Kia Motors South Africa (KMSA) has opened the Kia Motor Corporation’s (KMC's) first solar-powered dealership in the world.
The R65-million Weltevredenpark facility, in Johannesburg, is 8 500 m2 in size and took 12 months to build, says KMSA CEO Ray Levin.
The dealership is powered by 288 roof-mounted solar panels, generating a maximum of 69 kW of power, which is enough to power 22 households a day.
The energy generated by these panels is split between three converters, providing three-phase electricity at a capacity of 50 Hertz and 240 Volts. If the supply of electricity exceeds the demand, the remaining electricity is stored in three battery banks.
The main function of these battery banks is to serve as a back-up should the load be affected by a power outage, or bad weather conditions. Should this happen, the energy from the battery banks moves through the three inverters, creating enough electricity to power the entire dealership for 12 hours, explains Levin.
Energy efficient lamps are used in all major areas of the dealership. Occupancy sensors switch off the lights automatically if no movement is detected in a room for a period of time.
Rainwater is collected from the facility’s roof and distributed into six 10 000 l containers. This water is used to water the garden and to wash cars at the dealership.