The Hotspot – A simple idea to save energy on your geyser.
To find out more on the Hotspot and where to get one for your home, click here.
To find out more on the Hotspot and where to get one for your home, click here.
Many people believe that the only way to reduce your energy consumption on your geyser is to install a solar geyser , solar retrofit or a heat pump.
A decent solar system or heat pump will easily set you back around R14000-00.
In these times with petrol increases and the cost of living skyrocketing, no one has a spare R14 000 to use to cut down on their hot water usage and save money every month.
Now, Saving Energy has created a simpler and MUCH cheaper way to do this using 4 simple products to deliver around a 40%-50% saving on your hot water energy costs.
There are 4 products in this package. all proven to save electricity consumption on geysers.
1) The Geyser timer – proven and effective in controlling geyser operation times- saving around 18%-22%
2) The geyser blanket – proper insulation prevents water heat loss and saves electricity- saving around 8%-10%.
3) The Energy/water efficient shower head – by reducing water flow to 9 L per minute, this saves hot water (and electricity) as well as cold water- saving around 8%
4) The Hotspot – a new innovation developed in SA. This geyser element sleeve funnels hot water to the top of the geyser making it available faster and saving more than 20% energy usage when used with a timer! See more on Hotspot here..
These 4 proven devices combined could save you upwards of 40% on your energy costs this cold season and reduce the ESKOM Tariff Increase impact on your pocket.
The post below was published on January 2nd in the Guam Daily Post and it shows how the solar thermal air conditioning systems are being used across the globe to reduce energy costs on air conditioning.
This system is also available in South Africa and you can see more on solar thermal here.
Tapping into the sun’s heat to reduce air-conditioning costs
On a tropical island where air conditioning provides a measure of comfort from the heat, cooling costs account for a significant portion of a residential, commercial, industrial and government utility bill.
For an institution such as the Guam Department of Education, operating and maintaining nearly 3,000 air-conditioning units across schools and offices puts a dent into the department’s monthly energy bill.
GDOE spends about $12.3 million on power, according to the Bringing Energy Savings To Schools study, which was funded by the Guam Power Authority.
The study provided several recommendations to reduce GDOE’s power consumption. GPA General Manager John Benavente recommended tapping into solar-assisted thermal air-conditioning units, which he said would use a block of about five or 10 units to cool the school, “almost like central air.”
Lynn Scott, chief operations officer at Green Energy Solutions Inc., broke down the basic elements behind solar-assisted thermal air conditioning. GESI is the solar thermal dealer for the patent holder on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
Scott showed a prototype of a solar thermal collector – a proprietary system consisting of 20 glass cylinder tubes each lined with thin solar heat-conducting film. Inside the cylinders are high-pressure copper coils that serve as a heat exchanger. The tubes are in a rack made from corrosion-resistant aluminum.
“Solx Energy out of Great Britain owns the patent for solar thermal technology for refrigeration and air conditioning. One of their products under that patent is called Thermx, a solar thermal collector. What it does is it helps the AC’s compressor run less,” he said.
While the setup resembles a solar water heater system, the solar thermal system is designed for refrigerants, according to Scott.
“You don’t see a lot of electrical wires, not a lot of moving parts. It is a very simple setup,” he said.
The anticipated life span of a solar thermal collector system is at least 25 years, according to Scott. “You will end up replacing your aircon three or four times long before you lose the use of your solar thermal.”
According to Scott, the compressor is basically the major energy consumer in an air-conditioning unit. He said a typical compressor has two primary functions — to heat the refrigerant freon gas and to push the gas through the system.
While a typical compressor uses electricity to perform these functions, the solar thermal collector uses the sun to heat the refrigerant gas and kinetic energy to push the gas around the coils.
According to Solx Energy, the collector can be integrated with cooling and heating systems to reduce energy consumption by an average of 30 to upwards of 50 percent with minimal space requirements. Scott said the technology can be used for schools, government buildings, and commercial and industrial facilities.
The solar-assisted thermal technology also can be combined with other systems to optimize its benefits.
To illustrate the potential energy savings, Scott provided an example of a GESI project that combines solar-assisted thermal technology for a warehouse facility on island. For the project, GESI is installing a 60-ton VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air-conditioning unit attached to the solar thermal collector, LED lighting and photovoltaics.
