first_imgRay Maota The community of Ga Masemola in Polokwane came out in numbers to celebrate the launch of the 2012 Nedbank Back-to-School campaign. Through his own foundation, Lupi Ngcayisahas collected over 70 000 school shoes since 2009, with the aim of improving the confidence of underprivileged pupils. Kgoshigadi Masemola, the tribal chief of the community of Ga Masemola and Namane Dickson Masemola, MEC of education in Limpopo, were in attendance. (Images: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nkosinathi Msiza  Senior Communications Manager: Nedbank  +27 11 295 3560 RELATED ARTICLES • SA prioritises quality education • Can drive raises R8.5m for education • Nedbank invests in water project • SA businesses urged to adopt schoolsNedbank‘s 2012 Back-to-School campaign is giving underprivileged pupils the pride to go to school with all the resources they need to make a success of learning.At the launch ceremony, held on 24 January at Thabanaswane Primary School in Ga Masemola, Limpopo province, 150 pupils from four schools in the area received essential school items such as uniforms, shoes, stationery, books, bags and sports kits, to start their school year on a high note.The schools are Thabanaswane Primary, Shushu Primary, Tsoatago Primary and Makgoabe Primary.Attending the event were Namane Dickson Masemola, MEC of education in Limpopo; Sekhukhune district mayor David Magabe Mogobo; Kgoshigadi Masemola, the tribal chief at Ga Masemola; Limpopo member of parliament Nelson Diale; Lupi Ngcayisa, from the Lupi Ngcayisa Foundation; and mayor of Makhuduthamaga, Makaeya Matlala.Kone Gugushe, Nedbank’s divisional executive for corporate social responsibility (CSR), said: “Education is one of our CSR focus areas and we are delighted to partner with the Department of Basic Education to ensure that all pupils are able to focus on their studies rather than worry about the lack of school resources.”Gugushe said the back-to-school campaign aims to give disadvantaged pupils an equal opportunity to be the best they can be.Nedbank is investing R2-million (US$251 000) in its 2012 campaign. Some 1 800 pupils across the country will benefit from the initiative.“We are gathered here today because we know the importance of education and the role we have to play to ensure that you get the best education possible,” said Ciko Thomas, managing executive for consumer banking in Nedbank’s retail division.Why Limpopo firstLimpopo province was chosen first because of a link between Ga Masemola and certain fund-raising efforts in Johannesburg.Nicholas Mampana, a shoe-shiner at Nedbank’s head office in Sandton, hails from Limpopo. He’s worked there for the past nine years and managed to raise R124 000 ($15 600) through Nedbank’s Retail Staff Volunteerism Programme, which encourages staff to use their time for worthy causes.Nedbank added another R100 000 ($12 500) to the amount raised by Mampana, who chose two of the back-to-school beneficiaries.Mampana said: “In 2002 I met the director of Nedbank at the Hilton Hotel where I used to work and he told me he wanted me to work at their offices.“I saved some money from the tips I received, as I remembered how I used to feel going to school with no shoes in my hometown of Ga Masemola. This is why I’m here today making sure youngsters in my community don’t go through what I went through.”Mampana said although he used to meet international stars and bigwigs while working at the Hilton, and loved his job there, he doesn’t miss it because it didn’t afford him the opportunity to help his community.MEC Masemola said: “Nedbank has shown its commitment to education every year and I would like to take this opportunity to say we appreciate the work they do.”Limpopo matric pupils improved their pass rate by 6% in 2011, going from 57.9% in 2010 to 63.9% last year.Thabanaswane and Nedbank partnershipThabanaswane Primary had one block of classes with only four classrooms and four ablution facilities when Obed Tshebetshebe became principal in 2006.Tshebetshebe applied to the Nedbank Foundation for assistance in improving facilities.Two years would go by before Tshebetshebe received a call in 2008 saying the foundation would donate R496 400 ($62 000) to build another block of classes.Nedbank built another block of four classrooms and five ablution facilities and also donated an Edutainer Container for early childhood development.This container has educational toys and is used to house Grade R pupils.Special focus on rural areas and informal settlementsNgcayisa, the founder of the Lupi Ngcayisa Foundation, has been collecting school shoes for underprivileged pupils since 2009.Ngcayisa said: “Our selection process looks at the poorest of the poor and we have a bias that favours pupils from rural areas and informal settlements as they have it the worst.”He knows exactly what he’s talking about as he was raised in a shack in Walmer in Port Elizabeth.“As a kid who grew up in a township characterised by despair, I was intrigued by a couple shopping for school shoes for their daughter in one of Johannesburg’s suburbs three years ago,” said Ngcayisa. “The young girl’s smile inspired me to seek to create or rather duplicate this delight in other children who unlike her, had never worn school shoes.”He collected 16 600 school shoes in 2009, 27 700 in 2010 and 43 400 in 2011.People who would like to donate school shoes to the foundation can drop them off at their nearest SABC office, and corporations who wish to help can contact Bata Toughees and buy directly from them at a discount.last_img read more

