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Grey Water
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

12 point checklist to buying a solar geyser

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 29 October 2010

When purchasing a solar water heating system consider the following 12 points, and evaluate each one before committing to a system.

Yes Solar installation - evacuated tubes

1. Certification – what kind of certification does the system have? First prize is SABS Mark Approval. This is a higher form of certification than just an SABS Test Report. Mark Approval means that the entire supply chain of the product has been inspected and that SABS are confident that the product will consistently meet their standards.

2. Also look out for Solar Keymark certification (EU), and the German TUV standard.

3. Direct versus Indirect systems – basically, if you live near the coast you can install a direct system (no intermediate heat transfer fluid), but if you live somewhere that is prone to frost (i.e. temperatures drop below 4 deg), then you have to go for an indirect system. Where possible, go for a direct system, the heat loss between panel and geyser is lower.

4. Evacuated Tube versus Flat Plate collector – the respective suppliers / manufacturers of these systems place too much emphasis on this question. Rather look at the build quality, efficiency and durability of the collector, regardless of the type of technology it employs. Pay special attention to corrosion resistance – low quality stainless steel and shoddily galvanized metals will start to rust after a couple of years.

5. A quick way to measure efficiency is to look at the rebate a system enjoys. The rebate is simply a multiple of the Q factor of the system (which is a measure of its efficiency). But be careful to compare systems of the same size, e.g. a 200 litre system with a 200 litre system. Continue reading 12 point checklist to buying a solar geyser

Solar fences make good neighbours

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 16 October 2010

For Narad Mani Poudel, a 45-year-old farmer living in the Madi valley of Chitwan, Nepal, life used to be in a constant state of terror. Recalling an incident three years ago, he said, “Wild elephants ransacked my house and consumed almost all of the rice that I had stored for the coming season. My family and I could do nothing but watch, thankful that we got away with our lives.”

Tiger at Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Situated in the southern part of Chitwan, the Madi valley is surrounded on all the sides by protected areas; the southern border is shared with India, through the Valmiki Tiger Reserve. However, this unique geography has led to human-wildlife conflict, resulting in severe crop damage, attacks on livestock, destruction of property and human injuries and casualties. Traditional methods of defending crops from wildlife – torches, drums, trenches and thorn bushes – proved futile. Already poor and struggling to make ends meet, the communities of Chitwan took a dim view of the parks and the animals that inhabited them; some retaliated with violence.

Purna Bahadur Kunwar, Co-manager for WWF-Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape Protected Areas and Buffer Zone project, remembers back to 2007, when he began discussions about biodiversity conservation with community groups. “They repeated a local adage, saying they are trapped in a ‘natural jail.’ They were not paying any attention to us at that moment.”

But over the course of several months, the community groups and WWF found common ground. Residents wanted to live in peace, and WWF wanted to safeguard endangered tiger, rhino and elephant populations. Both agreed that the solution might lie in another adage: Good fences make good neighbors.

“We worked together on a detailed plan for solar-powered electric fencing. The proposal included total cost, community contribution, the possibility to leverage other funds and a management and maintenance plan for the wooden fence posts. With this plan, we called a joint meeting of four Buffer Zone User Committees of Madi,” said Kunwar. Continue reading Solar fences make good neighbours

Solar farm by 2012

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 02 October 2010

Government expects the construction of Eskom’s planned solar farm in Upington to start in 2012, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said.

Solar farm Apple Valey, California

Eskom is likely to be able to finalise a decision on which technology it […]

Efforts to protect ozone layer successful

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 17 September 2010

International efforts to protect the ozone layer-the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays-are a success and have stopped additional ozone losses and contributed to mitigating the greenhouse effect, according to a new report.

The […]

An Eskom anti-green future for South Africa

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 14 September 2010

By: Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor Pioneer of Water Rhapsody Conservation Systems and winner of a WWF Green Trust Award

The quantity of tons of ‘stuff’ that will exit South African power stations is so huge that it is beyond imagination.

Kendal Power […]