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ebrsa last won the day on May 3

ebrsa had the most liked content!


About ebrsa

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    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. ebrsa

    Axpert 5Kw Switching On Delay

    On the past Monday I restarted my two parallel 5Kw MKS Axperts. Both are flashed with version BLC73.00c firmware of @Coulomb and @weber which has been running for a week at the time. The newest of the two refused to start up, after switching all power inputs and outputs to both inverters off and restarting by switching batteries on first, then solar panels, then mains and lastly output. After trying this several times, without, success I gave up. The fans of the dead inverter were running and I could hear relays clicking a few time though. About 3 hours later I noticed that the dead inverter came on and was functioning fine. This morning I noticed that the older and working inverter would not display the SCC firmware version or charge current from the solar panels connected to it, so switched everything off and on as per above procedure. And again the newer inverter would not start but some 3 hours later I noticed on ICC that it was now working. Has anyone got an explanation or must I expect that the inverter will soon fail completely and have to be replaced. The dodgy inverter was installed only 20 months ago.
  2. ebrsa

    good news for amateurs - like me

    I thought of posting an opinion here but decided that would be totally stupid. When folk talk about religion you can only insult them when you differ even if you think it is all a delusion. So I will stay out of this one firstly because it won't promote renewable energy generation knowledge and secondly because we will all find out the true reality at the moment of our last breath or not if the atheists are right. Not that it will matter.
  3. ebrsa

    Cape Town Water Crisis

    @gabriel Iam afraid he did not say and I thought the point had been made. Unfortunately municipalities are too scared of the trade union concerned to privatise services and would rather take the easy way out and let the taxpayers, who actually pay their accounts, bear more of the burden. Swartland Municipality, mail about 24,000 accounts per month but around 8500 of those are receivers of subsidies. @plonkster what I am hoping for is that the combined intelligence on this forum may come up with some workable solutions for sustainable water supply, other than looking hopefully at the winter sky which today is nice and sunny. At least my PV panels will save me some money before their viability is taxed into oblivion together with the capital that we were so enthusiastically encouraged to invest. Maybe the one snowflake that precipitates the avalanche will come to light.
  4. ebrsa

    Cape Town Water Crisis

    @plonkster I am glad that you pointed out the flaws in your proposals of government involvement in business activities, The main problem is not lack of accountability but lack of the discipline of the market. SAA would be long gone if it was a non-government company. Neither does the suggestion that a loss making airline could be beneficial to the nation hold water. Why should taxpayers subsidise a financial disaster of an airline so that shareholders of hospitality businesses can make money. Given the total incompetence of governments in general, there is no assurance that they will make a success of mining . Govenment is in any event a freeloader on the backs of shareholders of mining companies given the company and mining taxes they confiscate without contributing one cent to the capital investment. The only viable answer that makes sense to me are to be found in Austrian School economic theory or Libertarianism if you like. That is after all based on freedom of the individual with peaceful exchange of goods and services without coercion by government. Some time ago, when suggestin to our municipal manager that services should be privatised, he told me of an occasion where he requested a quote from their own civil engineering department to move some goods from one location to another and it was in excess of R3000. Then he requested one from the private sector which was around R1200. So this is just one small example why small government, doing the absolute minimum, should be the objective if the citizens are to prosper. It also supports the proposal that bulk water supply should be a local matter and ideally privatised.
  5. ebrsa