first_img LongVersion_Electric_Auditing_Handout_2018edits.pdf Are batteries really necessary?One issue with a PV system is whether the electricity it generates can be used during a grid outage without the addition of a battery.Brian P writes that Pika Energy offers an inverter that appears able to work in a grid-tied system as well as an independent “island” when the grid is disabled. But Pika tells Sheehy that its system doesn’t allow PV electricity to be used when the grid is down except through a battery, which to Holladay means it can effectively function as an off-grid system.Thomas Stone points to two companies that make grid-tied inverters that will operate when the grid is down (and assuming there is sunlight). One is made by SMA, and another is called the Solar Edge.Kevin Spellman has another suggestion: a system from Schneider Electric, which includes an inverter, a generator and lithium-ion batteries.“So,” he says, “it can be done.”But prices are high. The 19.5 kWh battery that Spellman references costs $14,900, which by Holladay’s calculations stores the same amount of electricity you can buy from the grid for between $2 and $4.“Batteries are expensive,” he says. “Grid electricity is cheap.” Writing from central Kentucky, Clay Whitenack poses this question: in an all-electric house, what’s the best way of providing power when the grid is down?Whitenack and his family live in a new house, a house that does not have a fireplace or a wood stove. “This leaves us vulnerable in the event of a power outage during a bad winter,” he writes in a post at the Q&A forum. “We live in central Kentucky, so the winters here are usually not too bad, but we do have times when the temps get below freezing for extended periods of time.”The house is well-insulated and heated with ductless minisplits; domestic hot water is produced by a heat-pump water heater. Whitenack’s first thought about emergency backup power is a solar array.“I would like to start researching a small solar array that would allow me to keep the essentials going,” he says. “Things like heat, hot water, the fridge, stove, and maybe a few outlets around the house for a few lights, charging mobile devices, etc.” He wonders how to calculate the amount of electricity he’d need in a pinch, and what the capacity of a photovoltaic system might be. At least that’s where this Q&A Spotlight begins. Battery technologies are differentBoth the Tesla and LG batteries are lithium-ion, while Holladay’s system uses older generation lead-acid batteries, which can be charged with a generator.“Using a generator to charge a battery bank is fairly simple,” he says. “Most off-grid inverters include a battery charger. Off-grid homeowners start up the generator when it’s been cloudy for a few days. When necessary, I plug my house into my generator. When the inverter senses the generator power, it automatically charges the battery at a rate of about 90 amps (tapering down to 40 or 50 amps when the batteries are close to full). While the generator is running, there is also plenty of extra power to run the washing machine or other appliances.”Although it’s not immediately obvious to Holladay why a generator can’t be used to recharge a lithium-ion battery — after all, the internal combustion engine in a Prius is capable of charging the car’s lithium-ion battery — a little internet sleuthing suggests it’s not as simple as it may seem. He finds that lithium-ion batteries may need an automotive alternator rather than a generator for charging, “or a set of old-fashioned lead-acid batteries as a buffer for the generator.”The reason for that is complicated, but Holladay refers Whitenack to an article with a longer explanation.Calum Wilde disagrees. “If the [Powerwall] is being charged by mains power it shouldn’t matter if that 240 volt AC is coming from the grid or your generator,” Wilde writes “The only way it could matter is if the hookup method purposefully prevents it. But the battery charger/inverter shouldn’t care. If I were you, I’d ask about that setup on Reddit. They’re generally a great bunch of professionals with collectively an immense amount of knowledge.” Adding batteries to the mixIf Whitenack follows the more expensive solar route, Dorsett suggests looking into a “battery-ready” inverter, which would allow the addition of a battery in the future — when demand charges are introduced for residential electricity customers, for example.“The cost of lithium-ion batteries is still in free-fall on a double-digit learning curve,” Dorsett writes. “At some point in the next decade it will be worth it, even if the primary use is as backup rather than demand-charge mitigation.” He points to a Bloomberg report that says the price of lithium-ion batteries in 2016 was $273 per kilowatt hour, a decline of 73% since 2010.But the addition of storage batteries also raises other questions while making the system more complex and more expensive.Sheehy says his research for backup power included two quotes for a battery. A Tesla Powerwall would have cost almost $14,000, while a competing battery from LG would have been almost $12,000. Those options would have provided between 12 and 14 kWh of energy storage, and he would still have needed a gas-powered generator.