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ebrsa last won the day on December 3 2017

ebrsa had the most liked content!


About ebrsa

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  • Location
    Yzerfontein, Western Cape
  • Interests
    Solar water and space heating. Solar electricity generation and using grid power as little as possible as long as it makes economic sense.

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  1. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    Thanks a lot for all the valuable advice @plonkster , @gabriel and @The Terrible Triplett. It gave me a lot more options. I would like to maintain my lifestyle within reason and as dictated by available resources. If it gets to crisis level there is always the Atlantic and a desalinator form @Mike. I installed all the separate piping, when the house was built some 10 years ago, in order to reuse water within reason. From all the advice it would seem that I do not have a large problem. I am very impressed with the purifying abilities of a slow flow sand filter given its ability to kill pathogens in the schmutzdecke layer of microbes which develops spontaneously within about 2 days. Below is an illustration form The Water Book by Dr Judith Thornton (2005) who worked for water authorities in the UK.
  2. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    The Voelvlei dam from which our water is supplied is now at 17.3% and the outlet to Swartland municipality's purification installation is at 12%, all very disconcerting. I have been trying to find information on purifying grey water, bath and wash basins water in my house, for toilet flushing. These are piped seperately from sewage, kitchen sink, washing machine and dishwasher output in my house. The feed line to the toilets is a seperate feed that can be connected to the municipal or an alternate supply like treated grey water. I also have 10k liters of stored rain water for domestic use after purification. It would seem that filtering grey water and then adding chlorine may be acceptable for toilet flushing. My pipes are all Pex synthetic pipes from Sweden and I would expect that clorine won't have detrimental effects on them. Cleaning the rainwater is still unresolved. I have an under counter RO unit for cleaning drinking and cooking municipal water and that will probably continue to function with purified rain water. @plonkster' your purification looks just fine and I would appreciate a photo and price details if you would kindly post these, particularly the ozone generator and venturi. Ozone looks like a viable method of purifying rain water for washing and showering. I have a 1500 liter tank for storing such water and installing a pressure pump to the house. A slow flow sand filter, described in one of my books on the subject, would have high purification capabilities but is a bit of a job to construct and will need additional pumps. We are about 80Km from Cape Town so it is not a case of just popping down the road to buy something you need. I would greatly appreciate any and all advise and information to address the matter.
  3. Mecer 5kVa settings and monitoring

    HA-01 can balance only 2 batteries while HA-02 balances 4. My HA-02's purchased from @Chris-R works absolute gangbusters and keep batteries balanced. A really worthwhile addition to your installation to ensure maximum battery life.
  4. Mecer 5kVa settings and monitoring

