Solar Stories with NuStyle and The Sardine News

Solar Stories with NuStyle and The Sardine News

Since NuStyle Steel in Sebenza near Edenvale in Johannesburg, added new focus on environmentally positive technologies and started applying themselves to solar power and plastic recycling, they have some cool stories to share.

Recently NuStyle were asked to do a specialised installation in Soweto, where a chap living there needed constant power for his oxygen machine. Asbestos mining had gotten him into this dire situation, and now he was in the clutches of Eskom?!

Fortunately for our guy, a pilot program has recently been put in place, for this exact type of situation. And so with NuStyle’s expertise and products, they took on his plight. This project may just be the beginning of many, and Eskom, to their credit, are pushing this type of solution, and encouraging things along just nicely.

And so with great joy, the power was turned on!

NuStyle installed their 3Kva Entry Level Solar System, specially designed for a small household or business. You can read all about the installation and the logistics thereof right here.

3Kva Solar System by NuStyle
3Kva Solar System by NuStyle

However. Very soon after, NuStyle received calls saying that the system had failed. It had made an alarm like noise and was now shut down completely, and the household was back on Eskom. Obviously, the NuStyle technicians knew exactly what had happened – even before they went out there again. It’s simple. As soon as these systems get activated, human nature turns on every appliance in the house. Every light. Hairdryer. Cooker. Every charger for every device. The whole lot!

Fortunately, the systems that NuStyle installs, know all about the fact that no matter how much you tell the newly lit up household to take it easy, they don’t. And so, the system self-guards itself and simply shuts down if or when overloaded.

The special deep cycle batteries used can only go down to about 11.7 volts, before they suffer damage. And so this parameter cannot be ignored. Or your batteries, will all fail you. A huge expense. And completely unnecessary. Luckily for failsafe systems!

And so, in a nutshell…when the sun is belting down, everything can really be on (up to the full 3Kva). Charge ALL the batteries possible at this time. And the oxygen machine can work all through the day as required. In the late afternoon, however, it is lockdown. In order to prioritise the oxygen machine, only the fridge and lights can work at night time. And in cold weather, the fridge is also turned off, to make up for lack of sunlight in these conditions.

TIP: A great way to keep your solar-powered fridge going in rainy weather without draining your batteries, is to freeze bottles of water in the freezer. And then when needed, just place them in the fridge to keep that compartment cool. You can leave the fridge off for days like this.

Basically, we as humans, just need to consider the limitations of solar power and adapt our behaviour to suit. Same with plastic use behaviour. “Public perception leads to understanding. And then to behaviour change”. As this process takes a foothold in both realms, marked behavioural changes can already be observed. Dumps are filled with people collecting, sorting, and cleaning plastic, as they realise the value in Rands. And solar panels are everywhere now. As the cost per Kw plummets with collective innovation and advances from all over the world. Saving real money and getting away from the Eskom clown show.

Getting right off the Grid

Owner of NuStyle Jonny van Biljon has jumped completely off the grid already. And he lives in Jukskei Park! Right in the middle of Gauteng. His borehole is solar powered. Panels heat water on the roof, right next to solar panels that generate his power. His property features a vegetable garden filled with real clever growers sporting lettuce, and all kinds of herbs and spices and garnishes. And his trout tanks, to farm these tasty and hardy fish for consumption – some sunken into the ground, and all interconnected, are about to pump water! The systems all compliment each other and are backed up by Eskom for rainy days or extra demand. But so far his power bill has come down to a quarter. And he just loves feeding his extended family of 7, with fresh fruit and vegetables, that he knows exactly where they came from. And what they were subject to during growing. Fresh fish on the menu soon!

More about NuStyle and Solar

NuStyle was and still is, involved in steel fabrication for heavy industry. But a while back, NuStyle and The Sardine News started collaborating. They took a conscientious decision to focus their extended resources and factory, towards environmentally friendly technologies and products.

Under heavy influence from Dave Hakkens and his Precious Plastic crew in the Netherlands, NuStyle started producing plastic shredding and extruding machinery in their well equipped and rather large factory in Edenvale, Gauteng, South Africa. Soon moulds were also on the menu and NuStyle manufactured plastic recycling machinery has gone all over, including to Mozambique.

ShredderONE with Jonny Van Biljon of Nu-Style Steel and Fabrication
ShredderONE with Jonny Van Biljon of Nu-Style Steel and Fabrication

Parallel to this development was NuStyle’s entry into the solar world. Since the owner of NuStyle, the aforementioned Jonny van Biljon, went off the grid many years ago, learning all the many challenges and pitfalls along the way – this was a natural step for the company.

At current, things are really hotting up as prices per Kw are dropping even more. Not even a few years back, ten years was a good estimate for recovery of the initial investment of a solar installation. Now it’s down to three in some cases, and is improving all the time!

Get in touch with Sean on umzimkulu@gmail.com or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671 for further information.

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Check out our Plastic Recycling collaborations with NuStyle right here.

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