“Both systems quoted to me could not be charged by the generator,” Sheehy adds. “That meant that in an outage I’d need to go back and forth between battery and generator.” Our expert’s opinionPeter Yost, GBA’s technical director, added these thoughts:It’s difficult to add much to the practical information and insights already offered by Martin Holladay and others. But I wanted to share some information I have gathered from two conference presentations. One was the 2013 Better Buildings Better Business conference in The Dells, Wisconsin, where my friend and colleague Dan Cautley of Seventhwave spoke. The other was just last week when Marc Rosenbaum presented at the Better Buildings by Design conference in Burlington Vermont. Both were outstanding events.Dan’s presentation “Electrical Energy Auditing: Typical Use by Appliance,” is a great way to estimate electrical loads when trying to design a back-up system. I pulled these out of his work because Clay Whitenack listed them:Heat-pump water heater: Typical annual use 800 kWh.Refrigerator: Draws 725 watts; typical annual consumption 1000 kWh.Stove/range: Draws 1,500 watts; typical annual consumption 300 kWh.Lighting (50 lamps): Draws 2,364 watts; typical annual consumption 1560 kWh.Phone and camera chargers: Draw 2 watts; typical annual consumption 11 kWh.For those trying to figure out just what essentials can be covered, Dan’s work is pretty helpful, even if it is a bit dated.I can report on Marc’s presentation only indirectly. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get to that session because it competed with another talk I wanted to hear, But friends and colleagues Eli Gould and Jim Duran of PreCraft had these takeaways:Even a thrifty family in a small house would need “huge” storage capacity to cover the starting and sustained power draws from essential appliances and lighting.Reducing the heat load helps a lot, so a wood stove looks mighty attractive for covering power outages.It’s really hard to eliminate the need for even a small generator to offset the four-day, cloudy winter scenario.Marc’s calculations on generator emissions show that even the most efficient generators are way worse than the grid.Considering the current limitations in batteries, and the diminishing returns of increasing total battery capacity, you just can’t store enough energy to last through a long outage without the help of the generator.NOTE: Efficiency Vermont has posted the presentations from this year’s Better Buildings By Design conference. Marc Rosenbaum’s presentation was called “PVs and Battery Storage.” RELATED ARTICLES A PV system isn’t cheapGBA editor Martin Holladay, who has lived off the grid for many years, points out that installing a PV system is expensive. Solar panels, batteries, a charge controller, and an inverter, sized for backup at a house that uses fossil fuels for space heating and domestic hot water could cost between $10,000 and $20,000, Holladay says. “If the house uses electricity to provide space heating and hot water,” he writes, “it would be hard to even imagine the size of a battery big enough to get the house through a few cloudy days. Such a system would cost a fortune and would be a maintenance headache. It’s far cheaper to spend $1,200 to $2,000 on a gasoline-powered generator.”His own generator is a Honda that can crank out 5,000 watts. It cost a little more than $2,000, and it can produce both 120-volt and 240-volt electricity.Whitenack admits he hadn’t considered buying a generator. While that option does look cheaper and easier to install than a solar array, the long-term financial picture isn’t as attractive.“What about the long-term returns of a solar system vs. a generator, though?” he asks. “I plan on living at this location for another 40-50 years, God willing. A PV system would allow me to offset my energy bills, which a generator would not.”And generators can easily top the $2,000 that Holladay mentions.Stephen Sheehy, for example, writes that after looking into possible backup power sources for his Maine home, he settled on a 7,000-watt Honda. After hiring an electrician to install an exterior receptacle that could handle the generator’s 30-amp output, he ended up spending a total of $6,000.“I tried to shop around but most dealers didn’t have any Hondas available,” Sheehy said. “It’s a nice, quiet machine with inverter technology that lets me run my minisplits.” How long is an outage really going to last?A well-insulated house in Kentucky isn’t likely to have plumbing freeze-ups even in very cold weather, says Dana Dorsett, so a small woodstove might be enough to keep everyone comfortable during a power outage, and it would not require “punching huge holes in your efficient building envelope.”More to the point, Kentucky has a reliable electric grid and power outages that extend beyond a day or two are “extremely rare,” Dorsett says, adding, “The capital budget for equipment to cover trailing-edge 0.001% risks should be sized accordingly.”But Whitenack isn’t as concerned with a brief outage as he is with an extended grid failure, something caused by a natural disaster that disables the local power plant and leads to a blackout measured in weeks.