    @egemnaar I too run Ubuntu on my main computer but have a Win10 computer running to monitor CCTV cameras of our residents' association in the village and at my home. It was just convenient to install @Manie's ICC MQTT Desktop on that computer as it runs 24/7. The Raspberry Pi 3 that controls my 2 Axpert MKS 4Kw inverter cluster also runs ICC and I can access the Pi from any computer, mobile phone or tablet using the free RealVNC viewer available for download on the Internet. I have tried MQTT Desktop for Windows on my Ubuntu PC under WINE and did get some obscure error message but the MQTT ran just fine. You can use Playonlinux to install it. My Internet router is a TP-Link WR1043ND Ver 2 connected via a ADSL modem and I flashed the free Gargoyle router firmware on it. Gargoyle gives me a VPN to connect to from the already mentioned devices from anywhere in the world and monitor and control my solar energy system or whatever on my home LAN. You may want to take a look at all this stuff. Age is not a limiting factor as I will hit 80 in 2 months and managed it on my own as well as helping others. Good luck with getting your controlling setup working.
  5. @plonkster I am glad to hear that you think my setup works well but I see both you and @pilotfish are ahead of me on efficiency. My Raspberry Pi controlling the system with ICC is set to switch to batteries at 1:00 am and to grid at 17:00. My wife turns on heavy loads like dishwasher and stove some time after that. I have 6 panels facing north on one Axpert and 3 facing north--west on the other one. In winter I have to switch to batteries/solar later and back to grid earlier. Even in summer I manually switch to grid if there is not enough coming from the panels. Mostly my batteries don't go below 75% SOC and at 17:00 are usually fully charged. Even so I have set parameter 32 to charge at 58.4V for 90 minutes which happens in the early evening and charge current is around 4A for my 450AH 48V bank of T105's. If you have any views on how I could optimise further, I would be glad to hear.
  6. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    To see what we could expect the cost of desalinated water would be, I had a look at the tariffs of DEWA in Dubai. The link below is for a calculator of their's on the Internet. https://www.dewa.gov.ae/en/customer/services/consumption-services/tariff for 1 - 6000 Imperial Gallons it is 3.5 fils per Imperial gallon Fuel surcharge is 0.6 fils per gallon VAT is 5% The latest exchange rate is AED 1 = ZAR 3.23006 and there ate 100 fils per Dirham. 1 Imperial gallon = 4.54609 litres. The lowest bracket is 1-6000 IG or 1 to 27276 Liters. My consumption for December was 6 Kl for which Swartland Municipality charged R63.72 but only 1.60Kl was at the higher tariff. the rest was on the very low base tariff. In Dubai I would have a bill for AED 48.59 or R156.96. Sure this is a bit more but the tariff stays constant up to 27Kl. DEWA also had a surplus of R21.24 billion for water and electricity in 2016 whereas Swartland lost about R14 million if my memory still works to some extent. It is just too tedious to look up the actual figure. So clearly desalination a grand scale is irrefutably viable if you use the same proven systems as Dubai. The question is whether those to whom the service delivery locally is entrusted are willing to learn from those who are successful.
  7. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    In all fairness to the DA in CoCT, they do not have authority to supply bulk water. That is the responsibility of national government which is totally incompetant and crooked. If a cabinet minister thinks CapeTown is a foreign country, as has been reported in the media , any understanding of the serious consequences if they do not fullfil their statutory obligations will be a major miracle. So let us place the blame where it belongs. Some years ago I saw photos of the dismal condition of a feeder canal from other rivers to the Voelvlei dam. It was only recently repaired by Water Affairs Dept. Likewise did they actively resist the building of the Bergriver dam which CoCT in desperation built and citizens have to pay the loans back. All this is according to what Helen Zille revealed at a public presentation recently. It is glaringly clear that DWA acted unconstitutionally in not taking steps to supply water in the Western Cape given that the excessive influx of people from the failed rest of the country is common knowledge. So it is not just Zuma that should be prosecuted. Which brings us to the much revered legacy of Nelson Mandela and that is the mess the nation suffers today which he and his political party bestowed on us. What we now have to figure out is where to get water if the dams run dry. Massive desalination ala Dubai, with its 2.15 billion liters per day with vacuum flash evaporation using waste heat from the gas turbines of the electricity generators, is the only proven solution in the longer term. Meanwhile desalination by RO to augment whatever water remains in the dams, seems the only short term solution. And again we have to ask, where is DWA whose resposibility it is. Perhaps we should stop paying taxes and do our own thing to the point of seperating our province from the rest of RSA. The country is the product of Whitehall and the much despised colonialism after all. Enough said, have a good weekend while there is still water around.
  8. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    The idiots in central government must start doing their jobs. If not, when this mess reaches crisis point, only replacing rubber bullets with sharp points will bring some semblance of law and order. I have lived long enough to remember the times when it came to that. And still those who slavishly follow the utterances of the braindamaged media thinks Pres. Trump has it wrong when he allegedly called African and other countries s**thole countries. Personally I would say, if he did actually said that, he sure hit the nail on the head. Or are folk still to brainwashed to understand the potential tsunami we are approaching with every passing day. So I think @Mike has it right with the steps he is taking. Solutions to the water scarcity problem is the only issue we in the Western Cape should collectively focus on, including the 60% in CoCT who are selfishly and stupidly not reducing their consumption.
  9. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    Thanks for the info about the man from DWA Mike. I rest my case.
  10. Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

