Hello from Pretoria

Hello all
I’ve been introduced to this site by @TheTerribleTriplet and I already spent a entire day getting lost in the discussion, even before joining, my mind was already blown.

I’m somewhat of a Victron fanboy even though I only have experience with Victron and Blue Nova lithium on a small camping scale.

I plan to move to a little 4 ha piece of land just outside Pretoria in the near future where I plan to open a campsite, over time I want to make the entire property as energy efficient as possible.

In short my plan / very wild dreams.

  • As phase 1 I want to get a grid tied system going on my house, probably built around a MPII 5 kVA with lithium.
  • Phase 2 will probably be the boreholes, there are 3 boreholes on the property which I want to get off Escom as far as possible either by expanding the Victron system or by putting in solar pumps.
  • As phase 3, the property has a second house which I’ll probably keep renting out, depending on the economics their electricity cost, I was thinking to also maybe grid tie this house, but straight grid tie, no battery backup.
  • Then phase 4, I also want to grid tie the campsite, but also no battery backup.
  • Who knows, depending on electricity cost and reliability in future, going totally off grid might not be too far fetched, but this is of course very far in to the future.

In between all of this I want to make my house as smart as possible by connecting and automating as many things as possible.

Even though all of this is still some months in to the distance, I already started researching and gathering ideas. I want to do things right from the beginning, every purchase decision from a new network switch to a new irrigation sprinkler or wall socket must be done with the master plan, the end goal in mind.


P.S. @JacoDeJongh Weet nie of jy my sal onthou, jy het so paar maande terug my Multi in my karavaan se firmware vir my uit gesort in Rietvallei park Pretoria oos.

I know nothing of boreholes, only a little bit about pool pumps and costs.

A 1.1kw pool pump can move a lot of water.
And they don’t cost a kidney, like some solar borehole pumps do.
And to repair them, very cheap. Can even get reconditioned ones.

So If pool pumps can work on a borehole, depending on the head, and being 1.1kw, one can schedule them when they come on, therefor one can fit multiple ones on a 5kva inverter.

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Hi Nickus, welkom hier by ons, ja ek onthou en dit was goed om jou te ontmoet…

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A pool pump works on suction (or relies on its suction side always being full of water) and there is a limit to the maximum suction head, so it cant be used for a borehole. A borehole on the other hand works on “pushing” the water up to the top.

Using a solar borehole is normally very costly and in my opinion unreliable, the “worm” in a DC borehole pump normally needs replacement every year to 18 months. We normally just install a normal AC borehole pump and feed it from the normal Inverter. That way the panels and inverter can be used for other loads once you are done pumping water. You get quite reliable .37 to .75 kw borehole pumps for around R2500. I have one of them installed for over 2 years now supplying all my water for everyday use.

If possible, stay away from dedicated Solar pumps for now.

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Daar leer ek iets nou …

let me retry this. Its more a case of it relying on its suction side to always be full of water for it to be able to displace/pump water. With a borehole normally being more than 50m deep, and the fact that there is very little if any non return valves that truly stop water from running back down to the bottom once the pump stops, its inevitable that you will loose water and end up with an air filled pipe . A swimming pool pump hardly have enough suction power to suck water from a pool less than 1 meter below it and 5-10 meters away,

Saying that is works on suction is actually not true, it relies on water always being present at its suction side.

Makes perfect sense yes.

Thanks Jaco, I’ll keep this in mind when I get there.
It actually makes sense if you think about it since you can plan and schedule pumping water around peak PV production just like you can with electric geysers.

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Ja! A borehole pump is a submersible pump.
The ‘well point’ pump installations are on the surface and suck the ground water. They can only suck as much water as the atmospheric pressure will allow (10m?)
But as @JacoDeJongh says the system cannot pump air if there’s an airlock. So do you have to prime the pump before use??

For shallow wells, you can use a centrifugal pump (very similar to a traditional pool pump). But as Jaco said, it relies on everything being full of water, so it must have a foot-valve, it must be primed (although some are self-priming up to some max head) and you must have some sort of protection device on it to switch the motor off if there is no water flow.

I used to have a DAB Jetcom on a well, but the well was only about 2 meters deep :slight_smile: