Author: admin

  • Solar panel window blinds

    This is for my wish list but you can pre-order them now at  SolarGaps smart blinds automatically track the sun throughout the day, adjusting position to the optimal angles to generate solar electricity to power devices in your home, apartment or office. At about $1,000 a m², they’re not cheap… but discount the cost […]

  • Upgrading the laptop made it 10x faster, using 30% less power

    The biggest surprise was how much electricity my laptop used, mainly because it would often be on for up to 16 hours a day. While the fridge uses 0.425kWh in 24 hours in normal use, the laptop was using 0.720kWh over 16 hours at 45W/h!

  • A very bright idea… save 98% of your water consumption!

    It’s almost too outrageous to be true.  But you can save 98% of your water consumption simply by adding a nozzle onto your existing taps.  Or you will be able to from the end of this year when production of the Altered:Nozzle starts. The new company turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project online……

  • Not a Bright Idea!

    A LED lightbulb is supposed to last for 6 — 12 years and, being rather pricey, they probably do. But this one will need to be replaced after about a year when a single candle will achieve more light than it does. It’s taken less than two months for this bulb to attract the miggies…

  • Getting the most from your PV Panels

    I wanted to run all lights, a power-hungry laptop (something I only discovered after I started), medium-sized fridge, wireless router, solar production & power consumption monitoring equipment, and battery charging for laptop, cellphone, camera and power drill. Could I do all this off one 150W PV panel (costing about R1700)?  Be patient, this is an…

  • The World IS changing!

    While household dependence on power utilities like Eskom is becoming a thing of the past as more and more households turn to solar energy, the end of oil companies as we know them is also on the cards. Nothing highlighted this more than one news service in the past week: Norway Electric Car Sales Grow…

  • The Smarter WiFi option

    One of the early things needed for the house was WiFi — for electricity monitoring equipment and other “smart” elements that might be included.  Asking around, most people in the area use PaarlOnline — not always with great satisfaction.  This seemed to be echoed in some online forums, where BreedeNet was mentioned as an alternative. …

  • iShacks — Power for the People

    After being impressed by solar energy installations for poorer homes in the northern Drakensberg, I was delighted to discover that the biggest urban solar energy project for indigent families is nearby at Ekanini (population about 9,000) alongside Kayamandi in Stellenbosch.  The Sustainability Institute’s iShack Project has already provided electricity to over 1,000 homes.

  • Surely the cheapest hot water system there is!

    Hot water from the outset was an absolute necessity because I’m not good at cold showers.  And seeing I hadn’t worked out all the options, I certainly didn’t have a long-term plan.  So I wanted the cheapest, fastest solution which I wouldn’t have any hesitation in just throwing away or recycling after a month or…

  • Solar Frontiers

    Household electricity for US$1.50 a month, replacing kerosene for lighting at US$10.00 a month.