With construction expected to begin in September, specialised procurement company Build Africa Corporation will supply its Power Up energy systems to 480 luxury-living housing units in the Acorn Creek complex in Somerset West, in the Western Cape.
“This is the largest green residential development in South Africa, and could easily be the largest in Africa as a whole,” says Build Africa Corporation CEO Miles Oates.
The company notes that the Power Up systems are the world’s most advanced power control system, with crystal battery technology that uses advanced ‘In Charge’ European technology to deliver a compact solution to ensure reliable and cost-effective power supply.
The control system is a little larger than a laptop, delivers all the functionalities of an uninterrupted power source and includes a pure sine wave inverter, high-tech crystal battery charge controller and a maximum power point tracker in a high-technology unit.
It can produce two to three times more energy, compared with acid and gel-deep cycle battery inverter systems, says Oates. The system harvests and controls energy from solar, wind, hydro, the grid or a generator. Energy is available for immediate use and can also be saved to the system’s crystal batteries for later use.
Oates says the Power Up systems are “perfect” for use in homes or businesses. Unlike the acid and gel technologies currently used, the systems’ In Charge technology does not emit gases or radiation, will not ‘pop’ and does not have the high fire risk of systems using lithium technologies.
“The Power Up system in each standalone residential unit will reduce electricity bills by up to 75%,” he says. Each system is a complete environment-conscious alternative power solution using solar panels and the grid to run the system. The solar panels also charge the crystal battery banks, which then supply energy to the system when there is no sunlight.
The Power Up systems will be installed during the construction phase, with “this kind of mass implementation of green, renewable energy being very new in the residential market locally,” states Oates.
The company notes that another advantage of the energy system is that it will reduce residents’ carbon footprint while enabling them to become almost autonomous of the national grid. For an additional cost of R400 a month on their bond, residents could save R1 000 on their monthly electricity account.
Oates mentions that, in his role with Build Africa, the company distributes Power Up supply units in 19 African countries. He notes that Nigeria is the company’s biggest single market currently, owing to the country’s size and its power issues, which creates demand for cost efficient power.
The green revolution is continuing to grow and is attracting the attention and support of major developers nationwide, he points out: “It’s a trend on the rise with developers, eager to create a product that stands out . . . in an increasingly ecoconscious world, while creating additional income streams.”
Oates concludes that there is huge opportunity for companies like Build Africa to create viable microgrids that are able to offer large developers holistic alternative energy solutions at economically viable prices.