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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sustainable solar water heating in South Africa


Solar water heating in South Africa has the potential to boost the green economy due to efficiencies that can be achieved with our national average of more than eight sunshine hours per day. The current total of approximately 285 000 solar water heaters in South Africa needs to grow at a rate of ±30 000 per month to reach government's target of one million installations by March 2015. Michelangelo Technology is committed to participate in achieving government's ambitious targets that include a further four million solar water heaters by 2020.
“A sustainable green economy depends on the cost and benefit of savings that can be achieved,” says Michelangelo CEO AndrĂ© Nel. “In 2013, the cost of water heating with a single electric geyser for a household of four to five persons will increase to above R600 a month. A potential monthly saving of more than R500 is achievable by solar water heating that will increase annually in line with electricity prices.”
In order to achieve the potential savings for households, the solar water heating solution needs to produce more than 13kWh of energy per day with sufficient hot water storage to ensure an average of 90% of the hot water demand can be met without using electrical back-up. Commercial applications such as hot water for kitchens, showers for hospitals, hotels, hostels, factories and mines, as well as hot water for industrial processes, also offer opportunities for sustainable solar water heating.
The current project being undertaken by Michelangelo Technology at Zuid Afrikaans hospital involves 46 solar collectors with 10 000L of hot water storage, producing around 41 000kWh of energy annually. A payback period of less than four years is expected with a project-based rebate from Eskom. Nel was named runner-up “Energy Efficiency Champion” at the 2012 Eskom eta Awards, held in November, mainly for the energy-efficient solutions at Zuid Afrikaans hospital and the promotion of the green economy by means of green audits. By involving business chambers all over South Africa, Michelangelo Technology expects to identify key projects for implementation over the next five years.

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1 comment:

AGS Solar said...

It is exciting to see alternative energy starting to have an impact in South Africa, whose knowledge and experience in renewable energy is only at its infancy. Solar water heating as a cost and energy saving alternative is an accessible way for the individual consumer as well as corporates and government to get behind alternative energy sources.