    Cape Town Water Crisis

    This long discussion has not brought us to a lasting solution yet. The believers in some deity pray for rain and if it does, praise their god and if not, say your faith was lacking. The non-believers say it is all delusional. So it may be more fruitful to concentrate on finding longterm solutions. @Fuenkli is of course right provided the means production is owned or influenced by the distributors. With the central government as supplier and regulator of bulk water and given their dismal record of getting anything right, sound business practice remains a pipe dream. On rare occasions governments actually use business methods to run their affairs and the most successful remains Dubai under the leadership of the ruler Sheihk Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum who turned a piece of desert into a modern miracle. In all fairness his late father started it. Emirates airline, who just released their results for the past year, more than doubled profits to R9.34 billion and Emirates Group increased profits by 67% to R13.68 billion. Just before someone yells cheap oil, consider that oil is less then 6% of GDP of Dubai. Since the bonuses of employees is not an automatic 13th check but is profit based, amounting to 5 weeks basic salary this year, there is much motivation to do your bit for profitability. Back. at the ranch, the bottomless pit SAA, which received R10 billion of our money in December 2017 now wants more billions. How downright stupid must one be to let such insanity continue. This is the type of disaster one gives away or even pay someone to take it off your hands. Dubai has started building a concentrated solar generation plant that will produce 5000MW by 2030 which is equal to almost 3 Koebergs. At present Dubai produces 3 times Cape Town's current water consumption by using waste heat from the electricity turbines to desalinate seawater. Obviously there are many lessons to be learned. There is no logical reason why local government should not desalinate yet central government insists on controlling bulk water. Since we have what is tantamount to a largely Socialist government, this should not come as a surprise. Socialist theory demands ownership or at least full control of the means of production. Think USSR Communism or German Nazism for examples. These are sure fire recipies for ultimate devastation, misery and terror. We need total individual freedom based on one law that forbids the initiation of physical force against the individual if we are to prosper in SA, a piece of real estate awash with mineral resources and with borders drawn by politicians in Whitehall. Anyone wants to place a bet that this is likely anytime soon and before it deteriorates into the mess that is the rest of the African continent.
  6. Just the fact that some idiot or idiots in positions of power could conjure up such a totally braindamaged idea is conclusive proof that there is no hope for a reasonable future for this nation. The President has fired a few incompetants from the Zuma cabinet. He has a lot more to show the door. I sure hope some of the more sensible activist organisations will tackle this lunacy and spread the news far and wide. Perhaps that will create enough public resistance to kill the stupidity. In the private sector, nobody pays the refineries an availability charge for liquid fuel or gas yet we buy as little or as much as we need at any time. Just government entities demand such extortion. If you produce your own bio-diesel from used cooking oil, I doubt you owe the refineries an availability charge. However much the pre-ANC governments are despised, such plundering of citizens was never done and we had plentiful and cheap electricity. But Eskom employees were not paid obscene salaries and bonuses. Judging their performance, or rather lack thereof, one cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, regard such excessive remuneration as having been earned.
  7. For a clear understanding of Communism and Nazism read the writings of Ludwig von Mises, the most outstanding economist of the past century or so. Both are flavours of Socialism, one Russian and the other German. The government policies during the Apartheid regime rule were vitually the same as Nazism. That differs little from government policies of today except that the favoured group has changed and now it is called redressing injustices of the past. But individual freedom is nowhere to be seen and the government's grip on our lives increases by the day. The greatest crime of the National Party government remains calling their Socialist dispensation Capitalism. Small wonder that so many hate Capitalism which they associate with the Nats policies. Meanwhile they are getting more of the same and that will not change. Socialism after all does not allow for existance of privately owned property.
  8. Let's get one thing straight, governments the world over has long ago forgotten the ideals of democracy and turned into highhanded oppressors. The notable exception is Switzerland with an outstanding constitution whereas we have one that is nothing other than a recipe for oppression and plunder. What is at play here is just more Socialism otherwise known as Communism or Nazism. There is effectively not much differrence between these delusional philosophies of oppression. What sensible reason is there for this nonsense. If you wish to solve the energy reliability of the country, privatise the Eskom power stations and close down the useless Megawatt Park. Then privatise the grid within a maximum of 3 years. Follow this up by getting the government out of liquid fuel and gas. Prices will drop, efficiencies will improve vastly and we will all be richer. But all that will take an understanding of sound economics which is in lamentable short supply.
  9. I just read the article and wanted to post but saw you had already informed the forum. Whatever the qualifications needed for drafting legislation may be, it does not appear to include logic. During the past Eskom rolling blackouts, we were encouraged to save electricity which many did by installing expensive solar and other renewable source systems. So while all who did are saving the planet and making electricity available to industry by not using Eskom supply, all of which creates much needed jobs, we are now to be penalised. The government and trade unions are enthusiastically and effectively destroying jobs on a daily basis but when we spend our hard earned savings to do good, we are the criminals. Pehaps we should appeal to the likes of Green Peace and other activist groups to do something about the SA government which now seems hellbent on destroying the planet by making it difficult for us who generate clean energy. This does no harm to anyone except massive greenhouse gas emitter Eskom which clearly cannot run a business profitably and needs us to bail their extravagance and incompatance out with our tax money on an ongoing basis. All this with the threat of R5m fines or 5 years imprisonment. Perhaps if we all switch off our renewable installations and Eskom grid power on at the same time we may cause a blackout and bring some sanity to the table. But that would take major organisation and will remain a pipe dream. There is really no hope for this nation. The greatest places in RSA remains the international departure halls at our airports.
  10. ebrsa

    raspberry pi 3, where buy?

    I have been playing with the Raspberry Pi since I could get my hands on them. Mostly bought from Pishop because they have a large selection of related stuff and is now an official distributor with good prices. My advice would be to wait for their Icasa approval for the latest model 3B+ as it has many improvements. Mostly I just access the Pi from my computer with RealVNC viewer, which is free but also connect the Pi to a second HDMI port on my VDU to view the video output directly. A great add-on board is the IQAudio Class D amplifier to make a. sound system and I have two of these running. Output is 20W per channel stereo but can be increased to 35W. Take a look at the Arduino stuff too as that is easily programmable, particularly if you are not a seasoned programmer. Wish I was a decade or four younger to enjoy all the wonders of our time a bit longer.
  11. ebrsa

    Current Water Affairs.

