PORTABLE (SOLAR) POWER VS. DIESEL GENERATORS – Which is the better option?

With the constant threat of power outages and load shedding, South Africans are increasingly turning to alternative forms of energy to both ‘power’ and in that, empower themselves, their businesses and households. Whilst to the average citizen, the use of generators might at face value appear viable, further investigation clearly indicates that it is perhaps far from ideal.

“Generators are both noisy and harmful to the environment,” says Ryan Steytler, energy expert and Director, The Sungrid Group (In2Brands). In addition, the cost associated to ensure a power supply adequate for even the most average requirements, places it out of range of the average consumer.”

“It is also not as simple as ‘plug-and-play’,” continues Steytler.  When making use of your generator during power outages, in order to ensure no harm occurs when Eskom reconnects the power, one requires what is known as a bypass switch.  “This needs to be installed by a qualified electrician, adding yet more costs to the average household.”  Alternatively, the household items running off the generator can be ‘islanded’ (disconnected from the mainboard) via an extension cord.  Whilst this would negate the need for a qualified electrician, the downside is that only smaller appliances are able to be connected, with no access to power for any heavier requirements.

Portable (solar) power, on the other hand, is already providing thousands of South Africans with a safe, cost-effective, reliable and renewable source of power. A viable, and increasingly preferred, alternative to the use of generators, portable (solar) power is placing ‘power’ back in the hands of the people when it is needed most.

On the back of last year’s ‘Switch to Portable Solar Campaign’, which saw The Sungrid Group focus on providing the country with friendly alternative energy solutions, this year sees the launch of an extended product range. Solsave, a full product suite covering smaller and heavier portable devices, also offers off-grid power solutions. Ranging from 1000 – 3000 Watt, complete with adjustable battery pack, rack and pay-as-you-go monitoring systems, Solsave is fast becoming the ideal energy solution across home, office, outdoor and emergency use.

“We listened to the marketplace and its need for additional portable products catering to both smaller and heavier power requirements, with both on- and off-grid capability,” says Steytler. “We are confident that the new Solsave range, together with our Ecoboxx, WakaWaka and LuminAID product offerings, is more than capable of providing South Africa with reliable, safe, renewable and cost-effective energy solutions across any and all power requirements and preference. Not only with regards to Eskom load shedding, but similarly when it comes to the use of generators as a potential option.”

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JACQUES KALLIS AND DALE STEYN ENDORSE ‘SWITCH TO PORTABLE SOLAR POWER’ CAMPAIGN

Two of South Africa’s greatest cricket heroes, Jacque Kallis and Dale Steyn, have pledged their support for the In2Brands’ ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ campaign.

By harnessing the sun’s energy, ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ offers innovative, safe and effective plug-and-play portable power solutions. Capable of addressing any and all power requirements, the very real opportunity exists to bring power to Africa and to empower its people through the provision of low cost power solutions.

“It’s a harsh reality that as many as 10 million South Africans are not connected to any form of electricity,” says Kallis. “Together with the constant fear of Eskom power cuts and load shedding affecting business and communities alike, portable solar power brings with it the promise of eradicating energy poverty and providing a better quality of life for all,” he continues.

The Kallis and Steyn endorsement will see both personalities involved in raising awareness for and promoting the benefits of portable solar power across business, lifestyle and community initiatives.

“Life as we know it cannot survive and flourish without access to sustainable power,” says Steyn. “We are excited and proud to be involved in an initiative which seeks to eradicate this shortfall across not only South Africa, but the greater African continent as well.”

PREPAID PORTABLE SOLAR POWER LAUNCHES IN RWANDA

10712394_768964366510671_1992895935702194303_oThe use of portable solar power, together with its ease of access, continues to revolutionise communities around the world.  This month saw the exciting launch of WakaWaka’s prepaid solar in Rwanda.  Working through weekly payments the prepaid WakaWaka, which functions in the same manner as a prepaid mobile phone, guarantees easy access to solar power with low upfront costs.

How does it work?

  • The user sends a free text containing the code on a scratch card, together with a unique code from their WakaWaka, to a local service number.
  • In return, they receive a text containing an activation code for their WakaWaka.
  • Once the activation code is entered, their WakaWaka provides all the light and power the user needs for up to five whole days.

After every full charge in the sun, the WakaWaka has the capability to charge both any model of smartphone whilst also providing a minimum of 80 hours of bright light – for reading or work.  No more fumes from candles!  No more risk of kerosene fires and resulting burns! And the very real opportunity to earn money not only by being able to charge other smartphones, but also by having access to communication 24×7.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

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A few weeks ago saw portable solar power advocate Thomas Dreyfus and friends gather in Bulshoek, near Clanwilliam, for a boys’ weekend of fun, sun, camping and fishing.

What would normally have been a weekend of ‘nature’ only, saw this group experiencing the best of both worlds.  “It was phenomenal,” says Dreyfus.  “Beautiful surroundings and fishing by day, but with all the perks of indoor city living at the same time.”

After long and event filled days in the sun, courtesy of an Ecoboxx, the evenings brought with them the luxury of music and lights around the ‘campfire’.  “None of us would ever consider going camping again without it,” adds Dreyfus.  “Having the use of an Ecoboxx over that weekend, took what would have been a really great few days and made them exceptional.”