“With everything combined for that project – lights, changing to VRF, adding the solar thermal and adding solar PV – they should be able to reduce their energy consumption by around $9,000 a month,” Scott said, adding, “Their power bill is usually $13,500 a month. When we are done, we should see around 80 percent reduction in their power bill.”
The technology also could work for the GDOE school system, according to Scott.
“The schools are great. The reason for that is, with a VRF multisystem, the classrooms are just right in a row, so the installation is quite simple,” Scott said. “The majority of the schools on Guam also have nice flat roofs that are single story, so the collector can be tucked up in a roof and you won’t even see it.”
A VRF multisystem consists of a single outdoor condensing unit, which is connected to several indoor cooling units. “Solar thermal works with all brands of VRF because it is a modulated compression system,” according to Scott. A modulated compression system is a component in an air-conditioning unit that regulates capacity based on the cooling demands of the space.
The cost of installing a solar thermal collector depends on several factors, including the location of the setup and the type of air-conditioning units, among others.
For more on Solar Thermal Air Conditioning systems in South Africa – click here.
This is for the hundreds of thousands of South Africans that live in residential complexes. If you are one of them, as a tenant , owner or trustee, then this is especially for you.
If you live in a free standing house, read on but you’re going to be jealous.
The biggest energy challenges facing both residents and Body Corporates are cost , consumption and error recovery .
Of course this is true for everyone, but more so in the confines of the complex.
In the past, these would have been individually resolved aspects for the complex, but not any more.
An example of a geyser mounted outside.
Because they are not insulated and exposed directly to cold air, they waste massive amounts of electricity as they work to maintain temperature.
This is a PRIMARY cause of energy loss and expense in residential complexes.
Many complexes have these in concrete channels that run next to the unit and even though they are enclosed , there is no insulation so you have geysers simply bleeding heat into the air and this is especially severe as the weather gets colder.
Quite a mouthful.
But it’s everything it says it is.
APEX is the result of the last 5 years working with Body Corporates and understanding the challenges they face in sourcing and implementing energy efficiency initiatives as well as the ROI on those projects.
APEX addresses EVERY key element in the process and this makes the solution attractive , cost effective and complete.
There are no fees for transfer nor any disruption to the pre-paid service or purchase channels.
Outside of the resident having to punch a 16 digit code, there is no effort required.
Using the latest utility and pre-paid statements, APEX will deliver a revised tariff structure solution that provides a LOWER kWh rate for the residents and lower pre-paid management fees at NO cost to the Body Corporate.
Typically 5c-10c/kwh reduction in management fees which releases ‘FREE’ capital for use on other projects.
These will impact the heat and energy loss from the geysers and reduce consumption by around 10%-15%. There is also the option of geyser timers to further reduce consumption. Using the timers and blankets can deliver as much as 35% savings.
This is a another critical element to this concept. The timers are exceptionally effective in reducing consumption especially during peak demand. Results show a 44% year on year reduction on peak demand usage in residential complexes – that is huge!
ESKOM and SABS approved smart electricity check meter with web interface access for easy consumption data and ensures accurate billing every month.
Engagement with the council over ‘estimates’ or erroneous billing and credit recovery where applicable.
This is the true innovation that sets this solution worlds apart. Within the pre-paid restructure is the recovery partition. This delivers an agreed rate (c/kwh) BACK to the Body Corporate every month for the CAPEX used on on the geyser blanket project.
So, in essence , a portion of the pre-paid revenue is allocated BACK to the CAPEX fund.
Once the project cost is paid off, that portion falls away and the RESIDENT GETS ANOTHER kWH RATE CUT.
So, not only are the residents paying less and using less, the project cost is recovered from within normal monthly purchases OVER AND ABOVE the lower management fees.
Once recovered, that saving is passed back to the residents – they get two decreases when everyone else is suffering with increases.
APEX power is offering a FREE assessment to show how it can reduce your energy costs and consumption in your complex. Just click the link below to get yours done.
In this day and age, can you really afford not to?
Sometimes the simplest solutions deliver the best results.
As we approach winter and with some colder weather already starting to make itself felt, many consumers are starting the longer winter climb to higher electricity bills.
There is no complex reason for this.
If your geyser isn’t insulated and controlled, that’s where the issue lies.
