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Thread: Solar challenges

  1. #11
    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingsparks View Post
    This the thing with the CoC story. You can't MAKE someone pay for a CoC.
    Or MAKE them pay for work to make it compliant.

    Yet if I'm the last one to touch a DB it's my fault ����.

    Still not entirely sure where we stand.
    We did a 12kw Sunsynk install on a, I'd guess, R6000000 house.

    There was a CoC, which didn't look bad and we did a few basic tests before starting (Earth fault loop, visual checks etc)

    Install was done over 3 days, commissioned - no worries.
    Start doing proper testing and find a shit show (no earth readings etc). Then twist and tape special hidden.
    Spent another 3 days fixing bits and pieces to get it to point where is could be signed off but eventually enough was enough.

    Gave the customer a report on what we had done and other things that needed attention but they weren't interested (in paying for additional works needed) and we refused to issue the CoC.

    They still paid for the solar install but they don't have a CoC from us. Like I said - can only advise, can't make them have the work done.
    I am disgusted by the fact that people are being charged for a COC for new work. A COC cost a few rand. The contractor is already being paid to do the work to spec, he is obligated by SANS to certify his work, that it is in accordance with SANS requirements. Why must the client pay for the COC. The contractor is contracted and paid to do the job as per SANS. Should a contractor be contracted to certify an existing installation it is another story. I consider him then to be entitled to charge for his time and knowledge accordingly but, the actual COC? That is ridiculous, a total abuse of power to milk the client in my opinion.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    @ Sparks

    100% Correct. I agree. Why not issue a COC for the inverter install only ?


    The COC according to the definition, does not need to cover the whole installation.

    3.9. Certificate of Compliance (coc)
    Certificate that is issued by a registered person in respect of an electrical installation or part of an electrical installation.

    Another motivation for issuing a COC for the inverter install only is the OHSA.

    7(4) Where any addition or alteration has been effected to an electrical installation for which a certificate of compliance was previously issued, the user or lessor of such electrical installation shall obtain a certificate of compliance for at least the addition or alteration.

    I do it all the time. Where I add something, I issue a COC for the addition only. Sorted.
    Last edited by Derlyn; 14-May-24 at 03:12 AM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    He gave a whole list. No bridges in the DB smaller than 16mm. 2.5mm cable may not be protected by 25A CB. The motivation was that the socket outlet is only rated at 16A, yet it was insisted on that 20A CBs' be used. Cables in the roof had to have pieces of conduit secured to all the trusses to protect cables where they went over them, despite such occurrences not being where anyone would normally walk in the roofspace thus, no undue exposure to damage. A number of similar demands were made which my poor memory does not recall offhand. I concentrated more on just doing what was asked and I was being paid for.
    You made a classic school boy error - You need to be able to back up the talk and then you can walk it

    Some bridges were 2,5sqmm between breakers

    SANS 10142-1 ed 3.1 - Clause 6.15.3 - If the CB is greater than 20Amp then each socket needs to be protected - You get the socket with a D/pole CB mounted on the socket - Way quicker and cheaper to change the 25amp to 20amp

    6.15.3 Single-phase circuits that only supply socket-outlets rated
    at 16 A

    Single-phase circuits that only supply socket-outlets rated at not more than
    16 A shall
    a) have overcurrent protection,
    b) use conductors that are rated at not less than 16 A, and
    c) if the circuit protection is rated at more than 20 A, use only protected
    socket-outlets
    , with as far as is practicable, discrimination between the
    protective devices for the circuit and the protective devices associated with
    the socket-outlets. The protective device of a protected socket-outlet shall,

    1) have a fixed rated current that does not exceed the rating of the socketoutlet,
    2) be mounted next to the socket-outlet that it protects,
    3) provide protection against overload currents,
    4) provide protection against short-circuit currents, unless short-circuit
    protection is provided by a separate device, for example, on the
    distribution board,
    5) if it needs the protection of a back-up short-circuit device, be marked
    with the required or maximum rating of the back-up device,
    6) if it protects more than one socket-outlet, be so installed that all the
    socket-outlets are connected in parallel, have the same rated current,
    and are mounted next to the device, and
    7) if it is a circuit-breaker, comply with the requirements of 6.8.2


    With regards to pieces of conduits - now where was that stated - what was stated that T&E running over trusses and can be damaged
    The T&E looked like spaghetti at the trapdoor and was a struggle to prevent damage when climbing into the roof space

    6.4.3.1 To avoid damage to the sheath of a cable, only appropriate cleats,
    saddles and clamps shall be used to fix a cable.
    6.4.6.3 Unarmoured multicore cables need not be fixed in position in places
    such as in roof spaces above ceilings and where the cables are unlikely to be
    disturbed.


    Those units are in an upmarket complex and brand new - The workmanship was horrendous with twisted joints in roof space and no boxes , T&E entering 4x4 boxes without glands - No ELU on geyser - no earth on geyser and earth wires twisted together in geyser compartment , solar geyser systems bypassed , DC fuse holders mounted open on wooden trusses for the PV geyser system- PV wires pushed under tiles and through weather membrane causing damage to membrane and tiles lying on PV wires , AC rated fuse holders and CB on DC PV wiring and battery circuits.AC and DC wiring in the same conduit and trunking
    Part of PV panel structure not fastened to roof structure
    Incorrectly label D/Boards
    Decorative ceiling fan fed from geyser isolator
    This was on a visual inspection without opening anything as no covers inc geyser covers where actually fastened

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    The electrical contractor has very limited knowledge of SANS, to the extent that an ECA official has abused his position and made ridiculous demands for changes to the installation which are not dictated by SANS. I have been contracted by the contractor to "rectify" the "faults", but have informed him which items are not in contravention. As long as he keeps paying me, I will do as he asks, albeit unnecessary.
    I agree with that statement that there is limited knowledge - I am not aware of any ECA representative going to the complex
    I as a contractor was asked by a client to have a look at his installation as there where strange things happening and his electricity bill seemed excessive when he took into account the PV system installed and that the geyser was on a Kwikhot PV system.
    I was shocked at what was discovered by my IE's - As stated , it was visual as we did not want to disturb or alter the installation in any form.