    Most municipalities act like the Mafia, practicing extortion with their water tariffs. Increases in tariff levels being implemented is left to the council to decide and we all know how that worked out. Increasing a tariff is a politically unpopular decision so apparently left until a crisis developes. Increasing tariffs by 5% or so at a time is nothing other than extortion as it probably has little if any effect on water consumption. Municipalities can all learn from Mossel Bay who had to install a desalination plant urgently some years ago. Now the water tariff increases by 50% when the Wolwedans dam reaches 50% of capacity and the tariff doubles when the dam reaches 30% of capacity. I bet residents watch the dam level and save water as a matter of course to avoid reaching even the 50% level. Ongoing water saving is what is required and this simple and effective system clearly is based on sound logic. Our residents's association in Yzerfontein has been urging the Swartland municipality for years to adopt the same tariffs and institute a minimum charge as well but the excuse was always that residents cannot afford it. Now in the draft budget there is a minimum charge and increasing levels of several brackets like Mossel Bay but emergency level increases are again at minimal extortion percentages and left to council approval. One wonders when the miraculous economic prosperity happened in Swartland to enable residents to be able to suddenly afford the new tariffs. I foresee more of the same of the past year with the council leaving matters to the point of no return and then resorting to water saving limits that could have been avoided if the elegant and simplistic but effective method of Mossel Bay was implemented.
  12. ebrsa

    Current Water Affairs.

    What you want to check is whether any tariff or rate, but particularly the water tariff increased after 1 July 2018 and 10 November 2018. Of course you rates and tariffs will change on the July account as that is the first month of the financial year. Compare that with the tariffs approved by your council as reflected in the tariff list. The tariff list and many other documents can be downloaded from your municipality's website. I compare other municipalities' budgets yearly with that of Swartland, where I live, as chairman of the Yzerfontein Residents' Association, an onerous task but if one does not take on the council about some unacceptable decisions they will run wild. I had an hour and a half meeting about our water tariffs with the mayor, municipal manager and financial director about a week ago and this matter is far from finalised. These officials out here in the rural areas still talk to taxpayers but I guess it will be an uphill struggle in a metro like Cape Town. Besides there is absolutely no assurance that they will always be right, so taxpayer beware. We have proven them wrong on more than one occasion which makes all the many hours of research worth while. Like I said in my previous post, download the ministerial exemption from Section 28(6) of the MFMA from Treasury's website and see if your municipality is mentioned. If not and their water tariffs increased above the approved tariff for the financial year, they acted in contravention with law unless they have evidence of exemption. We are having enough irregularities where the public purse is concerned to allow it where we could possibly make a difference. We taxpayers are after all the folks who fork out the money to be managed with due responsibility by those we have entrusted as custodians of our money.
  13. ebrsa

    Current Water Affairs.

    Does any of the City of Cape Town Metro or any other Western Cape municipality residents know whether their municipality implemented water tariffs that were higher than those approved during the 2017/18 budget process and from what date. Increasing rates or tariffs during the financial year is prohibited in terms of Section 28(6) of the Municipal Finance Management Act except for financial restructuring which I guess would mean the municipality is insolvent. The Act does provide for the Minister of Finance to grant exemption of the mentioned section which then Finance Minister Gigaba did for certain municipalities and subject to certain conditions and it was published in the Government Gazette on 10 November 2017. Any tariff increases before that date would therefore be in contravention with Section 28(6) and clearly illegal. The exemption is available on the website of the Treasurary for download. I am investigating the matter as far as our water tariffs are concerned and knowledge of what happened elsewhere will be of value.
  14. ebrsa

    petrol & electricity price increase

    Just to add insult to injury, the same report claimed that Eskom employees produce 0.72MW per capita compared to 30.98MW per capita for the largest electricity distributor in India.
  15. ebrsa

    petrol & electricity price increase

    To compare prices of goods and services in RSA with those of other countries on a monetary basis is totally meaningless. A price as a percentage of after tax income or of spendable income, that is remaining income after payment of essentials, in the case of discretionary purchases, is the only meaningful basis for comparisocomparison. Our residential property tax on residential properties this year in Swartland is about 80% of the tax on business properties after years of negotiation with the municipality. Even so if you consider that home owners pay property tax after paying income tax, we hapless home owners pay in excess of 160% more tax then business. So the home owner is coerced into subsidising business owners even though we are their clients. Recent media reports clarified the reason for the excessive electricity tariff escalations quite clearly. According to a World Bank report of 2016, Eskom is overstaffed by some 66% with average salaries of USD61,000 or about R725,000. Yet trade unions are make all kinds of threats should Eskom reduce staff numbers. Clearly the unions are the real and foremost enemies of citizens who have to pay for all the meaningless extravagance in the name of employment. I would like to see Eskom's outrageously large head office scrapped and all powerstations privatised and listed on the JSE, individually or in groups as companies. Also free up electricity generation so we can have some competition. That seems to work well for the USA. All the excessive government we have kills progress and is nothing but useless oppressive waste that we have to pay for as citizens. Small wonder the nation is economically stagnating with insane levels of unemployment.