of SANS 1042 does not cover the supply to an installtion that functions in parrallel with the main supply (co generation)"

    Do I understand this correctly ... solar panels using a grid tied inverter would be regarded as working in parralel?
    Grid tie would be parallel to the supply - The regulations covering co generation are published by NERSA and there are also municipal bylaws based on NERSA regulations.

    The Grid tie inverters are manufactured to specific requirements as per SANS regulations

    Sans 10142 is making you aware that there are other regulations to go look at - There is still talk of having a separate 10142 part 3 for solar

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    "Supplier" ... the day you switch on the solar system ...you the installer have now beome the "supplier" what does this mean to joe soap who installed the solar panel ? The first question i always ask ... is your insurance company happy with the documentation provided with the SANS approval for the product installed and the test results carried out by the suitably qualified installer ?

    It seems that some feel that if you go "off grid" no rules and regulations apply to the off grid system on the property ... this is something people need to be aware of ... the implications if something goes wrong.

    The days of installing a UPS next to a PC or a plug and play inverter on wheels are long gone ... and so have the regulations related to those units ... alternate supplies have become the new must have ... not only to save on your electricity bill but to generate your own elelctricity ... unfortunately with it comes the DIY enthusiast ...the people who know just enough to mount a panel and run a cable from the panel to a box and connect and configue the software ... like gate installers ... aircon techs ... alarm techs etc. Some of these installers and technicians have specialised in that field and know their stuf ... so credit to them.

    My concern with alternate supplies is the danger ... anyone can fit a socket outlet ... connect a motor ... install a generator or solar panel and inverter ... however the reason there is an SANS 10142-1 code is for the protection of people, animals and property.

    I believe alternate supplies should be an entire section on its own with additional requirements ... for example an additional section or attachment to a COC which requires training and certification. A single phase or installation tester will not be able to sign off a COC unless they have passed a test and been certified ... this includes master elctricians like myself ... new technology requires new training ... like an engineer ...we should have to get credits ... to ensure we keep up to date with technology and new regulations.

    Alternate supplies are growing fast and this industry requires urgent attention.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    I find the easiest way to educate people is to share installations already completed run through how the installtion was done and some of the challenges or sketch up something and ask questions.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    neutral bar earthing :

    "operation of protection devices shal not rely upon the connection to the earth point"

    Taking a copper coated steel rod ... hitting it into the ground and bolting it to the metal frame of the generator does NOT mean you have an earth elctrode installed ... it has to be done in accrodance with SANS 10199.

    Look at me getting all technical ...Where is Andy with his detailed technical responses?

    What makes you think i am heading in this direction ... the alternate supplies industry is the way forward... I even heard a comment about giving pensioners solar power to help them reduce their electricity bills ... maybe this the route forward with my new venture ... offer reduced rates and or free installations for old people ...people enjoy a feel good story.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    I have had a few pensioners telling me that you can not use a solar PV panel to heat water, only the thermal works.
    Go figure this one out.
    My system has been working for the last 5 years heating up water electrically using PV panels.
    www.usedasun.com
    With the reduced cost of PV panels today this is the way to go. Once you heated your water, you could divert the available energy to charge batteries or run grid tied inverters.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    I have had a few pensioners telling me that you can not use a solar PV panel to heat water, only the thermal works.
    Go figure this one out.
    My system has been working for the last 5 years heating up water electrically using PV panels.
    www.usedasun.com
    With the reduced cost of PV panels today this is the way to go. Once you heated your water, you could divert the available energy to charge batteries or run grid tied inverters.
    I am thinking about going this route ... i was going to look at installing gas ... but them you still have to buy gas .. solar is free ... setup the system to be super efficient and the running cost should be a low.

    I have been spending a lot of time researching solar ... my goal is to create a method to start off with the basics and expand as the budget allows ... i am not big on debt ...and to install a basic system with batteries is gona cost around R30k ... which i dont have floating around ... panels are the cheap part ... so it looks like we are going to star twith a few panels and a grid tied inverter ... then as it grows add a hybrid and lithium batteries ... hopefully batteries will also start dropping in price as the demand increases and technology advances.

    Solar start becoming an cost saving option when you run your bussines from home ... which i do ... and we have a small baking operation ... which requires drying product in the oven for hours... a little smart planning and the drying could be done between 9 am and 3 pm.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Solar used to be a luxury but for me it has become more of a necessity, because being switched off at any moment and running the security risk of alarm system failure or gate motor failure that can cost dearly is no joke, so when considering the problems associated with not having electricity it becomes a gamble to not install backup, and considering the different types of backup solar comes out very expensive but might be the cheapest on the long run when it is utilized as much as possible to try and recover some cost.
    I did my own install and must admit I had to read allot about solar and try to incorporate my electrical knowledge as I could not find the basic regulations for solar and I even had to redo certain parts of my solar installation as I learn and gain more knowledge. Solar is probably the future especially when it comes to new buildings and homes, I think it makes more sense to design to be off-grid as the utility supplier is in deep trouble and we are now starting to pay even for their darkness.

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    An example: Share your thoughts on how you would tackle it... with a smuch detail as possible.

    A standard 3 bedroom house with single phase DB (to keep it simple)

    24 way din DB

    60 amp single phase main switch
    60 amp single phase earth leakage
    2 x 30 amp single phase mcb (hob and ELO)
    20 amp geyser combo
    2 x 20 amp (plugs)
    2 x 10 amp (lights)

    A 5 kva petrol generator with an ATS (generator checked and not V-O-V)

    1 plug and 1 light circuit to connect via the ATS

    This is how i would do it.

    I would fit the ATS as close to the main DB as possible.

    Replace one of the plug circuit with a D curve mcb

    Clip 2 blanks on the right of the mcbs ... then a din mount panel light (to indicate the power is on)... then an earth leakage unit ...then a 20 amp mcb ... then a 10 amp mcb.

    make up a flexible cable with a female socket (coupler) and connect it directly to the generator (bypass the sockets provided)

    make up another flexible cable with male socket (coupler) connected to a double isolator mounted next to the generator.

    Run a cable from the isolator to the ATS

    Run a 4 core + e cable from the DB to the ATS 2 cores used for supply and 2 for return to the DB and the earth connected the the ground on the ATS.

    Labels

    generator - for the D cuve breaker.

    Alternate supply fed from the generator - above the generator circuits.

    generator power on - above the din mounted light.

    earth leakage unit - for the e/l

    plugs - plugs.

    lights for lights.

    The neutral and earth linked in the ATS panel.

    A spike next to the genrator (using a 6 mm wire)
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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