Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment




Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town - RSA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    2,337
    Thanked: 161

    Default Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    My father and I own a guest house in Gordons Bay. He lives there and his retirement money is basically the income. So any capital input will come from me, but not necessarily be repaid to me in the short term.

    The "guest" bit consists of 3 fairly large rooms, and is a newish building with a flat concrete top. With the (very welcome) winter rains this year we have had a bit of an issue with the inevitable cracks in the concrete letting in some water. So I need to fix it somehow.

    So the way I see it I can do 3 things:

    1) Just fix the cracks and move on - recommendations?

    2) Upgrade the roof to some gutter setup than means I can collect rain water in tanks for the pool. Id very much like to do this.

    3) do step 2 but also add in some solar panels for a grid tied setup. A lot of the power consumption is used during day time hours in geysers and aircons for the guest rooms. If I can economically offset some of that cost it will make sense. I dont think I'm too worried about batteries in the short term, except perhaps as load shedding cover.

    How realistic is step 3 with those energy demands?

    Can you recommend a company that could help with both?

    or do I just fix the immediate issue and not worry about it?

    Cost roughly for each option?
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 2018/08/20 at 10:06 PM.
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland - GDE Eco Tune + 2" Lift on 265/70/17 BFG KO2's
    2017 Venter Savuti + Tentco Jnr, Dometic CF50 Fridge + Snomaster Battery Box
    --
    Ex - 2005 Cherokee CRD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Somerset West when not in Jhb
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,260
    Thanked: 74

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    PM sent - would love to assist.

    Hilux 3.0 D4D "Goldilocks" - Rigged for overlanding
    ORRA Callsign: X130
    Passionate about alternative energy

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Subok For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bellville
    Age
    50
    Posts
    12,692
    Thanked: 1392

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Before parting with your money PLEASE read up on the various By-Laws that apply to the City of Cape Town, and thus to your facility.


    Alternative energy - must be registered with the City .... by the time you jump through all the hoops there remains precious little financial reward .... just the possibility of limiting your customers inconvenience when the next bout of load shedding hits ....


    WATER - the new water by-law is in force .... NO, you may NOT purify rain water and use it as pottable water in the house. Using it for toilets and possibly for washing has a list of pre-requisites .....




    To take it a step further .... has the Council approved your facility as a B&B ? If not you may want to investigate the costs first .... Since 2011 the fire regulations has resulted in high costs to reach compliance.


    So many people jump into this, and spend a small fortune before doing their homework ... just to find out that it will cost another fortune to become compliant.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mossel Bay / Roodepoort for Work
    Age
    41
    Posts
    950
    Thanked: 54

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Good day Quicksilver.

    That is our business and we handle the CoCT processes also.

    Please send your details to Julian at [email protected] so we could gather the necessary information.

    Solareff - Solar PV Specialists
    www.solareff.co.za
    [email protected]
    011 675 1114

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    37
    Posts
    250
    Thanked: 55

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    Before parting with your money PLEASE read up on the various By-Laws that apply to the City of Cape Town, and thus to your facility.


    Alternative energy - must be registered with the City .... by the time you jump through all the hoops there remains precious little financial reward .... just the possibility of limiting your customers inconvenience when the next bout of load shedding hits ....


    WATER - the new water by-law is in force .... NO, you may NOT purify rain water and use it as pottable water in the house. Using it for toilets and possibly for washing has a list of pre-requisites .....




    To take it a step further .... has the Council approved your facility as a B&B ? If not you may want to investigate the costs first .... Since 2011 the fire regulations has resulted in high costs to reach compliance.


    So many people jump into this, and spend a small fortune before doing their homework ... just to find out that it will cost another fortune to become compliant.
    Sounds like Nanny state fiddling to me, what does my alternative energy production have to do with the City of Cape Town?
    And whether i catch and use rain water, should it really be any of their business?

    didn't know we were living in Sydney.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to FreeLander2 For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mossel Bay / Roodepoort for Work
    Age
    41
    Posts
    950
    Thanked: 54

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeLander2 View Post
    Sounds like Nanny state fiddling to me, what does my alternative energy production have to do with the City of Cape Town?
    And whether i catch and use rain water, should it really be any of their business?

    didn't know we were living in Sydney.
    Hi Freelander2.

    As for the Generation from an alternative source, you need to register with CoCT in terms of their by-laws to ensure you install proper compliant equipment. Let's interpret it from the reverse: You'll be somewhat perturbed if your computer and fridges blow up because your cheapskate neighbour caused a spike in your local distribution network due to non-compliant equipment. Hence us renewable industry support enabling regulations. Perhaps count yourself lucky to not be in a Munic where they don't allow anything.