    The contractor has taken responsibility and repairing the problems . He was quick to put his hand up and say that " I buggered up and need to fix up " . Once the news got out we were asked to inspect further units on the owners insistent even though we keep stating that the contractor is rectify his errors in all units

    We are being asked to go back and check that they have been rectified and brought up to SANS 10142-1 and SANS 60364-7-712
    As a workshop we are well versed on the regulations and are not often wrong in our interpretation of the regulations

  5. #15
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    What do you do if the meter box is closer to the outbuilding DB than the main DB ?

    1/ Double up the cable in the meter circuit breaker and run the same size cable cable directly to the outbuilding DB, or

    2/ Fit a sub Db next to the meter, label it main DB, fit a main switch and 2 circuit breakers (both 60 amp because the cables are both 16 mm sq) one feeding the main DB (which now becomes a sub DB 1) and the other to the outbuilding (which will be labelled Sub DB 2)
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    What do you do if the meter box is closer to the outbuilding DB than the main DB ?

    1/ Double up the cable in the meter circuit breaker and run the same size cable cable directly to the outbuilding DB, or

    2/ Fit a sub Db next to the meter, label it main DB, fit a main switch and 2 circuit breakers (both 60 amp because the cables are both 16 mm sq) one feeding the main DB (which now becomes a sub DB 1) and the other to the outbuilding (which will be labelled Sub DB 2)
    Would do option 2 - You need to have a point of control - the meter box will be classified as point of supply - The COC is issued from point of control to point of consumption

  7. #17
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    That is how we normally do it, however it seems solar installers dont seem to agree, which doesn't surprise me.

    What really concerns me, about the 3 day experts, the lack of understanding oh how to label a DB on a site. It doesn't help if everyone of the 9 double pole isolators on site are al labelled 'MAIN SWITCH".

    How is the customer suppose to know which double pole isolator is the "main switch" with all these silly dual supply and PV labels all over every piece of equipment, it took me one and half hours trying to find the DB's and where they were t were fed from.

    By the way it doesn't help showing the man of the house where everything is and how it works, because when the 10 year old child gets hooked up to the electricity and only the domestic or the wife is home.

    Looking at the COC issued for the solar install on the project we are busy with, it looks like the IE who signed the COC/test report has been working as a rep or doing something else until he retired, now he has decided to start isuing COCs as a side to supplement his retirement package. I dont know what is worse the 3 day trained solar installer or the retired IE signing off his work.



    Quote Originally Posted by GCE View Post
    Would do option 2 - You need to have a point of control - the meter box will be classified as point of supply - The COC is issued from point of control to point of consumption
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  8. #18
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    If you have made it this far and still doing installations, what is your sales pitch, now that the same thing that happened in 2008 has happened again, people have gone out and spent hundreds of thousands on backup installations to keep the lights on, some still trying to sell the idea that load shedding will go back to stage 6 after the elections.

    I am going to stick with my generator for now, I have made it this far.

    Unless you live in the Cape or have a spiny meter and it is spinning backwards, chances are you are getting some form of return on your investment.

    It doesn't look like other municipalities has access to the 4 quadrant meters, so even if you do register the system, you might not get any return on your investment for selling back to power, you just helping a really bad situation.

    Will there be a grace period to register, will there fines, who knows , we will just have to wait and see.

    I am told that some people have had a problem with their meters going back past the recent months reading, resulting in a credit reading, a person has been sent to check the meter, identified that the reis a solar system and thats it, no further correspondence.

    IF you work for a municipality, please feel free to educate us on what is going to happen, educate the public.

    I have tried contacting radio stations, hoping they would speak to the mayor (as they do about current affairs) and shed some light on the way forward, but still nothing.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to increase the panels on the roof and help eskom keep load shedding away.

    I just feel its unfair that everyone is just keep hush about it and one day, they going to come out guns blazing and lay into everyone who has helped eskom reduce the load shedding and impose massive fines and penalties.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  9. #19
    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    I have no idea where you refer to but the installation I worked on did not have any 2.5mm bridges. Regarding the 25-20A breakers, some aircons require more than 20A to start whereafter their consumption drops. The motivation of providing 16A socket outlets is ridiculous. 4x6A loads is 24A, well within the capabillity of a 2.5mm cable. The other items you mention were also not at the complex where I worked.

  10. #20
    Platinum Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    I've also come across aircons supplied by a socket outlet on a dedicated 2,5mm aircon circuit that trip a 20A circuit breaker.

    To abide by the regulations, I replace the 20A circuit breaker with a 25A one, but then I also remove the socket outlet and replace it with an isolator.

    Problem solved.

    I think one must also keep reg 6.15.2.2 in mind which reads:

    The anticipated load of a circuit that feeds socket outlets shall not exceed 5kW.

    5kW = 20A

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