“It’s not a huge fear of mine,” he says. “I’m not obsessed with zombie-apocalypse scenarios, but I have a young family and this is the first house I’ve lived in that hasn’t had some option for backup heat.”Still, that shouldn’t be an issue in Kentucky, Dorsett tells him. In the central part of the state, there’s plenty of redundancy built into the grid.“Grid planners in Kentucky are also further along than most states with smart-grid planning and development, making the grid more reliable in general, but also ‘self healing’ for re-routing power when major links go down,” Dorsett says “It’s definitely a first-world power grid environment, nowhere near as vulnerable as New Jersey and New York were during Superstorm Sandy.” Batteries for Off-Grid HomesHow to Design an Off-Grid HouseAn Introduction to Photovoltaic SystemsGreen Basics: Photovoltaic (Solar Electric) SystemsVermont Utility Is the First to Offer Tesla BatteryTesla Will Sell Home BatteriesBackup Electrical Power for a Passivhaus Project Do Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Systems Really Have an Advantage?How to Live Comfortably Off the Gridlast_img read more

first_imgIn a bid to check the spree of illegal encroachments on the hill slopes of the district’s eco-sensitive Pavana dam area, the Western Bench of the National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the State Environment Department, and 53 other people, including many celebrities.A Bench comprising Justices S.P. Wangdi and Dr. Nagin Nanda was acting on an environment interest litigation (EIL) filed by Sanjay Vishwanath ‘Bala’ Bhegade, a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Maval, around 18 km from the city.“The area [in Maval Taluk] under the water catchments of the Pavana Dam, surrounded by hills, has been declared as an ‘eco-sensitive zone’ by the committee formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2000 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pronab Sen,” reads Mr. Bhegade’s petition.However, recently, a number of diamond merchants, cricketers, industrialists and Bollywood personalities have built luxurious villas and farm-houses on the hills, said advocate Asim Sarode, counsel for the petitioner.“The illicit constructions are shearing away the natural contours on the hilltops and hill-slopes, and the rampant felling of trees was causing permanent damage to the environment,” said Mr. Bhegade.Mr. Bhegade also alleged that the constructions had already disrupted water channels, forcing streams and rivers to alter their natural flowing path, posing a serious risk of landslides. “Earlier, some villagers had approached government authorities to apprise them of the situation. But other than sending notices to the owners of the illegal constructions, no action was taken. Hence, I have filed this EIL,” Mr. Bhegade said. Despite the ecological damage and a significant reduction of forest and green cover area, the taluk still retains its importance as a forest area rich in biodiversity, as is noted by the Madhav Gadgil and Kasturirangan panels on the ecological preservation of the Western Ghats, Mr. Sarode said.The tribunal also reprimanded the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board for the rise in encroachments in the area. The next hearing is set for August 6.last_img read more

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “Have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today,” said the top-ranked Nadal, who played at night on Friday after the temperatures had dropped. “It’s not nice to see players suffering that much on court.”The tournament’s extreme heat policy calls for the roofs to be closed on the main show courts and play to be suspended on outer courts when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which takes into account humidity and wind speed, reaches 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe high temperature Friday marginally topped 40 Celsius, but the WBGT remained below the threshold, so play was not halted.Cornet said she began feeling dizzy at the beginning of the second set against Belgium’s Elise Mertens and, at one point, fell to her back on the court in obvious distress. She received a medical timeout so a trainer could check her pulse and blood pressure and wrap her in an ice vest before she returned to the court. Cornet was able to finish the match, losing 7-5, 6-4. But she later said it was “dangerous” to play in that kind of heat.“The (official) limit of not playing the match is really high. I think this limit should be a little bit lower because playing in this condition is not nice for anyone,” she said. “I would never give up because of (the heat), that’s for sure. But you push your body so hard, you almost feel like you’re on the edge.”Tournament director Craig Tiley defended the response of officials to the extreme heat on both Thursday and Friday, saying “we start the event with this set of rules and policies in place, and in the interest of fairness, can’t change them halfway through.”