    As for rainwater - I'll leave that to the water experts.

    Solareff - Solar PV Specialists
    www.solareff.co.za
    [email protected]
    011 675 1114

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Dif For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bellville
    Age
    50
    Posts
    12,692
    Thanked: 1392

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dif View Post
    Hi Freelander2.

    As for the Generation from an alternative source, you need to register with CoCT in terms of their by-laws to ensure you install proper compliant equipment. Let's interpret it from the reverse: You'll be somewhat perturbed if your computer and fridges blow up because your cheapskate neighbour caused a spike in your local distribution network due to non-compliant equipment. Hence us renewable industry support enabling regulations. Perhaps count yourself lucky to not be in a Munic where they don't allow anything.

    As for rainwater - I'll leave that to the water experts.
    As Dif said, LOTS of safety issues with generating power..... There IS "some" merit to the rules .... though a fair bit relates to loss of income to the City .....


    With WATER - same story. Some of these DIY systems CAN cause feedback of untreated or even grey water into the municipal mains, with a very real health risk to neighbours. There are various other health risks to these as well.


    I quoted the local by-laws, because this is where the OP resides. BUT, every reader will be well advised to do their homework as the rules in their area.


    Consider the following :

    Electricity - NATIONAL Regulations. Thus ALL systems must be signed off by professionals\electricians. If somebody dies due to a DIY system the owner is in big trouble ! Should the house burn down the insurance may just walk away ....


    Water - who cares if you get a stomach bug ....


    FIRE - as this thread relates to a guesthouse .... since 2011 STRICT rules for this industry !!! Achieving compliance could easily add hundreds of thousands to the project !




    "Rules\regulations" are always a strange topic .... every armchair expert wants to put down the rules as "nanny state". Thing is these rules ALL originate from school fees !!! Look at the recent high rise fires in London and UAE. You read these fire investigation reports, and the ONLY difference to a 1970 fire report is the material used in one building component - somehow industry thought "fire retardant" is now okay, as apposed to flammable products used then .... BASICS such as "fire zonation" is still neglected ....

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to ChrisF For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    George
    Age
    59
    Posts
    3,746
    Thanked: 204

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    As Dif said, LOTS of safety issues with generating power..... There IS "some" merit to the rules .... though a fair bit relates to loss of income to the City .....


    With WATER - same story. Some of these DIY systems CAN cause feedback of untreated or even grey water into the municipal mains, with a very real health risk to neighbours. There are various other health risks to these as well.


    I quoted the local by-laws, because this is where the OP resides. BUT, every reader will be well advised to do their homework as the rules in their area.


    Consider the following :

    Electricity - NATIONAL Regulations. Thus ALL systems must be signed off by professionals\electricians. If somebody dies due to a DIY system the owner is in big trouble ! Should the house burn down the insurance may just walk away ....


    Water - who cares if you get a stomach bug ....


    FIRE - as this thread relates to a guesthouse .... since 2011 STRICT rules for this industry !!! Achieving compliance could easily add hundreds of thousands to the project !




    "Rules\regulations" are always a strange topic .... every armchair expert wants to put down the rules as "nanny state". Thing is these rules ALL originate from school fees !!! Look at the recent high rise fires in London and UAE. You read these fire investigation reports, and the ONLY difference to a 1970 fire report is the material used in one building component - somehow industry thought "fire retardant" is now okay, as apposed to flammable products used then .... BASICS such as "fire zonation" is still neglected ....
    I am so happy I live off-grid away from all these stupid rules and regulations. If I want to catch rain water in a tank I seriously don't care where I live, I will do it as long as it is a separate installation to my "dirty, chlorinated" council water. With regards to electricity, yes, a safe installation is priority but as long as I am not grid tied they can go hop ... Insurance is my decision, no one else's. The sun and rain are natural and God given, NO man will regulate it away from me .... .. rant over

    Four Wheel Drive Club of SA
    Garden Route Division
    A Proud member of SCROF (Southern Cape Route Owners Forum) see our website at www.4x4ineden.co.za

  13. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dave Faddel For This Useful Post:


  14. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bellville
    Age
    50
    Posts
    12,692
    Thanked: 1392

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Faddel View Post
    I am so happy I live off-grid away from all these stupid rules and regulations. If I want to catch rain water in a tank I seriously don't care where I live, I will do it as long as it is a separate installation to my "dirty, chlorinated" council water. With regards to electricity, yes, a safe installation is priority but as long as I am not grid tied they can go hop ... Insurance is my decision, no one else's. The sun and rain are natural and God given, NO man will regulate it away from me .... .. rant over
    which is exactly what these "stupid rules" ask you to do


    Dave the problems start when people "want" to go green ... then start cutting corners when they realise the costs involved ... buying UN-lined tanks resulting in a stew of muck, and think they have "clean rain water".



