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ClintonG's Home "Greening" Project.


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Courtesy of Eskom load shedding in 2008 we decided we needed to get less dependent on municipal services as a whole and started slowly trying to reduce/reuse/recycle. 

The last 2 years this has escalated due to water restrictions, food prices, refuse removal strikes, load shedding and power price increases etc etc.

As a household we recycle glass/tins/plastic and paper (there is a drop off point at our local Vet) - this reduced our garbage to about 1 small bag per week instead of 2 wheelybins each week!

We have changed most of our lights to small CFL's or LED's, installed a solar conversion (evacuated tubes and 12v pump system) on our geyser with a geyserwise controller.

We converted a corner of our garden into a Vegetable Garden and fenced it off to stop the dogs having too much fun in it - we grow as many things as we can use (tomatoes, gemsquash, potatoes, lettuce, spinach etc)

My wife runs her accounting business from home and I have IT systems running to support the environment - servers/switchboards etc - these need to stay up as much as possible so we started with a Generator in 2008 to get past load shedding... last year however when Tshwane changed their schedules and we got shed up till 11pm every second day, the genny got a bit noisy so I decided to get an offgrid inverter system that I could grow over the coming years into Solar system. 

I started off with a 4KW axpert and 4 x 230ah Sealed LA deep cycle batteries temporarily wired into the critical systems in my house (lights, plugs for PC's/Servers/TV's and security systems etc) via a change over switch just to get through load shedding. Needless to say.... the week I bought the Axpert the loadshedding stopped!!!! :)

I then decided it was time to install the system properly and added PV panels to try make the system recover some costs... you know you have to spend money to save money - well I'm still in the spending phase :):)

The system is now running with 12 x 230ah batteries in 3 banks of 4 and I've added 12 x 260W JA Solar panels to the Axpert (4 banks of 3 panels (30V each) in series). I'm using Jaco's AICC software to switch over to/from Eskom at certain times of the day as my garden is very shaded and my panels only get full sun from around 10am to 2:30pm.

My panels are not properly mounted yet as I'm still testing the most effective positions between all the shade.

My future aims are to get the pool pump and borehole onto the Inverter once I'm generating more optimally so I can start using less municipal water (currently have 3 x jojo tanks that are harvesting rain water and a small pressure pump that I can connect to the house if municipal supply is interrupted)

Will add to this post as I update the system....

20151012_115558.jpg

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Awesome Clint. Would love your setup (except the veggie garden, me and the WENCH hate gardening with a passion). If you have a chance, show us some AICC pics about the data... Probably would just make me drool more, but it's nice to see.

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