    It would appear from today's news reports that the blame lies with DWA, (Dept of Water Affairs and Sanitation), which is apparently responsible for supplying bulk water to municipalities for distribution in terms of the Constitution. Well either they are brain dead or simply not concerned or just are incapable of planning. The shortage of rainfall during the past winter and resultant insufficient dam levels in the Western Cape was clear to see for anyone with a functioning brain. The time for planning is long past. All that remains is action to avert a disaster. Trucks delivering a few liters of water to families and individuals will not keep the sewerage systems functioning with a health catastrophe of biblical proportions in sight. Hopefully my 10K liters of collected rain water will see me and my wife through until the Voelvlei dam can supply us again. That is if it even rains. Otherwise we may have to go for an extended visit to our daughter in Dubai were in excess of 2 billion liters are produced every day. DWA should go and learn there. Alternatively invest in one of @Mike''s desalinators.
  11. Desalination Plant

    @Mike I will surely come and have a look as soon as the unit is operational. Looks like you have a great plan for never experiencing a Day Zero. With all your successful activities in solar, Bitcoin mining and now desalination your are worthy of the title Tech King Of Yzerfontein. Just joking although true as well. Your solutions for the problems related to desalination appears to be all addressed. Best of luck with it and congratulations with yet another successful enterprise.
  12. Desalination Plant

    Dubai desalinates about 2.15 billion liters per day, most with vacuum desalination and the rest with RO. The heat for the desalination plant is waste heat from a electricity generating plant and an aluminium smelter. That is more than 3 times Cape Town's current usage. So why is it so difficult for what passes for government in RSA to get to grips when all the information is readily available. Besides with all our sunshine in summer, that heat source will minimize energy running costs to near zero.
  13. Desalination Plant

    Any significant amount of salt water dumped into the sewerage system of a town or city is bound to have negative results. But how many residents can reasonably be expected to buy desalination plants and do that. Of our approximately 700 permanent households, it is only Mike who invested in a desalinator as far as I know. Our water security in Yzerfontein can be assured if a desalinator is installed by the municipality as we have two sizable reservoirs on a hill behind the village. Such desalinated water could also be piped to Darling if the feeder pipeline from the Voelvlei dam can withstand the pressure which I expect will have to be higher than the presure when water gravitates from the dam to our reservoirs. Things are surely going to get worse before they get better and one can only hope that rainfall this year is not the same as last year. That will be a catastrophy of epic magnitude.
  14. Desalination Plant

    @The Terrible Triplett our harbour is primarily just a breakwater with launching slipways. If you extract seawater from the seaside of the breakwater there will be no pollution. All the pollution that you Capetonians dump into the sea is totally diluted by the fast north flowing Benguela current by the time it reaches our shores about 80 Km north of you folks. Tests for a Blue Flag beach did not indicate anything harmful outside acceptable limits for the purpose. Sewage was never and is not now dumped into the sea but about half of the 1500 or so houses still have french drains. These were outlawed for new builds in 2004 so newer houses have conservancy tanks that are pumped and trucked to the Darling sewerage plant. It occurred to me that waste water from desalination could perhaps be used for flushing toilets if you have a separate feed pipe to toilets, something I installed when I built our house in 2006. This may mostly solve the issue of dealing with waste water from desalination for @Mike. Won't work too well with french drains as it is sure to kill bacteria but should not be a problem with conservancy tanks provided your pipes are synthetic and not copper. I doubt that copper pipes are going to like the brine over time.
  15. @WillieC I use the Raspberry Pi 3 which has built-in wifi and bluetooth. I have not used the wifi yet but it may just work for you if you do not want to string a CAT5 cable to you home LAN. Costwise it is about the same price as older models. I get my RPi stuff from Pishop which has a wide selection and competitive prices and is also an authorised distributor, but there are many suppliers so shop around. @Chris Hobson I have flashed my 2 Axperts with both the SCC and Inverter firmware several times and also for a client of Mike in the village, all without mishap. So I personally have no hesitation in doing it but there is still a small chance that things may go pear shaped. I use a netbook with lange capacity battery and also connect the charger during flashing. If one is careful there is little chance af a mishap. If a warrantee issue arises, one can revert to the original firmware if you can find a copy.