## Welcome to my Adventures

The pupose of this Blog is to keep in contact with many good

friends spread out all over the world.

friends spread out all over the world.

## Tuesday, December 25, 2012

### Solar System Statistics

We are now running the system for exactly one year to the day.

A quick look at the data accumulated, (I keep a detailed log of

all important parameters like DC power produced, AC power

generated from that DC power, AC power consumed by the load,

AC power returned to the grid, power used to charge the batteries

etc).

So far we generated 9 MWh of Solar (DC). With a conversion efficiency

of about 80% that gave us 7.2 MWh of usable 220VAC power.

Keeping in mind that we started off with only 16 250W panels,

then added 5 more and 3 more only a few months ago plus

an upgrade to the inverter which lasted 3 weeks for which we had

to use the grid, we have used only 1.2MWh of grid power

the whole year.

Which means we are now totally self sufficient since adding the

last 3 panels. As I said in my last post I am waiting for the new

inverter which has 2 100 Amp MPPT's which will overcome

our current bottleneck of a 80 A MPPT. During the peak hours

of sunshine we are usually in Charge Limit and loosing out on quite

a few kWh per day.

All in all I am very happy with the performance of the system.

Money well spent, but most of all, the peace of mind that brings.

Not to forget the satisfaction of a job well done.

The cost of electricity has gone up something like 120% in the last

few years and is being increased by 16% annually over the next

5 years we have been informed. That will more than double the

price of electricity in that period. And I'm sure all the other

charges associated with our municipal account will also increase

at similar rates.

Somebody has to pay for our 30 million unemployable countrymen.

There are about 5 million registered taxpayers in the country

but we have 14 million receiving some government grant or other.

And just this week it was decided by our illustrious leaders that

they intend to give a job seekers grant to an other few millions.

This is because the Education System has been completely destroyed.

To pass Matric, that is the final exam after 12 years of schooling, a pass rate

of between 30 and 40 % is required. My dog can do better than this.

This is despite the fact that most students do not take Mathematics as a

subject at all because the majority would fail the year.

So the Education Authority introduced a extremely watered down subject

called Mathematical Literacy. That is basically so they can at least understand

a Bank Statement when they see one. Not that they will ever get one themselves

as this would require getting a job first.

But this is the least of our worries. What is far more disturbing is the fact that our

Universities are producing Graduates which have absolutely no clue whatsoever

of the subject they studied for 4 years.

I had the rare pleasure of evaluating two of them. From one of the top Engineering

Universities, not the bottom of the heap.

I have never seen such lack of understanding. And by this I mean of the Basics.

I knew more before I began my studies then these two after four years.

And they are both doing their Masters at the moment. Hoo Boy.

How the hell can a reputable University even consider conferring a Degree if it was not

for political interference from the top.

When I politely inquired about the sorry state of their competency I was equally politely

informed that they were told by their professors that in this country we only do

maintenance so electronic design knowledge will never be required.

And I was of the opinion that was the reason one went to university in the first place.

Evidently I was wrong.

A quick look at the data accumulated, (I keep a detailed log of

all important parameters like DC power produced, AC power

generated from that DC power, AC power consumed by the load,

AC power returned to the grid, power used to charge the batteries

etc).

So far we generated 9 MWh of Solar (DC). With a conversion efficiency

of about 80% that gave us 7.2 MWh of usable 220VAC power.

Keeping in mind that we started off with only 16 250W panels,

then added 5 more and 3 more only a few months ago plus

an upgrade to the inverter which lasted 3 weeks for which we had

to use the grid, we have used only 1.2MWh of grid power

the whole year.

Which means we are now totally self sufficient since adding the

last 3 panels. As I said in my last post I am waiting for the new

inverter which has 2 100 Amp MPPT's which will overcome

our current bottleneck of a 80 A MPPT. During the peak hours

of sunshine we are usually in Charge Limit and loosing out on quite

a few kWh per day.

All in all I am very happy with the performance of the system.

Money well spent, but most of all, the peace of mind that brings.

Not to forget the satisfaction of a job well done.

The cost of electricity has gone up something like 120% in the last

few years and is being increased by 16% annually over the next

5 years we have been informed. That will more than double the

price of electricity in that period. And I'm sure all the other

charges associated with our municipal account will also increase

at similar rates.

Somebody has to pay for our 30 million unemployable countrymen.

There are about 5 million registered taxpayers in the country

but we have 14 million receiving some government grant or other.

And just this week it was decided by our illustrious leaders that

they intend to give a job seekers grant to an other few millions.

This is because the Education System has been completely destroyed.

To pass Matric, that is the final exam after 12 years of schooling, a pass rate

of between 30 and 40 % is required. My dog can do better than this.

This is despite the fact that most students do not take Mathematics as a

subject at all because the majority would fail the year.

So the Education Authority introduced a extremely watered down subject

called Mathematical Literacy. That is basically so they can at least understand

a Bank Statement when they see one. Not that they will ever get one themselves

as this would require getting a job first.

But this is the least of our worries. What is far more disturbing is the fact that our

Universities are producing Graduates which have absolutely no clue whatsoever

of the subject they studied for 4 years.

I had the rare pleasure of evaluating two of them. From one of the top Engineering

Universities, not the bottom of the heap.

I have never seen such lack of understanding. And by this I mean of the Basics.

I knew more before I began my studies then these two after four years.

And they are both doing their Masters at the moment. Hoo Boy.

How the hell can a reputable University even consider conferring a Degree if it was not

for political interference from the top.

When I politely inquired about the sorry state of their competency I was equally politely

informed that they were told by their professors that in this country we only do

maintenance so electronic design knowledge will never be required.

And I was of the opinion that was the reason one went to university in the first place.

Evidently I was wrong.

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