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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    "Durban wants your electricity

    Economy | 22 April 2015, 10:49am

    Durban - Durban has opened the door for residents to start cutting down their home electricity bills by installing solar photovoltaic panels to their rooftops and selling surplus power to the municipality.
    Launching the Durban Solar City framework project yesterday, city officials outlined plans to promote rooftop solar PV panels on homes, factories and office blocks with the aim of making sun power a “significant contributor” to the city’s future energy supply."



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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    If you have 400 bar to drop, Smartflower is readily available in SA.


  3. #23
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Just a coupla thoughts on this. Your monthly bill is bloody cheap, considering all you're running, and you're probably best advised not to raise your head above the parapet at all!
    From the list of items you're wanting to sumo, you'll need to cough up a fortune to buy enough batteries and panels to hope to cover everything. Plus big inverters too.

    I think, personally, I'd look at heating the pool with evacuated tubes in a thermosyphon arrangement. Rather than using air-con or planting trees that could, over time, get under the house foundations, use large awnings or put an afdakkie around the house to shade the windows, and use fans blowing through wet cloths to cool the interior. I forget the term.
    The thing is, the minute you try to live a luxury life using a sustainable technology, you're heading into big bucks. As far as I'm concerned, solar gear does not really drop in price. Manufacturing costs might, but profit margins merely in up instead, so it costs the same anyway.
    If you really want to go sustainable, the most practical thing to do is learn to consume less, re-develop voortrekker technologies by using old techniques with a modern twist, but I must warn you, it's a rabbit-hole, Alice, and you could lose your mind inventing and building things so you can 'quick it to the man '.
    Admitted, my suggestions are rudimentary, but when I bought the old dump I live in, there'd never been an Eskom connection, (or a toilet or bathroom either in fact). Eskom wanted to charge me twenty grand just to put a junction box outside the property, and then there would be a monthly 'availability fee ' charged if I went off-grid later.(watch out, even if you DO go off-grid, Eskom will want a monthly handout for leaving the box outside your property, like those useless 'car-guards... ) I'm also totally gatvol of this consumerist circus, so the decision was real quick and easy, and I would just get rid of the junk that uses the juice. So I elected to spend that on panels, a good inverter, and a few batteries instead. Best twenty grand I ever spent. I don't run much, lights, a good sound system, and occasionally a camping fridge. It's not ideal, but it keeps me out of that Eskom hostage ransom situation. When the lights go out, I'm still partying hard, and that makes me smile every time.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrash View Post
    I think, personally, I'd look at heating the pool with evacuated tubes in a thermosyphon arrangement.
    He's in Durban. Half the time you have throw ice INTO the pool.
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  6. #25
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    An oldie but a goodie


  7. #26
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    Wink Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    He's in Durban. Half the time you have throw ice INTO the pool.
    Haha!! Yeah, real good point that!

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrash View Post
    Haha!! Yeah, real good point that!
    He did say in the OP the pool is COLD and needs heating.

    I live on a koppie in JHB and one cannot believe the difference in temperature between our pool and those living lower down. My solution was to get 6 rolls of 100 metre long 15 mm dia black irrigation tubing leave it in a roll and lie it on a flat roof section. Some simple plumbing to the pump with 2 x diverter valves and works like a charm. Even if only running the pump 4 hours per day.
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  9. #28
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Russell View Post
    As a retired municipal electrical engineer I am also very suspicious of your electricity consumption. My wife and I are both retired and we live in Richards Bay - perhaps a little warmer than Durban. We have no air conditioners and no swimming pool. We have two hot water geysers which are controlled with time switches which are set to provide just sufficient hot water to shower and wash. We cook on a gas hob but also have an electric oven and a convection microwave. My wife always uses our clothes washing machine in the cold water mode. Our dish washer has an internal electrical element but we always operate it in the lowest temperature setting. All of our lights have fluorescent or LED globes. Our four bedroom house has a 60 amp single phase electricity connection and our consumption is 600 to 700 kWh per month.

    It would be interesting to fit a secondary meter in your distribution board. It looks as though the municipal meter may not be accurate......
    We have a very similar set up, except 2 x solar geysers which only I set to switch on in winter for 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening (for those cloudy days when I forget). Also a pool which runs 4 hours per day.

    Just recently installed a gas hob so don't know the effects yet. And then there is the unknown factor of the live in Domestic. Luke warm water from the one geyser at 11 in the morning is a good indicator.

