CapeInfo’s Smarter Living Project started off to determine what one really needs to go off the electrical grid — is it as expensive as people say or, if one adapts one’s lifestyle, is it affordable or… even cheaper. Off-the-grid in this case meant no external electric sources at all — no Eskom, no municipal connection. Cooking was done using gas and […]
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 […]
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.