Load shedding is a term we can never get used to. We all know that its coming, but its impact hits differently every time it sheds. Just like death, we know its coming but it always surprises us.
If you are a true "Southie" then you know that load shedding is not our "bestie". Here are some helpful tips to help you survive load shedding.
1. Know your Loadshedding schedule and stages
When is the next load shedding? It's a common occurrence in many South African homes these days. Be armed in advance and stay alert to the tee. Download a reliable load shedding app like EskomSePushon your smartphone to know your local load shedding plan in advance.
The app keeps you updated about type of load shedding is going to occur. The stages and hours.
Stage 1: It requires a limit of up to 1,000MW, can be deployed 3 times over 4 days, 2 hours each, or 3 times over 8 days, 4 hours each.
Stage 2: Double the frequency of Phase 1. This means that you might schedule 6 loads over 4 days, 2 hours each, or 6 loads over 8 days, 4 hours each.
Stage 3: Tier 2 frequency is increased by 50%. That is, 9 loads are scheduled over 4 days, 2 hours each, or 9 loads over 8 days, 4 hours each.
Stage 4: Double the frequency of Phase 2. This means that you can schedule 12 loads over 4 days, 2 hours each, or 12 loads over 8 days, 4 hours each. Stage 4 is one of the hardest
Now you can easily plan when to cook dinner, do the dishes, and do the laundry in time for the inevitable shutdown.
Imagine a blackout while you cooking your favorite beef stew and you do not know how long it will take for the power to come back. The impact of the load shedding can be tricky sometimes. So these are the ways of how to minimize the impact.
2. Get light ready (get lit)
I am telling you I've never appreciated the value of a candle until Load shedding occurred. Candles are literally life savers. Get yourselves a packet or a box. Trust me you will thank me later. Don't you just hate it how rude and disrespectful the load shedding stages can be? You could be in the middle of a tutorial and boom, load shedding
Use rechargeable LED globes this is an example of a renewable energy. When powered on, it works like a normal light bulb. It takes 8-10 hours to fully charge the power adapter and will light for about 4-5 hours during a power outage.
Regardless of what kind of backup lighting you choose, be it torches, candles, or lanterns, store them in easily accessible places around your home.
3. Alternative and Renewable Energy Source
In 2023 it is important to invest in buying gas stoves or alternatively if your budget allows, buy a generator. Make a list of all the devices that run on generator power during a power outage to see which portable generator meets your home needs. Add the amount of energy required to complete each item on your list. Calculate the total wattage of the devices running together to determine the generator size you need.
A medium-sized generator is sufficient to power lights, computers, and some appliances. read: How to choose the right generator.
If you live in a complex where a noisy generator is not available, opt for a quiet, smoke-free inverter to power your electronics instead.
Example of renewable energy the country is implementing
Solar energy in South Africa is mainly based on photovoltaic and concentrated photovoltaics. The cost of solar power generation is related to the amount and quality of solar radiation in South Africa.
The same power plant in South Africa can produce up to 20% more electricity than European countries for the same capital investment. South Africa is building a solar power plant in the Northern Cape region, which is expected to supply the country with 180,000 MW of solar energy per year.
Wind power uses wind turbines to generate electrical energy. Wind strength depends on factors such as terrain, water bodies, and vegetation. Wind turbines convert wind into kinetic energy and mechanical power.
Hydroelectric power, or hydroelectric power, is energy obtained from flowing water and converted into electricity. The most common form of hydroelectric power generation uses hydroelectric power plants to create reservoirs. Water released from the reservoir flows through turbines that generate electricity.
This is the latest added renewable energy. Biomass is physical biological material derived from living or recently living organisms. It is derived from plants or plant-derived materials. Biomass can produce electricity, heat, or liquid fuels. Biomass can be used as a direct energy source for heating or cooking fuel, or burned to generate electricity
4. Keep Your Laptop In The Charger
Are you working from home or are you a student because there is nothing more stressful than a laptop that needs to be charged during an online meeting while there is load shedding.
Please charge your laptop. The laptop is great for charging your phone, or you can use it to stream your favorite Netflix series or movies in a pinch. Get popcorn.
5. Charge Your Phone Mntase
"Mntase"- an African proverb meaning sibling or family member. I refer to you as mntase because load shedding is that one thing that affects us as a whole. Load shedding has connected and united us in the most funniest ways possible. We are like a huge household. A family that has been affected by this crisis. Staying connected on social media is also one of the ways to alleviate the strains of the load shedding. You get to understand via Tik Tok , Facebook, Instagram that you are not alone in this darkness.
Another tip, have a car charger, leave your car charger in your car and get the most out of your drive home. Especially if you want a nifty flashlight for your smartphone.
Leave your car charger in your car and get the most out of your drive home. Especially if you want a nifty flashlight for your smartphone.
6. Its Time To Be Friends With Your Paraffin Heater And Braaing stand
You know that paraffin heater that ugogo always locks up away for winter season. The one that makes the entire house warm. Guess what, you can cooking with it. You can also shaya ichisa nyama on your braaing stand.
Get yourself a gas cooker or a camping stove. This way you can cook food or boil a kettle even when the lights are out.
During winter have a gas heater or fireplace at the ready.
If you fill an empty plastic bottle with water and freeze it, you can keep it in the freezer to prevent the contents from melting during a power outage. You can also put something in the refrigerator to keep food cold longer.
8. Go Solar energy
There are alternative sources of energy that we can use to counterfeit electricity. Such as Solar power, generators and windmills.
Advances in solar energy technology offer hybrid systems that act as backup and supplemental energy.
9. Load shedding can damage you appliances
Load shedding can affect equipment as surges can cause permanent damage. If possible, install surge protectors on all large devices and safely leave other devices unplugged during load shedding.
10. Don't panic
Stay cool, we are all in this together. There are many interesting rechargeable devices. However, during the South African summer, a rechargeable fan is required. Prices start around R250 online and some designs also include lighting solutions
There is no problem if there is no power.
Load shedding has made South Africa a fascinating and unpredictable place to live. And, while we can direct our rage at Eskom and others we hold accountable for the crisis, rage alone will not solve the problem.
If you are an engineer, inventor, or other type of innovator, we hope you can use your skills to create an outstanding solution that will help our country in its hour of need. Even if you are unable to make a significant difference, you can at least follow the basic advice outlined above, which will make load shedding easier for you.
You now understand the tips on how to survive load shedding. Ranging from the most basic ones to the most critical ones. The alternative source of energy have been outlined . You now understand the seriousness of knowing your load shedding schedule. Don't be surprised be prepared. Even though everything else in our country tends to be disappointing.
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