Energy Services have installed solar water heating pilots at a commercial building (consisting of 100 flats), a school for the disabled, and at an industrial client. These sites are utilized in an ongoing evaluation process to identify and quantify the achievable savings from the installation of solar water heating equipment. It is also utilized to quantify any effects on the customer's process. This data is currently being used to quantify the inclusion of solar water heating into the DSM Energy Efficiency program.
There is also currently a research project underway to evaluate the potential energy savings and financial benefits of residential solar water heating. The technology is very successful in South Africa and Eskom is assisting the SABS to test a variety of different domestic solar hot water systems in order to determine which suppliers would be best suited in future solar installations.
Benefits of solar water heating
South Africa has higher degrees of solar radiation than most other countries and the intensity of radiation is almost twice that of Europe.
South Africa's water heating load is primarily electricity and there would be great benefits in freeing up electrical capacity if electric geysers could be replaced with solar equivalents.
Solar water heating is by far the most cost effective renewable technology which could be introduced in South Africa, the cost/kW could easily be as low as R 22,500/kW compared to other renewable technologies which could be as much as R 100,000/kW.
The hot water market constitutes approximately 30% of the South African energy consumption in the combined domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. In the commercial sector the following can greatly benefit from installing solar water heating equipment:
In industry any client that uses hot water in their process can benefit from installing solar water heating equipment.
The following are examples where solar water heating has been successfully installed:
Rouken Glen Flats
Installation of a solar water heating system to reduce energy consumption of 100 flats.
Ethembeni School for the Disabled
Installation of a solar water heating system to reduce energy consumption
Installation of a solar water heating system to quantify the achievable energy savings in an industrial process.
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