    Consumption varies from 600 Kwh in summer to 1000 Kwh in winter.
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  10. #29
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    You can't "shove it to eskom",when you don't want to change your lifestyle.

    When going off grid/semi off grid, you need changes and BIG changes...a minimalist lifestyle,or you can just as well stay with eskom.

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  12. #30
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu Fan View Post
    He did say in the OP the pool is COLD and needs heating.

    I live on a koppie in JHB and one cannot believe the difference in temperature between our pool and those living lower down. My solution was to get 6 rolls of 100 metre long 15 mm dia black irrigation tubing leave it in a roll and lie it on a flat roof section. Some simple plumbing to the pump with 2 x diverter valves and works like a charm. Even if only running the pump 4 hours per day.
    Yep that is a good start
    Solar heating your pool works and you should easily be able to get decent heat in Natal
    and it is not the most expensive thing to do

    That will immediately help you with the rest

    You can even put a slight container on top and have the water run from that down into the system
    With a cutoff system on the pump
    But if you do that then you need to account for the weight and possibly re enforce your roof beams
    You do not want your roof collapsing

    As for the pipes you use it is a good idea to paint them black once all the connections is done
    The paint protects the plastic from getting old while it will still transfer heat
    allot of the plastic pipes ages quickly when directly exposed to sunlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
    You can't "shove it to eskom",when you don't want to change your lifestyle.

    When going off grid/semi off grid, you need changes and BIG changes...a minimalist lifestyle,or you can just as well stay with eskom.
    Not true
    It just depends on how much effort you are willing to put in
    Moving his pool and Geyser to solar systems helps allot

    And you can easily replace all the lights in your place with low energy units that makes load of light for little power usage.

    majority of home electrical equipment uses less power too

    Things that chows power
    Air conditioners
    Electrical oven and stoves
    kettle

    Other than the Geysers and so forth

    Out of those the most difficult is just about the air conditioner
    You can go Gas on the oven and stove and use table top kettle instead of electrical.
    So not exactly a "Change the way you live to minimalist" idea

    Air conditioners is slightly more difficult since they need reasonable amount of power so it ups the cost
    Last edited by Veneficus; 1 Week Ago at 03:21 PM.
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  13. #31
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Ha ha, loving this "something fishy" element now to my thread.

    Chaps we use 600 to 700 Kw a month. Have lived in the house for 10 years. Slowly as we have added each air con unit, the amount of power consumed has increased. Power consumption has gone up from 500Kw a month to the now 700Kw we have. Price has gone from R300 a month to R1000 a month, but this mainly due to Eskom increases.

    We have 6 air cons and heat pump for the pool so say 7 units in total.

    Pool heat pump only runs 2 hours a day to heat pool, pool pump is only on for 2 hours a day. Small pool with a cartridge filter so a small motor. Note: Pool is a fiberglass unit, 10 000 litres. Pool is on a sharp slope and one side of the pool is exposed to wind which blows under the deck all the time and strips the heat out of the pool. Pool in mid summer in full sun with no shade over pool is 22 degrees or so. We heat it with heat pump to about 32 degrees and cover pool with a bubble blanket. We like a warm pool. I may add an evacuated solar system to this pool, heat it all day and set a timer to dump the hot water into the pool in late afternoon. Tubes fill with water and get heated next day to be dumped in pool as extremely hot water, will do my homework on this.

    Air cons are not on when we are not at home. We used to leave one or two running to keep house cool when we were not at home, but this could be hours and as the cool air escapes, the units would run all the time. When we leave home now, we open windows to get a breeze and on returning home we close all windows and run most of the aircons for 15 mins till house is cool and then just run the unit in the room we are in.

    House, although only a 3 roomed house has 7 tvs, old units were plasma and you can feel the heat radiate off these units. Unit in room is a 60" Panasonic plasma and it gets very hot. Lie in bed and you can feel the heat. TV in lounge a 65" LED Samsung, brand new, you feel no heat coming off it.

    Washing machine runs every day on 30degree wash, better to dissolve the soap powder and 90degree wash for the towels so they don't smell musty. Note: My stepmom was the Skip / Omo lady for 35 years so we know about washing machines and powders, I promise you on that point.

    Stove rarely used, oven rarely used, kettle used a lot, iron used a lot.

    A++++ rated AEG fridge and a small Defy chest freezer, A+++ rated as well.

    One 250 liter kwikot geyser wrapped in blanket set to 55 degrees. We army shower because it suits us.