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THE SUNGRID GROUP

Kalahari.com, one of the world’s largest online stores, now stocking the full range of ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ products – providing plug-and-play portable solar power, for when you need it most!
Anywhere … Anytime … Anyone!

Portable solar power – the ability to harness the sun’s energy, but most importantly, the capability of making it easily accessible to all.

Whilst not a foreign concept, conventional solar power is often costly and cumbersome to install, placing it out of reach of perhaps the very people who need it most.

Introducing the Ecoboxx, WakaWaka and LuminAID– cost-effective, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly portable solar power solutions now available to the masses.

Get yours today at Kalahari.com!
Click on the following links:
Ecoboxx 120 –  http://www.kalahari.com/Outdoor/Ecoboxx-Qube-120-Kit-Up-to-35-hours-of-power_p_50040959

Portable Solar Power, courtesy of The Sungrid Group.
Reliable. Durable. Green. Renewable. Cost-effective.
And as easy as 1-2-3.

 

SPOILT FOR CHOICE

‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ campaign expands its product range

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LuminAID
A solar-powered rechargeable and inflatable lamp, the LuminAID inflates to create a lightweight and waterproof lantern.  Safe, sustainable and portable, the LuminAID light provides up to sixteen hours of LED light.  Packed flat, tuck it away in your first-aid kit or hook it on your backpack to take with on your next trip.

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WakaWaka Light
With its new look and new design, the WakaWaka Light is even better than before!
The hugely successful WakaWaka Light has been revamped.  In addition to its new look and iPhone sizes, the highly focused lenses greatly increase light output. Like its predecessor, the WakaWaka Light provides up to 50 hours of safe and renewable light from a single charge in the sun.

 

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‘SWITCH TO PORTABLE SOLAR POWER’ HEADS UP AFRICA WITH THE SUNNY SIDE UP FOUNDATION

Earlier this year saw Laurens Wiersma and Maike van Grootel, founders of the Sunny Side Up Foundation and staunch renewable energy advocates, travel up Africa to spread the message and embark on some initiatives of their own.

Heading up north from Cape Town, Laurens and Maike’s travels took them through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya, with a stop in Uganda seeing them embark on the Sunny Side Up Foundation’s first renewable energy project.  “We worked closely with dairy farmers in the area to gain a deep understanding of their energy requirements,” says Maike. “As a result, we were able to ensure that moving forward, these needs will now be met through affordable, high quality solar products.”

Laurens and Maike’s strong background and years’ experience in renewable energy is second only to that of their personal passion and belief. With close to 600 million people throughout Africa having no access to any form of electricity, the need for clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions is enormous. “We strongly believe that by focusing on renewable energy, we can contribute and make a difference to the lives of many,” continues Maike.

To provide them with additional resources, and some extra comfort on their travels, the Sunny Side Up team had at their disposal our very own portable solar power products. “The Ecoboxx and WakaWaka are brilliant plug-and-play portable solar power solutions,” continues Maike.  “Both products are capable of providing power and light anywhere, anytime and to anyone. “ Not only did the Ecoboxx and WakaWaka prove to be the perfect travelling companions, providing reliable sources of power, but the compact and stylish features also drew a lot of attention. “They are highly effective and functional, but also very cool,” adds Maike.  “We were the recipients of many an envious glance from other travellers we encountered.”  Highly recommended for all outdoor travels and adventures, the team at Sunny Side Up wouldn’t think of embarking on another trip without them.

To find out more about Sunny Side Up – please visit www.sunnysideupfoundation.com or like to follow on www.facebook.com/sunnysideupfoundation.

NO END TO ELECTRICITY HIKES

In addition to the 8% increase in electricity tariffs by Eskom over the last two years, a further increase of 12.69% was recently announced for 2015.  This increase will come into effect on 1 April 2015 for Eskom’s direct customers, with municipal customers to follow from 1 July.

“This is placing enormous pressure on already cash strapped consumers and businesses around the country,” says Ryan Steytler, Director, The Sungrid Group. It is becoming increasingly urgent that alternative solutions to the pressing energy crisis be explored.

“The use of portable solar power is an obvious answer,” says Steytler. It brings with it the ability to harness the sun’s energy, but most importantly the capability of making it easily accessible to all.
By converting sunlight into readily accessible portable solar power products, such as Ecoboxx and WakaWaka, cost-effective, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly solar electricity solutions are being made available to the local consumer. “This brings with it not only a safeguard from load shedding and power cuts, but relief to the consumer in the face of never-ending electricity price hikes,” concludes Steytler.

IN THE NEWS …

Early November once again saw South Africa at the mercy of Eskom load shedding and an interrupted power supply. Predicted at the time to be the worst load shedding since 2008, with the impact on South African business and lifestyle becoming increasingly dire, members of the media turned to our very own energy expert, Ryan Steytler, for his views and comments on what can and should be done.

We were proud to have Ryan represent The Sungrid Group across both local community radio as well as the SABC’s national network.

To listen to one of Ryan’s interviews first-hand, we invite you to click on the link below:

CliffCentral, Candid Business Show
Monday, 3 November 2014

with Ellis Mnyandu (editor, Business Report) and Ryan Steytler
http://cliffcentral.com/candid-business-podcast/