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166 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 191846 18-Feb-2016 00:50
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I'm interested in setting up a small off grid solar setup mainly as a bit of testing initially. I'll keep it DC probably 24v for ease to begin with but I'm looking to use half descent quality residential sized panels. In looking for suppliers I seem to be running into the two extremes.

 

Repco crap camping panels or big install services that want to come and scope out your house. Neither of these fit my aims.

 

What am I missing?


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  Reply # 1494559 18-Feb-2016 06:27
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because solar installation is regulated, classed as high risk electrical. requires an electrician to install and must be checked by an electrical inspector when complete


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  Reply # 1494873 18-Feb-2016 12:46
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gregmcc:

 

because solar installation is regulated, classed as high risk electrical. requires an electrician to install and must be checked by an electrical inspector when complete

 

 

Only high voltage DC and grid tied are, ELV DC stuff is still good to go for yourself. Should be no issues with a DIY 24V system, its what was the norm for a long time before grid tie was even allowed.





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  Reply # 1495084 18-Feb-2016 16:55
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richms:

 

gregmcc:

 

because solar installation is regulated, classed as high risk electrical. requires an electrician to install and must be checked by an electrical inspector when complete

 

 

Only high voltage DC and grid tied are, ELV DC stuff is still good to go for yourself. Should be no issues with a DIY 24V system, its what was the norm for a long time before grid tie was even allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm... a quick look at the standards ASNZS 5033-2014, anything above 50VDC or 240W makes it prescribed electrical work and requires inspection, no mention of exclusions because it isn't grid tied

 

 

 

 edit:-

 

from energy safety

 

When a PV system operates entirely at ELV the work on that system will still have to be installed to comply with the standards AS/NZS 3000 and AS/NZS 5033; however the work will not be PEW, therefore will not require certification or an inspection.

 

 

 

So basically no inverter not PEW but still have to comply with 3000 and 5033

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1495132 18-Feb-2016 18:08
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Thanks for the information guy, clearly you can get and install 12v and 24v yourself, like I said repco sell the stuff.

 

I'm just trying to find where to buy better quality panels than the likes of repco offer.


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  Reply # 1495138 18-Feb-2016 18:31
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There's a few smaller outfits like aasolar.  Maybe search on "RV solar panel" or similar to avoid the whole-house crowd?

 

Or there's always trademe or ebay - I bought a couple of flexible solar panels from there before they were more widely available.


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  Reply # 1495140 18-Feb-2016 18:38
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www.burnsco.co.nz

We purchased some of their panels and regulators for an off-grid lighting system, pretty good pricing and product.




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  Reply # 1495161 18-Feb-2016 19:20
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AA Solar in Albany are very good. We use them for all the commercial motorhome conversions.

 

From memory a 200watt panel puts out about 28volts open circuit @ approx. 7.5 amps, they sell a good range of charge regulators also.

 

YHI sell loads of panels and kits but you need a specific account with them.

 

ENL? in Auckland sell a great range of flexible solar panels and Mastervolt regulators, great for boats and curved surfaces. Lusty and Blundell do a similar range.

 

As stated above, Please be aware of the electrical regulations. (COC and Electrical WOF may be required).

 

 




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  Reply # 1495285 18-Feb-2016 21:44
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 Awesome AA Solar look good and prices seem cheap


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  Reply # 1495304 18-Feb-2016 22:21
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I dealt with Able Solar in Henderson, about 10 years ago.  They were very good.





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  Reply # 1495320 18-Feb-2016 22:46
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http://www.onlinesolar.co.nz supplied my motorhome panels just before the sparkies decided they needed to clip the DC ticket too.
Big discussion on this on nzmotorhome.co.nz
Basically if your inverter supplies FIXED wiring you need a sparkie and eWOF, but simply adding an inverter does NOT require either ... As long as you have less than 240W panel... Which is probably why the RepCo ones are so small anyway...

http://www.nzmotorhome.co.nz/NZMotorhomeForum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=11724&hilit=Standards&start=96

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  Reply # 1495324 18-Feb-2016 23:22
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I am a regular customer of aa solar - though only spend about $1k a month with them. Am happy though you have to be exact in what you want.

 

Communication isnt their best skill.

 

However the prices are sharp.

 

 

 

One thing to be aware of is that when you put two 24v panels together in series you may be over the low voltage limits and require professional installation and certification.

 

However if you are only running 24v panels in parallel then your fine.

 

Also if your choosing the type of solar controller, go with MPPT instead of PWM. The MPPT can capture about 30% more on a cloudy day than PWM can, and PWM only uses the panel to about 80% of its capacity even on a sunny day.





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