We get so caught up in the complexity of all the appliances we use, that we often overlook the obvious.
In most households, water heating is the single biggest user of power and once this is controlled , the bills start to fall.
So, this Autumn, keep it simple.
Install a geyser timer and geyser blanket and watch your monthly costs drop.
If your family is the regular “parents work and kids at school”type, the you probably shower and bath in the mornings and evenings between 5 and 8.
You DON’T use hot water during the day when you’re at work and the kids are at school..so why have your geyser running?
You also don’t need hot water at 3.35am – so why have your geyser running?
Control it to deliver hot water WHEN you need it and keep it off for the rest of the time.
The geyser loses heat to the colder air around it and, the colder the air, the more heat it loses and the faster it loses!
So the geyser keeps switching on and off throughout the 24 hour period whether you need hot water or not.
By controlling the geyser to come on BEFORE you need hot water and then be off until you need it again, you can cut your electricity costs by as much as 35%.
Your geyser only needs about 45 minutes to an hour to heat to temperature (with a geyser blanket – that can be less) so around an hour BEFORE you need hot water is good.
With the blanket, the hot water STAYS HOT for about 4 hours AFTER the geyser has switched off.
Well, Saving Energy currently has the Super Hero Special -offering a timer and blanket for R1590-00 (excl VAT) supplied and installed.
It would take about 45 minutes to install.
Click the link below to book yours.
There is a lot of confusion re solar air conditioners at the moment. This will explain the difference between the two systems and hopefully clarify any misunderstandings around the two technologies.
The solar air conditioner is actually a solar thermal system that uses a solar thermal panel to drive the refrigerant in the system and this makes it about 70% more efficient than the standard air conditioner.
In simple terms, the solar thermal panel is connected to the condenser unit and the air con unit and utilises the sun’s power to drive the refrigerant in the system instead of using electricity as a normal air conditioner does.
In the image on the right, you can see the solar thermal collector on the roof connected to the single condenser unit which is connected to the indoor wall and cassette units.
The efficiency of solar air conditioners also comes from the fact that the SINGLE condenser unit ( the one with the fan) can run up to 4 different wall / cassette units on ONE Thermal panel instead of each unit needing it’s own condenser unit as in typical air conditioner configurations.
This is basic structure for solar air conditioners used in residential installations.
Originally designed for commercial installations only to help reduce power consumption in office buildings, shopping centres and manufacturing plants, solar air conditioners are now available for residential installations as well.
The residential units use the same technology on a smaller scale and the solution offers multiple units running off a single solar thermal panel.
This is one of the MAJOR differences between the solar conditioners and the Solar Powered air conditioners.
Remember that the solar air conditioner still runs off electricity – it is just much more efficient!
This is effectively an off grid system, using solar panels and a PV System ( much like you would have for your home) to drive the air conditioners.
This system would require solar panels, batteries and inverters (like a regular off grid PV system) to run the air conditioner.
As tempting as this sounds, the issue here is one of power. Regardless of whether you use an inverter air conditioner, you still need to have enough battery capacity to run a 9000 BTU / 10 000 BTU air con unit and this requires a LOT of battery power.
The reality is that for the price of a good quality properly installed PV system to JUST run an air con unit, you are better off installing a PV System to run the house and then installing SOLAR AIR CONDITIONERS reduce the energy requirements for the air con units.
The biggest difference between solar air conditioners and solar powered air conditioners is the price.
Remember that a solar powered (PV) air conditioner needs PV Panels, batteries and inverters to drive the system and enough power to run it even when there is no sun.
Bottom line, if there is rain for 3 days or really cold , cloudy weather – your PV Powered air conditioners won’t run.
To give you an idea , to run a single 9000 BTU air conditioner from a PV powered system would cost around R200 000! Yep…this is because of the components needed to run it and the installation.
Whereas a multi-split system using 4 X 9000 BTU air conditioners running off the solar air conditioner system would cost around half that to install and supply for a whole house!
The figure above is a ball park and it could even be less – maybe around R80 000, but the fact is that the saving of 70% on the energy consumption would deliver a much faster return on investment for Solar Air Conditioners than for a PV powered system.
With technology advancing , it is certain that solar air conditioners are going to become more prevalent over the coming years.