    So I am going to look into heating my pool in a different manner, will still use Eskom for the pump as I have learned that anything that needs to be started has this issue of drawing high power to get going.

    May also look at changing my room aircon for an inverter unit and seeing if this will make for a quieter unit that uses less power as this is the unit that sees the most action during the year.

    Pool heating and air con is now my mission.

    Cheers.

  14. #32
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    I would keep quiet hand hang low and enjoy that consumption. It almost sounds impossible?
    We have one geyser on a timer, 2 hrs a day.
    Pool pump 1 hr / day. No dishwasher, no aircon and no heater allowed in my house. We run a full gas stove and I'm paying out about 1.8k per month. R1.93 per unit equates to around 900 units.

  15. #33
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Sounds realistic. We are averaging 840kw a month at R1.3928 per kW. Run 3 aircons in summer, pool pump 3 hours a day. No pool heater, just a fridge and freezer, cook mostly with gas. Have solar heating with the geyser on a timer for an hour a day in summer, 2 hours in winter.

    I'd love to go off grid but the numbers don't look like they stack up. Not yet anyway. In time as prices drop, or Durban really starts paying us for feeding the grid. I don't think they'll ever make it worth our while, either the rates will be pathetic or the connection costs will kill the benefit. I will investigate though.
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  17. #34
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Sounds realistic. We are averaging 840kw a month at R1.3928 per kW. Run 3 aircons in summer, pool pump 3 hours a day. No pool heater, just a fridge and freezer, cook mostly with gas. Have solar heating with the geyser on a timer for an hour a day in summer, 2 hours in winter.

    I'd love to go off grid but the numbers don't look like they stack up. Not yet anyway. In time as prices drop, or Durban really starts paying us for feeding the grid. I don't think they'll ever make it worth our while, either the rates will be pathetic or the connection costs will kill the benefit. I will investigate though.

    Interesting that the rates are so different? I'm in East London.

  18. #35
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Agree with Gungets here, my rate is R1.2398 per Kw. Umhlanga area.

    Using 23 Kw per day average over last 6 months or 690 Kw per month.= R855 per month.

    Rate is for Durban.

    But remember Eskom is in proper, but proper meltdown.

    If you can save money at 14.7% per year, your money will double every 5 years.

    Eskom's increases are going to be way more than 14.7% so you can budget on your cost per Kw doubling every 4 years or so. Durban Metro have to charge us more as there is less and less for them to steal so they need more income.

    Having read all the replies I realize I need to keep low and be grateful for how light our foot print is. Not really a money issue for me I suppose, I just hate waste and as mentioned, I love my 2 HdCP panels with batteries and inverters that I have. This is what gave me the idea.

    Now looking at lining my pool for more insulation and will decrease volume slightly. Doing research on pool heaters. Worked out on showers that if a good solar geyser system costs me R20k, it will take me 9 years or so to realise my ROI. If I had a house of 6 people then another matter.

    By then I will have sold the house or rented it out as I moved to the Cape etc etc.

    Cheers.

  19. #36
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Hell you get it cheap
    463Kw units cost me R744

    My bill would be well over R1000 if I used nearly as much as you did
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  20. #37
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    So, given my very basic (non existent) understanding of heat pumps or heat exchangers, here's a question. Given that the house is unbearably hot in summer, and the pool needs heating, isn't there a way to "exchange" the heat using some sort of device that is plumbed into the pool and the AC?

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  22. #38
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    Default Re: Wanting to Shove it to Eskom

    Hi Mallo.

    What burns my arse is when I have to run the heat pump to warm the pool in summer.

    Fluffy says it is most efficient to run it in the hottest part of the day.

    So you have an outside temp of 35DegC and you walk past the pool heat pump and it is blowing ice cold air into the atmosphere. Sort of like I am trying to cool Durban.

    I wanted to install the heat pump inside my garage, but the air con / pool expert said it was not the right thing to do. Law of diminishing returns I suppose.

    But what would work for the future would be to use a black garbage bin, cut the bottom end off and make a huge round hole in the garage wall. Now the heat pump is outside where it should be, but its exhaust is now trunked into a closed space which it would cool down.

    Still going to look into a vacuum system for my roof that empties into the pool each afternoon at four PM. Fills up with cold water, heats up during the day, dumps into pool at four again.

    Just need to find someone who has trialed this. Will 300 liters of nearly boiling water really heat a 10 000 liter pool.

    Cheers.

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