“Protecting our players and the fairness of the competition is paramount in these conditions, which we acknowledge can be challenging,” he said, adding the extreme heat policy would be reviewed after the tournament to see if adjustments need to be made.Petra Martic, who won a two-hour, third-round match against Luksika Kumkhum during the hottest part of the day on Friday, said she got blisters on her feet from the sizzling court and had to take painkillers after the second set.ADVERTISEMENT France’s Alize Cornet is attended to by a trainer and tournament staff after suffering from the heat during her third round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE, Australia — French player Alize Cornet has called for the extreme heat policy at the Australian Open to be re-evaluated after she said she nearly fainted in the broiling temperatures during her third-round match Friday at Melbourne Park.Other players echoed her concerns, with Rafael Nadal saying playing in such extreme heat can be “a little bit dangerous for the health.”ADVERTISEMENT Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments DOST-Pagasa 11 A.M. weather update, November 22, 2019 PLAY LIST 05:08DOST-Pagasa 11 A.M. weather update, November 22, 201900:50Trending Articles04:04‘Quiel’ now a severe tropical storm – Pagasa01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Defense wins games for GlobalPort in streak Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “It’s really tough on your feet to play in these conditions,” she said. “I was hoping they would close (the roof), but the temperature was not high enough. … So unfortunately it stayed this way.”French player Gael Monfils staggered through part of his second-round loss to Novak Djokovic on Thursday, saying he “had a small heat stroke for 40 minutes,” and likewise described the conditions as a risk to players.Roger Federer, who requested to play at night to avoid the blistering heat on Thursday, said he believed the officials were doing the best they could under the circumstances.“What do you do … stop all matches? The lucky guys on the big courts, they get to play under the roof. The other guys get postponed till the next day? Is that great?” he said. “Is everybody going to finish at 3 in the morning, like a rainy day in New York. I’ve had that, too. Is that better? I’m not sure, honestly.”Click here for more weather related news.” Read Next MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqlast_img read more

first_imgUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spoke at a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela in New York this week.“We join in this global assembly to honour our era’s greatest ambassador for human dignity,” he said. “Nelson Mandela was a human being with flaws and frailties like any of us. And yet, from his humanity came humility; from humility came strength; from strength came transformation; from utter goodness came epic greatness.“Isolated for years in a tiny cell, he emerged with a vision as big as all creation. Unable to see his own children grow up, he became a father to his country and an inspiration to us all.“Last week, I had the unforgettable privilege, together with the President of the General Assembly, to take part in the service in his memory in Johannesburg. There were kings and queens — presidents and prime ministers and foreign ministers — many thousands, tens of thousands, of people united in tribute.“The skies over Soweto opened up, as if in blessing. The rain came down all day long. It was a reminder that there can be no rainbow without rain — so, together, in Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation, we mourned a tragic loss and celebrated a triumphant life.“I saw once again how much Nelson Mandela meant to the people of South Africa — and the people of South Africa shared with me how much the United Nations meant to them. Their struggle was our struggle. From its earliest days, the General Assembly took on the poison of racial discrimination in South Africa.“Through the years, the Assembly used every tool we had including sanctions, embargoes, and diplomatic isolation, to bring about change. A Special Committee against Apartheid, supported by the UN Centre against Apartheid and a trust fund, provided crucial support. We refused to relent.“In his first address to a United Nations audience upon his release, Nelson Mandela said: ‘Despite the thickness of the prison walls, all of us in Robben Island could hear your voices.’“Nelson Mandela came back to the United Nations again and again — as President, as global peacemaker, as transcendent moral voice.“Each year, we mark the International Day against Racial Discrimination on the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. And, of course, we celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day on his birthday, July eighteenth, as a way to build on his contributions and foster a culture of peace and public service.“Through his extraordinary life, Nelson Mandela showed that tyranny and oppression never have the last word. Justice triumphs in the end.“I can understand when some say we will never see his like again. But, I see it differently. Because whenever people stand up for human rights; wherever people speak out for freedom and reach out for reconciliation — there is Nelson Mandela.“That is the heritage of hope he bestowed on each and every one of us. That is our inheritance. Now it is our duty to build the better world that he showed is within our grasp.“Let us follow his rainbow. Today and every day, let us be inspired by his passion, his compassion, and his undying conviction in the human spirit and the global good.”last_img read more