Solar energy.....





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  1. #1
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    Default Solar energy.....

    Hi guys,

    I want to power my house by solar energy only, no municipal power.

    Has anyone out there done something simmilar or can anyone refer me
    to the specialists!

    Thanks
    Willie

  2. #2
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    What is your plan?

    Will you be storing the energy in batteries for the night time?

    From what I understand it is prohibitively expensive.
    Godzilla - 1997 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
    Monty - 1972 Series 3 LWB (moved on)

    "Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."
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  3. #3
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    I've heard of people actually living like that, (no municipal power)
    I need a lead in that direction (link or site)

  4. #4
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    Speak to Renzo at Bushpower (www.bushpower.co.za) He has quite a large installation at his house, although, if I remember correctly, he still uses some municipal power at times.

    Johan
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  5. #5
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    Speak to allan west at solar international in gaborone botswana , he is a helof a decent guy and really knows his stuff.

  6. #6
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    how long you would have to be off the grid for in order to recoup your expenses? I wonder how much such a system would cost per kw/h

    just out of interest sake...
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  7. #7
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    What is the current "rand per watt" rate for solar panels?
    Kobus

    Nissan

  8. #8
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    Default

    Ill check to make sure
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  9. #9
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    I would hang on for a couple of years if I were you. There are some big changes in the technology on the way which are going to make a big difference to the financial side of photovotaics........as well as to the embodied energy.

    Do you get The New Scientist in SA? If so, get the current edition, which has a big article on photovoltaics (as well as an article on grid-scale batteries, using molten metal for very efficient large-scale electricity storage). If you don't get it over there, then pester me enough and maybe I can scan it and post the articles on here.

    Mike
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  10. #10
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    Sampie,

    The idea also appeals to me and I have given it a little bit of thought. Obviously there are people who do this commercially and know much more than me but here are my ideas completed in the following steps:


    1. Solar hot water heating is a must and preferably you should not use any electricity, with a bit of a lifestyle change it is possible, such as taking hot showers in the evenings and a colder morning shower to wake you up. Some modern solar heating system will be better but you will get some cold morning showers in winter.

    2. Convert all lighting to LED systems there are websites that sell these. I personally would consider converting the light circuits in my house to 12 or 24 volts and run the light off batteries removing the need for inverters. These batteries would be charged by solar panels. Also remember that the existing lighting circuits in your house are only rated to something like 16amps so you will need to be careful to use very economical LED bulbs.

    3. Heating of your house would need to be done by wood or gas fireplace, I have seen houses in the UK where wood burning stoves heat water that heats the house in winter, these can add a lot of atmosphere to a house but are not very popular in SA. They can also be used for cooking and boiling the kettle.

    4. Your plug circuits will need to run on 220 volt AC current and would need to be powered by an inverter. I am no expert but I would guess a 5000W inverter should power your plugs if you are carful to make sure not all your appliances are running at the same time. Not all inverters are created equal, you will need one that creates a true SIN wave as some of your appliances will not like the way most inverters produce AC current. Other members of the forum should be able to explain the difference as have only a little knowledge on the subject.

    5. Final step would be to give Eskom the finger. I would love to tell them to cut me off and watch all the neighbours lights go out during load shedding periods while I was unaffected.

    Good Luck, let us know what you do.
    Godzilla - 1997 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
    Monty - 1972 Series 3 LWB (moved on)

    "Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."
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  11. #11
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    Sampie,
    As jy goeie inligting wil he wat by offroader aan haak, skakel vir Mauritz Perold by Safreleck in Midrand (0790135617). Hulle is in die proses om ons hele plaas en onwikkeing van die eskom grid af te haal met wind en solar krag. Jy is meer as welkom om my ook te bel (0797117195) en te kom kyk wat hulle hier by ons gaan doen in Nylstroom. Ps...my modder gat is nou nog lekkerder vir vas sit!!
    Groete
    Nico van Hulst
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  12. #12
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by KobusDJ View Post
    What is the current "rand per watt" rate for solar panels?
    Kobus, die laaste prys wat ek kon kry is so by die R25 p/w

    Quote Originally Posted by kolobejnr View Post
    Sampie,
    As jy goeie inligting wil he wat by offroader aan haak, skakel vir Mauritz Perold by Safreleck in Midrand (0790135617). Hulle is in die proses om ons hele plaas en onwikkeing van die eskom grid af te haal met wind en solar krag. Jy is meer as welkom om my ook te bel (0797117195) en te kom kyk wat hulle hier by ons gaan doen in Nylstroom. Ps...my modder gat is nou nog lekkerder vir vas sit!!
    Groete
    My vrek Nico, gewonder of julle nog lewe daar in Nylstroom. As die setup klaar is wil ek ook kom loer.

  13. #13
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    My FIL is in the business. Prohibitivly expensive to go totally solar. He currently does a solution for some lodges and farmers that combines solar with gas/petrol or diesel gensets. Delivers 3Kw. As soon as load goes above 2 kw the gen starts and supplys power. Batteries drop below pre defined level of charge it starts the gen to charge batteries etc. All different programmable options. Still veeeerrryyy expensive. Only worthwhile if you compare to initial ESCOM installation. So if you have a farm that doesn't have Escom and it is going to cost you a lot of money for the connection then it would be worthwhile looking at such a hybrid option. Full solar to give you between 1 and 5kw peak with an autonomy for a few days without solar is beyond scope of most mortals. Rather look at reducing your electrical requirements by using alternative water heating and cooking and use the solar for low energy lighting at night. etc Don't try to replace your current Escom connection with solar. You will never recover your capital cost.
    Deon Viljoen
    Boyscout

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  14. #14
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    Default

    Boyscout, I agree prohibitively expensive.

    But giving two fingers up to Eskom Priceless.
    Godzilla - 1997 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
    Monty - 1972 Series 3 LWB (moved on)

    "Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    -John Wayne

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