http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/alternative-energy-industry-needs-more-support-2009-03-20

State support vital to give factories a renewable boost

Published 20 Mar 09       By: Leandi Kolver
The solar and alternative energy industry needs more support from government, says alternative-energy company SolarCon MD Dieter Dilchert.

"There is an increased demand for alternative energy in South Africa in light of the power shortage issues the country is currently facing; however, we are not getting support from government to further promote the use of alternative energy," he adds.

According to Dilchert, SolarCon has approached government a number of times but is not receiving any response.

"Solar energy can help solve the energy crisis. If all warehouses are fitted with solar panels, then [this technology] can supply a great deal of power to the industry. Not only does this help with energy supply, but it can produce 25 years worth of energy without the pollution," he notes.

SolarCon recently installed an alternative-energy supply system worth R100 000 at the Lapp Cable head office building, in Edenvale, Gauteng.

The system comprises two 260-W solar panels made by IBC, a Germany-based company specialising in consulting on major alternative-energy projects and the supply of solar products.

The solar panels feed a 6-kW uninterruptible power supply, keeping this fully charged at all times and backing up the building's information technology system. It also has an 80- W Kestrel wind turbine with two 105-A/h Willard batteries, which service the building's exterior lighting

Lapp Cables is using its alternative-energy source as a ‘greener' backup alternative during periods of interrupted power supply as well as as a way of reducing its carbon footprint. The alternative-energy system SolarCon has installed at the Lapp Cables head office will save it 1,32 kW/h.

SolarCon is a local company that specialises in the design and installation of solar and wind energy alternatives for medium to large buildings and industrial sites.

The company also runs the Solar Training Academy and currently presents a basic course in the sizing, selection and installation of solar photovoltaic panels.