Tag Archives: solar heaters

What would we do without the Sun?

Sun ~ {The star that is the source of light and heat for the planets in the solar system}

The sun is a miracle from God. 🙂

It gives life and spreads its love across our globe. When I think of how much energy gets lost every day, without us harvesting it, I get a little sad.

We have tried our hand at some primal methods of harvesting the sun’s energy. In 2013 I tried some DIY methods to warm our water when our landlord at the time, refused to settle his municipal bill and the council cut our electricity supply. In hindsight, it was a learning curve.

Homemade shower

This was my homemade shower in 2013

We have a goal of building our container home totally off-grid and dependent on harvesting energy and water from nature. It has been said that:

“Enough sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface in one hour to satisfy the whole world’s energy demands for an entire year.”

The problem is, we are not capturing or harvesting it. So in our little corner of the world, we are working on some DIY solutions for our home.

We currently do not have access to an electric geyser, so we do not have warm water readily available. Although cold showers are somewhat refreshing some days, other days you really need warm water to soothe your soul and for washing hair! Ashley came up with this idea to build our own solar geyser…please note it is still under construction:

geyser

Home-made solar geyser pitched on roof

The idea is that the black painted barrel on top will warm the water and relay it to the 2nd hand geyser at the bottom, which we will clothe in a geyser blanket. The bottom geyser will keep it warm, ready for use as we need it. The process will begin again, by filling up with cold water on top and repeating. It should work well as we have sun almost 9 months of the year in Jozi.

Until then, this is my system:

Plastic geyser

Catching the last bit of sun for the day!

Warming our water in a water dispenser, and using it as a shower! It works quite well. I fill it halfway with water and I place it in a warm sunny place for most of the day. By 16h00 the water is quite warm, and ready for use!

make shift shower

Make-shift shower

The showers are calculated and quick! We use between 7-10 liters per use, which makes it super efficient! As I said before, going off-grid is not easy, but super rewarding!

sun warms heart

What have you done to go green? Please share!

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Port Elizabeth, the friendly city is growing on me…

We visited the windy city in January this year during the holidays.  If only for two nights…we really had a great time.

We visited with our friends, Timothy & Verna.  Thanks guys, we really had a great time and look forward to welcoming you in Jozi for a visit soon!

(Most pictures taken while in motion in the car)

Colonial buildings

Old Mill building

The old colonial historic mill building was produced for Premier Milling corporate client.

King Edward Hotel

King Edward Mansions open 21 November 1904.  It became a hotel in 1911 and the name was changed to “The Edward”  in 1961. Ashley and I had a very romantic weekend here in March 2008 when we attended Timothy & Verna’s wedding.

Campanile

Located near the Port Elizabeth harbour’s entrance, the Campanile was built as a memorial to the arrival of the early settlers of the region in 1820. The 52 m high Italian-style bell tower, which stands in Port Elizabeth’s Strand Street was built in 1923, and features a carillon of 23 bells which makes it the largest carillon of bells in the country.

Looove lampposts

Ferris wheel on Summerstrand

Airplane coming in

My dream vehicle...

Ashley and I have a dream of touring through Africa with the girls in 2013. We want to do it before Chelsea goes to Grade 1 in 2014.  This would be the type of vehicle we would need…vvvrrroooomm.

Bluewater Bay

I was quite surprised at the effort the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality makes to initiate greener living.

Small wind turbine

This turbine was located in Summer strand and it generated enough energy to power the grid of festive lights on the left.

Solar heaters in low-cost housing areas

We drove through quite a few residential areas where solar heaters on the roofs were the norm.

One of the most surprising experiences were the absolute state of safety our friends lived in.

Open windows

We left for a day trip to Addo National Park and they left their windows open. No burglar bars or fencing!  Our laptops and valuables were all on the dining room table and they were very relaxed about it.  I grew up in Paarl, a very safe town but still I wouldn’t leave the windows open without burglar bars!  Now living in Jozi it is even worse.  I just realised in shock how my sensible approach to safety can quickly become borderline paranoia.  The quality of life made me a bit jealous, but not enough to want to move here.

Port Elizabeth is truly a great city.  There is no rush, no traffic and then there’s the beach.  Aaaah…the beach!

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