We all by now know, that the electricity supply in South Africa is pretty much unstable. At any moment, we could be plunged into darkness for hours on end. With winter fast approaching, this would most certainly be the case once again. With this blog we look at renewable alternatives that could save you money as well as some trouble when we do eventually get hit with load-shedding.
Rooftop Solar Panels
This is probably the most common and obvious method, if you’re looking into renewable power. Solar panels typically go on your roof, although you can also install them in your yard. If your current roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you could also consider investing in solar shingles. Where standard rooftop solar panels are mounted on top of your current roof, solar shingles actually take the place of your roof tiles.
Wind turbines are commonly found on wind-farms or floating offshore somewhere, but if you have enough real estate you can install a small wind turbine on your property to power your home.
Maybe you’re not ready to power your entire home with renewable energy as yet. That’s a big project, and maybe it’s just not feasible for various reasons. You can still power a part of your home with renewable energy by building a solar oven. Solar ovens are typically a science fair project, but ovens actually use quite a bit of electricity. Using the sun to passively heat your food is a good way to get started in the world of renewable energy.
This won’t work for most people, but if your property contains a source of flowing water, you’re in luck. You can divert some or all of the stream or river to flow through a turbine and power your home.
Solar Water Heating
Solar water heaters use the sun to heat a reserve of water, which can then be pumped through your radiators or out your faucets or showerheads. This system is much cheaper than using gas or electricity to heat your water, and is easier to install than solar panels.
Solar Air Conditioning
Air conditioning uses more electricity than almost anything else in your home. Air conditioning can cost you quite a bit amount of money every year, especially if you have central air and you live in a hot climate. Using hot water to cool your home can save you money and help the environment.
The Powerwall is a large rechargeable battery that can store several kilowatt-hours of electricity. On its own, it can be programmed to charge itself from the grid when electricity is on, and discharge when you’re hit by load-shedding or there is a disruption in the supply.