Load shedding and security systems are directly connected.
Load shedding is a pain in the proverbial for all of those who have not yet gone solar; there are three strong suggestions that I would add to the excellent article by Byrone Athman in the Witness last Saturday.
Firstly whenever there is load shedding, immediately drop the mains-breaker and do not flip it up again for perhaps five minutes after the power is restored; by which time the voltage should have stabilised. It’s during that short period that a huge amount of damage can be done to your electrical appliances; be patient and just wait for a few moments longer.
Brown-outs when the voltage drops as everyone starts drawing power the moment the grid is restored can do as much damage as a surge.
Secondly when grid power is lost, turn off your geysers; they put huge strain on the municipal transformer on your street when the electricity is restored.
And thirdly do away with those horrible little gel-cell batteries for ever; they are expensive and they simply do not last if there is extended and frequent load shedding, as Athman reports.
It is true they are neat and fit
nicely into the little electrical-box, but that’s where their advantage
begins and ends. Today I would probably do this with a lithium battery.
But years ago we went to our favoured supplier and bought a 40Ah lead cell battery of the sealed type used in golf carts and motorcycles; they require no maintenance and give off no evil-smelling gases.
A good secondhand battery would be fine. Ask an electrician to fit it; it will last
for years and even if the grid fails for days, you can be assured your
alarm will be working properly; ours shown in the photo above is still perfect.
These days a small lithium-battery has become available; for a price.
Power cuts are here to stay
alas, whether because of Eskom or municipal incompetence; or the
vagaries of wind and storm. The potential damage to your security
system and the possibility of a break-in, are just two more reasons to
consider going solar.
There already is a second utility supplier, the one of choice in fact; his name is Mr Golden Sun. He is a giant nuclear power-station directing a massive amount of free energy towards your roof, with none of the worries of radioactive waste that Koeberg has to contend with; or a Fukushima radioactive disaster.
It’s true that grid can fail too when the mists sweep in for perhaps a dozen days in the year; you can revert to Eskom for your backup if you have a prepaid electricity account.
There really is no need to go off the grid unless you have exorbitant line-charges.
Sell your gennie and log in to the big guy in the sky; we’ve been doing it for twelve years, and not regretted the decision for one day. Go as big as you can afford from the very start; upgrading is needlessly expensive.
Load shedding and security systems demand a larger than normal gel-cell battery, and greater vigilance when the street lights go off.
Has the time come to go solar? R200,000 will buy you a very nice system. With Eskom demanding a 31% rise in price in 2023 it's worth a thought; in just two days it will be complete. Sell that horrid generator.
Our green solar power was the beginning of a most productive journey into a different focus for our family; one that also meant harvesting rainwater and an organic garden that produces over R100,000 of food every year.
Most important it has given us a renewed focus on our wellbeing. Blue Zone longevity is our passion; growing wholesome food, milling 100% meal for real bread and home-cooked nutritious meals.
We call it the green journey.
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