City of Tshwane solar users

Hi all,

With some articles now popping up again that City of Tshwane is installing prepaid meters again (City to continue roll-out of new smart prepaid electricity meters | Rekord East) and already some rumours popping up that this is to “block solar users”, I thought it a good idea to start a thread.

Are there a lot of City of Tshwane users in here? What do you guys currently do – feed into the grid? Grid-tied?

Myself: I have a Victron 5KVA Multiplus 1 with a Carlo Gavazzi energy meter monitoring the non-essential side of things, with the oven, stove, geyser, borehole and aircon on that side. So I do get the spikes when the big loads on the grid side switches off and the multiplus dumps it for a second or two back into the grid.

Luckily my old Power-link PLE12D meter doesn’t care too much, but if the city does decide to install new prepaid meters, and it is one that trips when pushing back, I’m going to have problems.

Rumours so far are that they are installing the Hexing HXE12 DL model but I’m not yet certain if that blocks/trips when feeding back to the grid.

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Also in Pta, and my Goodwe plays nicely with my Hexing Pre-paid meter, even though occasional quick back-feeding happens when heavy loads drop off.

My Goodwe is set for zero export to the grid, but this is not 100% effective.

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Pta has a Conlog meter issue. Maybe they are now “upgrading” to a new model for future planning?

Like CoCT did, ITron in my case, to sort the problem out of feedback i.e. you are charged if you send back, pennies on the pound, so that more users can go solar with no PAYG meter drama, because the more people that are on the same transformer who feeds back “illegally”, creates a bigger problem to solve.

Just a thought … me being positive and all that. :slight_smile:

This is good to know!

Do you have a pic of the Hexing?

Will have a look tonight at the exact Hexing model and let you know.

Also in City of Tshwane Pretoria.

I have one of the old meters as per the pic, but don’t know what its called.,

When I got my Victron system I played around a bit with the settings to see if I’m able to feed back but no. The wheel keeps going in the same direction, just much much slower.

Apparently there is a little clip/spring/govender thingy inside which will prevent reversing the meter.

So the spike mentioned above will also have me concerned when grid goes of and having one of those new meters. I also operate with the Carlo Gavazzi.

From the communications I had with my municipality (Mosselbay)you need to register your SSEG system with if you feedback or not. It seems it is used in availability planning.

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In CoCT they use the latest aerial photos, no, not Google, to see where building alterations happened with no plans, and where there are solar panels installed, and whether that install has been registered, same as i.e. building alterations.

SANS and NRS regulations are national aka South African regulations, that apply to all of us already, and sparkies are supposed to have the latest regulation book, it is all in there I’m told.

Whether the Munic enforces the regulations, that is a whole new discussion.

Ito Eskom connected homes, I’m not aware that they allow home-users to connect yet as they said a few years back, that they don’t have the “manpower” - WTF - to handle the registrations and all that, as CoCT is already doing but ONLY for connectiosn to their grid, not Eskom’s.

Reverse lock-up. On my father’s farm the meters have that. It works like a ratchet, prevents the meter from spinning backwards.

On the farm, the disk spins backwards until it hits the point where the ratchet engages, ie it allows up to one revolution before being mechanically stopped.

My alter ego/evil twin/yan of the yin/drunk self would sooo much like to get a chance to get inside this meter to remove this offending mechanism so I can actually reverse it.

By the looks of things, I will be able to reduce my monthly account by at least half.

But oh boy if one gets caught… eish.

Thanks for the info.

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I actually don’t want to feed back, because it would cause my inverter to run full blast for many hours during the day. The benefit to my bill will be small as is, and I can’t imagine the inverter will live a long and happy life running at capacity for 6 hours a day or so.

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I was wondering about this – I feel the same (I feel bad enough with my inverter running the fans while the aircon runs fully on solar power). Yet overseas I always got the impression that a grid-tied inverter, supplying your house from solar and feeding in excess, only for you to consume again from the grid at night (no batteries) were the norm?

Yeah I guess my “feeling” is all just intuition. In my experience, things aren’t made to run at their maximum most of the time. The maximum should be that once every now and then thing.

I might be completely wrong and inverters could be more than happy with running at capacity. But I don’t think I’m wrong, because there’s obviously down rating on the Victrons when it runs too hot (probably from inverting at capacity).

can someone please explain to me why anyone would want to feed back to the grid? I don’t see any clear advantage, profit or break even in doing this?

If I had any excess power I would run my pool pump longer or aircon.

Imagine yourself a place without loadshedding.
You install a solar system. Panels, Inverter, MPPT and no battery (remember no loadshedding)
You save cost of the battery (quick thumb suck that would be 40% of my system).
You can push back the extra power and “store” it in the grid for later use.

If one was able to reverse a meter in doing so. Like those old meters I still have. Benefit is clear in my eyes unless I’m missing something (like what was mentioned above - inverter running at full capacity almost all of the time shortening in its lifespan)

In my case, I sit with extra capacity during a large time of the day, with nowhere to use it, but at night I have to pull from the grid again due to my insufficient battery setup. Feeding back during the day would even things out nicely I would think.

This!

In a perfect world obviously.

so feeding back to the grid is that based on a 1 for 1 bases. for example if I give 10kw to the grid for free - do I get 10kw back for free?

I don’t give it for free. I would like to be able to access what I have banked in times of need. Like a savings account.

from what I’ve read about Cape Town feed back system is that it’s going to cost more to feedback than it’s worth.

So for me I won’t bother feeding back.