http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.63Change: -0.07
R/$ = 10.60Change: -0.06
Au 1274.64 $/ozChange: -8.73
Pt 1397.00 $/ozChange: -6.00
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 27, 2009

Eastern Cape shows the way with energy-independent house design

Back
Eskom|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|South Africa|Fort Hare's Alice Campus|Data-capture Systems|Electrical Devices|Electricity|Energy-efficient Building|Energy-efficient Measures|Renewable-energy Resources|Solar Energy|Sustainable-energy House Design|Easten Cape|Edson Meyer
eskom|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|south-africa|fort-hares-alice-campus|data-capture-systems|electrical-devices|electricity|energyefficient-building|energyefficient-measures|renewableenergy-resources|solar-energy|sustainable-energy-house-design|easten-cape|edson-meyer
© 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 45 minutes ago The extensive compliance processes instilled to regulate the manufacturing of the set-top boxes (STBs) required for South Africa’s migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) have emerged as a serious weakness as industry gears up for the imminent and...
Updated 3 hours ago Honda has unveiled the newest version of Asimo, its advanced humanoid robot, now featuring the ability to communicate in sign language and climb stairs without stopping. Asimo, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, was first introduced 14 years ago....
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of 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 steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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