Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Solar water heating system installed by Solsquare to save Monash University millions of rands

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The Monash University campus in South Africa is set to save about R400 000 in electricity costs annually, thanks to the installation of a large scale solar water heating system by leading solar systems integrator, Solsquare.

After an energy audit revealed how the replacement of the university’s conventional geysers with a solar powered system could slash running costs, Monash commissioned Solsquare to design and install a solar water heating system that would supply hot water to all of its residences.

Solsquare, founded in 2008 and based in Centurion, is the one of the largest nationwide suppliers of solar water heating and photovoltaic equipment for domestic, commercial and industrial markets. The company brings to South African shores high quality German-engineered solar energy systems that have found favour in the European markets.

Installations by Solsquare’s projects division, responsible for the installation at Monash University, are seeing a marked increase in frequency as more and more commercial users of hot water become aware of the advantages of turning to solar powered systems.

The new system at Monash University includes a total of 128 solar thermal collectors, which allow the system to generate the required 1.32MWh of energy per day. Since Monash no longer draws all of this energy from the grid, this equates to a saving of about R1 320 per day.

The massive savings in water heating costs, as a result of the solar powered installation, mean the university can amortise initial installation costs within three to five years.

“We were so impressed with the installation of the system, it was very professionally done,” said Peter Goddard, director of operations for Monash South Africa. “We expect to save a lot of money on operating costs in the future and are pleased that we will now be making a contribution towards reducing environmental damage.”

Based in Ruimsig on Gauteng’s West Rand, Monash University receives ample sunlight to charge the solar system, as do most areas in South Africa. Students can now be assured of hot showers and the inconvenience of possible power outages has been eliminated.

“We worked hard to ensure critical components could be installed during the university holidays and to integrate our solar system into the existing hot water arrangement with minimal effects on the users thereof. In this process we have built a relationship with Monash University that we are proud of, ”said Niels von Hase, managing director of Solsquare.

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Published in Energy and Environment