http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.04Change: -0.16
R/$ = 12.07Change: -0.10
Au 1204.60 $/ozChange: 1.40
Pt 1170.50 $/ozChange: 4.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 27, 2009

Eastern Cape shows the way with energy-independent house design

Back
Engineering|Africa|Building|Design|Environment|Eskom|Measurement|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Energy|Systems|Environmental|Power|Water|Measurement
Engineering|Africa|Building|Design|Environment|Eskom|Measurement|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Sustainable|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Energy|Systems|Environmental|Power|Water|
engineering|africa-company|building|design|environment|eskom|measurement-company|project|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|resources|sustainable|system|systems-company|water-company|africa|energy|systems|environmental|power|water|measurement
© Reuse this



An energy-efficient building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) house has been constructed at the University of Fort Hare's Alice campus, in the Easten Cape, and is now fully operational and being monitored and studied.

The house took three months to construct and was completed in December 2008, while the electrical system and data-capture systems were installed in January this year.

The project is being spearheaded by Fort Hare Institute of Technology (FHIT) director Professor Edson Meyer and PhD student Sosten Ziuku, and aims to show that the use of renewable-energy resources and energy-efficient measures, complementing fossil fuels, can result in uninterrupted power supply and a reduction in gaseous pollutants. 

The study is part of an initiative to boost the use of renewable energies and showcase solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuel use in households. 

All electrical devices in the house are powered by electricity from the photovoltaic system, and hot water is supplied by a solar water heater and geyser.

“We are monitoring the performance of the system – initial results are showing that we have excess power from the BIPV system. At present, we are not supplying the excess power to Eskom, but this is something we are going to pursue in the immediate future,” Ziuku tells Engineering News.

Indeed, the second phase of the study is to sell excess power generated to the national utility grid.

“There is a postgraduate student living in the house, – he has been there since the beginning of March. The house is fully furnished and the student is using the available facilities like he would do in any other house,” notes Ziuku.

Passive Solar Design

The concept of the sustainable-energy house design is based on the use of renewable-energy resources in place of fossil fuels. This entails the use of climatic conditions to design a climate-sensitive building, which discourages energy use processes that cause greenhouse-gas emissions.

In South Africa, the sun passes almost directly overhead at noon in summer, while, in winter, its path is low in the northern sky.  With large windows and clerestory windows located on the north-facing side of the house, the lower winter sun is allowed to heat both the front and rear of the inside of the house, explain the project leaders.

Further, sufficient window overhangs protect the north-facing windows from the high summer sun to enhance cooling through natural ventilation. Previous studies employing passive solar heating and cooling proved that this technique has great potential to provide a safe, healthy and thermally comfortable indoor environment.

Building-Integrated Photovoltaics
Photovoltaic (PV) panels are mounted on the north-facing roof in such a way that they replace conventional roofing material.  The PV panels then act as a building envelope and also supply the electrical energy requirements of the house. 

The PV solar system has a maximum power output of 3 800 W, viewed as adequate to meet all the electrical energy requirements of the building.  Energy-efficient electrical appliances are also used in the house.  This implies that the efficient BIPV house can be completely independent of the national utility grid.

For this experiment, a 200-l solar water heater is used to meet all the hot water requirements.

The residential sector in South Africa is estimated to consume 17% of the country’s electrical energy. More than 70% of this electricity is generated using fossil fuels, which contribute immensely to environmental pollution and global warming. 

The South African government, through the passing of the Energy Bill, the Renewable Energy White Paper and the Energy Consumption Management, Measurement and Reporting Regulation under the Energy Act of 2008, has become increasingly active in tackling the issues of power outages and the more efficient use of existing resources. 

Solar energy is one of the renewable-energy resources that is increasingly being used to supply household  thermal and electrical energy, and the project aims to showcase how domestic electricity demands could be met independently of the existing electricity grid.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
South African mining and energy adviser Ted Blom has raised a litany of concerns about the state of power utility Eskom and has warned of runaway costs and shortfalls in coal and water, as well as rail capacity. Blom was surprised by the recent buoyancy shown by...
State-owned power utility Eskom has warned that it is highly likely that there will be load-shedding this weekend, as, along with its “massive maintenance drive” to improve the performance and reliability of its power generating units ahead of the expected peak...
Oil firm Chevron said on Friday it has offered to supply South Africa's electricity firm Eskom with excess diesel from its Cape Town refinery, to help run some of its generators. Steve Hegarty, the general manager for strategy at the oil major's South African unit...
More
 
 
Latest News
South African mining and energy adviser Ted Blom has raised a litany of concerns about the state of power utility Eskom and has warned of runaway costs and shortfalls in coal and water, as well as rail capacity. Blom was surprised by the recent buoyancy shown by...
JSE-listed Astrapak will sell specialised packaging systems manufacturer Knilam to Mapflex SA for R17.7-million. The proceeds would be used to reduce Astrapak’s current level of gearing.
The last of the 26 mooring units comprising the Port of Ngqura’s automated mooring system (AMS) have arrived at the port and are expected to improve port efficiency and safety, further driving the Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA’s) objective of establishing...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96