Our green solar power is much more than an alternative form of electrification; it has become the inspiration for a whole different way of living. That is especially true if you plan to go off the grid.
If you have very deep pockets then you can simply contract with a company to install a very large solar generator, and you will hardly notice the difference, except that load-shedding and local municipal incompetence will be things of the past. You will get no more electrical bills.
But that is for a very small minority, I suspect. For the rest of us it will mean learning to adjust your daily habits according the sun, and especially when he is nowhere to be seen, hidden behind thick clouds.
For the present, unless you have very high line-charges, plan to go onto prepaid electricity; then you will pay only for the grid power you use, but at a higher rate. When there are dark, cloudy days it will be convenient to have the utility available.
However very soon, now that Eskom is dividing into three parts, that will probably mean high line-charges again, regardless of how much power you use. So, in the back of your mind, keep planning in the long run to go off the grid.
That means starting with a large inverter and regulators, despite the expense. Then in time you can add more batteries and panels without having to upgrade anything.
Think of this as a journey; a fascinating new walk with not only Mr Golden Sun, but also with Mother Earth. Let's plan to keep her pristine; our green solar power has also meant a new determination to hand over a beautiful world to our children.
If I have one strong recommendation, it is to stretch and go as big as you can from the beginning. I wish someone had said that to me at the start. Upgrading from a small inverter, to medium size and then Big Boy was unnecessarily expensive and wasteful. Only consider lithium batteries for the present but new technology will no doubt bring changes in the future.
Christmas is often a time of buying white-elephants that in retrospect were a total waste; how about this year, the whole family forego all presents and even your annual holiday, start saving for a solar farm, and in December splurge on something really worthwhile for all? That will mean no more load-shedding.
And no more loss of power because a storm has blown down a tree, or criminals have stolen the cables.
For two-weeks right now there is loss of power every single day for
hours as contractors upgrade aging networks, over and above all the
other problems. Our green solar power means that we barely notice it.
It is time to go solar; just today the newspaper headlines are about a huge jump in tariffs. It does make financial sense as an investment too, but the payback time will be dependent on how much damage from surges you have dodged.
Spikes that hit your TV or computers can be massively damaging; are your backups in order?
Hot water in the home is one of the non-negotiables.
Since somewhere around 50% of the power in the average home is used to heat water, a solar geyser makes a lot of sense. There has been a big hit in electricity prices every July for the last decade, with more to come every year; our green solar-power means we can relax, and instead perhaps put that money toward some extra panels.
You can heat water using vacuum tubes, but also directly from your inverter.
Look at induction geysers that are more efficient too.
Load shedding and security systems is another factor to consider. There have been a lot of break-ins when the grid has gone down and surveillance systems have failed.
Avoid those small compact gel-cell batteries; they fit neatly into the security box but are expensive, have a short lifespan and don't provide enough backup power for a long outage.
Electric vehicles are the future, even though the South African government appears determined to keep us backward by making import tariffs impossibly high. Despite that the E-car has landed, without a doubt for the better.
For our family we have been turning over a blue Leaf since January, 2020. This is a stupendous leap forward; I will never go back to a petrol or diesel car.
Our green solar power has been the beginning of a journey, starting some nine-years ago. I wouldn't have it any other way, though I would have done some things differently. Many others are doing it too. But going off the grid is a big step requiring much aforethought and planning.
When browsing use right click and Open Link in New Tab, or you may get a bad gateway signal.
Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, your family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!
Here are the back issues.
Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.
56 Groenekloof Rd,