    These "Stupid rules" are there to protect the rest of us .... or in my case, to protect he neighbours from my rain water tanks ....


    I DO believe in the technology !! But it needs to be used with due regard for safety ....



    HOWEVER - in terms of THIS thread - B&B owners have to jump through MANY hoops to get their licences !! All too often we see owners hundreds of thousands into a revamp project realising that they were not informed properly, and need to spend a lot more before they can let rooms ...

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to ChrisF For This Useful Post:


  16. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Umhlanga
    Age
    52
    Posts
    107
    Thanked: 191

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiksilver View Post
    The "guest" bit consists of 3 fairly large rooms, and is a newish building with a flat concrete top. With the (very welcome) winter rains this year we have had a bit of an issue with the inevitable cracks in the concrete letting in some water. So I need to fix it somehow.

    So the way I see it I can do 3 things:

    1) Just fix the cracks and move on - recommendations?
    Open the cracks properly and repair them using a little bit of a waterproofing additive, such a Sika & cement. Then remember that the first rule of waterproofing is to actually get the water off & away from the roof.

    Get your local plasterer to lay a river sand/ cement screed with a dedicated fall off the roof. Again there are various additives that can be used to assist in waterproofing the screed. - Xypex, brilatex, Sika ect.
    After the screed has cured properly, get a proper waterproofing contractor to lay 4mm Torch-On Derbigum membrane across the entire roof, and apply 2 X coats of a UV protection aluminium paint such as Silvacote.

    2) Upgrade the roof to some gutter setup than means I can collect rain water in tanks for the pool. Id very much like to do this. Buy a Jojo tank, or spend bucks and install an underground tank and harvest the rain water from the roof.
    This water can be used to fill the pool, wash the cars, irrigate your garden. - - - Unless your building was built with exposed water pipes ect, trying to plumb the rain water into the system to flush the toilets is an expensive task, and not worth the expense.


    3) do step 2 but also add in some solar panels for a grid tied setup. A lot of the power consumption is used during day time hours in geysers and aircons for the guest rooms. If I can economically offset some of that cost it will make sense. I dont think I'm too worried about batteries in the short term, except perhaps as load shedding cover.
    Solar geysers are very expensive. To get the same amount of hot water as a 150 litre electric geyser, the solar geyser needs to be a minimum of 300 litre capacity, which will cost you about R25'000 if not more.
    Installing a gas geyser to heat the water on demand is more cost effective.

    How realistic is step 3 with those energy demands? Alternative energy sources are ridiculously expensive, and your intial capital outlay will never be recuperated. Solar panels, back up batteries, management systems, are just the start.
    Rather buy decent led globes and install these throughout the house, and have an electrician install a timer on the existing geyser.


    Can you recommend a company that could help with both?
    Unfortunately I am in Durban, and am not able to recommend a contractor.
    Last edited by AlexP; 2018/08/26 at 02:26 PM.
    I met some crazy people.... They made me their leader.

    2014 Mazda BT-50 - Recently bought. March 2018
    2013 Nissan NP300 - Daily workhorse
    1993 Ford Courier 2.2... Odometer stopped working just over 530'000 km's. Sold 2013
    69' Series 2 Landi - Old, slow, thirsty. Go anywhere. Stolen in 2010

  17. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pietermaritzburg
    Age
    52
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 37

    Default Re: Guest House: Eco upgrade to Solar and Rain Catchment

    • Electricity – South Africa’s electricity cost is in the higher bracket compared with 95 countries across the globe with citizens paying R2.05/kWh compared to the world average of R1.51/kWh. The high cost of electricity hangs on Eskom’s supply shortages and thus prices have increased more than 350% in the past decade, a trend that is unlikely to reverse



    https://businesstech.co.za/news/finance/268713/heres-how-much-poorer-south-africans-are-right-now-compared-to-10-years-ago/

    Just throwing this in there. Too often we work out cost: benefit on a flat projection. Put in an average 35% increase in cost of eskom per annum and see the benefit.
    Pajero Sport 2013 3.2 A/T

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •