Sunday, 12 April 2009

Designing your own electricity system - part 2

I am heartened by the amount of correspondence that is I have received since I started this process. I have received some private emails that will be difficult to respond to individually as I do not earning anything for answering them. If anyone wishes to pay for my time to design a system for them or help them with their installation, please let me know. I am prepared to do this at R450 per hour - ex VAT. Note that this may seem like a lot, but I have put over 1200 hours of time into my learning over the past year as well as over R500,000 of investment.

I am also thankful for the amount of support I am receiving, but am in the unenviable position of helping people free of charge for the past 6 months and now I need to convert that into income. I will be starting a training centre, so if anyone wants to come on a training course, please let me know?

So feel free to make your general points and ask your general queries here. If you wish to pay me to do research for you or to help you design and install a system or to help you design and install your own system, then please feel free to email me directly.

ok, now that that is off my chest, I think we need to start with the first ideas.

See separate reply about myths and costs and how our thinking needs to change before we can go green.


David Lipschitz said...

From Tim:

My guess is that there'll be a gradual progression.

The price of electricity will keep rising.

This will slowly make people think about solar.

As more people try out solar, the manufacturers will have to produce larger quantities.

The bigger demand for solar panels and related equipment will lead to more competitors and better economies of scale.

This in turn will drive the price of solar equipment down.

As this gains momentum the effect will be amplified.

Eventually the price of electricity will have gone up enough and the cost solar will have come down enough that it will be far more widely adopted.

The bigger the solar market gets the more likely it is that better solar panels will be developed.

The panels will become better both in terms of their power output relative to size and cost as well in terms of their manufacture becoming a little less damaging to the environment.

For us to see those benefits on a meaningful scale is going to take a lot of years still though, barring an unexpected sudden breakthrough.

For now, the best way to spend less on electricity and be greener is simply to use less electricity.

There are various ways we can do this. The specific methods will vary depending on the type of use of the premises concerned.

The most obvious, quickest and simplest first step is to replace your standard light bulbs with energy saver globes. These are far nastier to the environment than standard globes but they offset this at least partially by using a lot less electricity and they save you money on your electricity bill too, even if it isn't much.

The other fairly easy thing to do is to fit a good, thick geyser blanket.

Other than that, it's a case of being diligent and switching off heaters and air conditioners that aren't needed and stuff like that.

It all depends on your aim. Some people are thinking mainly of being green. Some are thinking mainly of saving money. Some want the security of having power even when Eskom doesn't.


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