Your power, your responsibility
Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO at Netshield South Africa talks renewable energy
At this stage, utility power is as unreliable as the Johannesburg weather, with power cuts happening regularly and warnings that a total blackout is on the horizon. Instead of pointing fingers, South Africans should take responsibility for their power and their environment by shouldering some of the burden.
You can start by making the small changes that you have heard about so many times before. Turn off plugs that aren’t being used and switch to energy saving LED based lighting. There is also the option of changing the way you get power altogether by embracing the opportunity of renewable energy.
How do I start?
First and foremost it is pivotal that you involve the experts from the get go. There is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to renewable energy and while the initial costs of the infrastructure may be expensive, the money you will save in the long run, as well as the peace of mind associated to being in control of your own power supply, are well worth it.
Involving the experts or experienced consultants during your planning process will help reduce your risk of selecting the wrong equipment, as well as ensure that you have a proper and adequate needs analysis of your environment that covers costs and specifications, right from purchase to installation.
Changing your power source to renewable energy is about more than just changing the equipment. As much as it is about switching to new systems it also entails changing your mind-set to one that advocates more effective power usage. Think of the little things like considering the relevant wattage rating of devices when purchasing appliances and cooking with gas instead of electricity, these small changes will soon make a difference to your electricity bill.
What are my options?
When it comes to choosing a system, it’s all about your environment and your unique needs. To this end Netshield can assist in designing a customised solution according to your specific needs at a small fee. We will recommend the equipment that will give you an optimum solution to satisfy your electricity generation requirements.
You may want to start by experimenting and going partially off the grid, which is the preferred option when retrofitting existing infrastructure, or you might be looking to make the leap of going off the grid completely and taking full control of your power supply. We can help you with both.
When it comes to going off the grid there are three types of systems to choose from: a Grid Tied system, a Stand Alone system or a Hybrid System. A grid tied system is designed to feed power to your environment from both the renewable source you have in place as well as the #eskom Power Utility power grid. While this is a fantastic way to save money, the costs will fluctuate with the changes in season in South Africa.
A stand alone system is best for new and remote installation and has the advantage that the initial investment is partly covered by the cost that would have been needed to extend power line infrastructure to the point of installation. This is true “off the grid” living and with this system you will be self-sufficient when it comes to electricity.
Get the best of both worlds with a hybrid system that will increase your independence and increase power reliability as the systems in place feed from and to multiple sources and loads. It’s based on a “grid tied” solution with a battery bank and includes sources like backup diesel or compressed air driven electrical generators. This allows for the storage of sufficient energy, decreasing utility dependency and increasing reliability through back generation.
Selecting a partner
Let me take this opportunity to advise just how Netshield can be your partner in renewable energy, from the planning phase right through to the installation. We have made significant investments into understanding the ins and outs of the true costs of renewable energies and how they can be applied in the home, business or even at remote sites.
What we offer is a range of renewable energy products that can be incorporated into the above systems or used independently. These include inverter and battery charger systems, as well as a generator assisted inverter, offline UPS and a grid assisted inverter, as well as an environmental monitoring system. We also offer a dual-axis solar tracker that will align fixed solar panels with the sun and a solar trailer; a transportable power system that uses sunlight to store energy in a back-up battery, for businesses on the move.
It is so important that South Africans start taking at least some of the responsibility for the shortage of electricity in our country, even if that only means using less power at home. Netshield hopes to open South Africa’s eyes to the opportunity of renewable energy and a way of living that won’t leave you startled, and in the dark.