Status Update

As its been a while (understatement!), I thought I’d update on the progress.

Well, I finally shipped my container of goodies all the way from China to SA, encountering a few issues on the way.   A groot fok jou goes to DN Freight / Temoore Freight for being complete doos’s – Shawn Patience, Elize Werner you know exactly what I’m talking about;  managing to screw up, get a charge of an extra R20k+ in Storage fee’s, *then* having the audacity to try bill another R10k on top for fee’s *already paid* in Shanghai.  The sea freight pretty much turned into air freight pricing… Grrr.

They tried to cover it up too, then backtracked and changed story.  Couldn’t even be bothered to show up for a meeting they booked, then literally blackmailed me into paying the charges – if you don’t pay, fee’s go up daily.  I’m still considering getting lawyers involved in that..

The good news is that despite the unexpected extra charges, all the stuff arrived in one piece, and the panels even made it without a breakage.

The forklift did have issues though in our front yard – it got completely stuck, and had to be towed out!

Next up, was wiring.
As I was already redecorating the house, wasn’t too bad – I had the builder’s electrician pull the 3 phase to the front for me, and a separate 1 phase to the laundry room, so I could terminate (puts on best Arnie voice and asks – “are you Sarah Connor?”) at my leisure.

I also had my builders mount the Inverter, and my electrical boxen, as I’m rather lazy. The inverter is also bloody heavy at 40kg, so made sense to get stronger people than me to mount that 🙂

Laying out how much cable is needed:


Running it into the conduit that I had builder put in for this very purpose:

The astute will note that I have 4 cables there. I have 3 phase in the house, so thats Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Neutral. The smarter folks than me will ask what about ground?
Yup, I forgot! Doh. Running ground from a separate wall plug in the room though, so wasn’t a major disaster, although the electrical gods may frown upon me..

This is what it looked like pre-termination.

…and this is what it looks like after a few hours of my time (wiring the MC4 connectors is fiddly business!)

Once I had that done, then it was a matter of waiting till a less rainy day, so that I could open my magic box of panels 🙂

An hour of hard labour later, and all 800kg of panels were in the back garden!

…and thats where we’re up till currently.

Next steps will be to mount everything (hopefully this weekend), then do a test of the system to see that the panels can power up the inverter.

If thats all good, then I’ll pay for the electrician to come back and sign off on the setup, so I can go all Frankenstein and turn it on for a few minutes to configure, and check everything before I shut it down again, and start on the paperwork side with the City of Cape Town.

Luckily I snarfed a pre-made SSEG (Small Scale Electricity Generator) document from Arthur @ MyBroadBand, so I have a lot less prep work to do. Yay!