08 July 2019
Part 3: Technical Series on Energy Efficiency
George Municipality has launched a “ World of Tomorrow Festival 2019” to help increase public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency and the participating schools will present a 15 minute drama production. This initiative will take the message through children - to the homes of George residents - via an Industrial Theatre Competition which will introduce and explore the topic of “How do you mitigate climate change with energy efficiency.”
The dramas will highlight the changes individual residences and schools can make to become more energy efficient, which in most cases, will assist with curbing the effect of Climate Change – a global topic. This project has come about as a result of the George Electrotechnical department participating in the second year of a National Energy Efficiency Demand program, which includes funding provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) for public awareness around climate change and energy efficiency. The five electrical engineering interns will be assisting with the project and will each contribute a technical article on the topic.
Tickets are available for the Primary School Production (31 July 2019) and the High School Drama Production (1 August 2019) Please contact Heather Stead on 072 369 3304. Limited tickets will be on sale for attendance at the Gala Evening Production on 2 August 2019.
The project is currently looking for sponsorship of prizes in the form of a financial prize or energy efficiency product, and any individual or businesses that would like to contribute is requested to make contact with Heather Stead on firstname.lastname@example.org or 072 369 3304.
Our third writer in this series is Lukas Van Eck, who completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics at Stellenbosch University and is currently working as an intern at George Electrotechnical Services, Planning department.
Energy efficiency in heating
Most electricity users use the majority of their electricity to regulate temperatures, whether it is to heat up their bathwater or to regulate their office temperatures during the day and which is generally at high cost. There are a number of technologies that use different heating methods and energy sources that can reduce your monthly electricity bill. These technologies include heat pumps, and solar water heaters. The problem for the average home owner is the cost associated with replacing your geyser with one of these alternative technologies. The technologies in themselves are not necessarily expensive, but replacing or modifying your existing hot water system can become costly, although the reductions in your electricity costs each month will sooner than later allow you to recoup your initial investment.
There are a few ways that you as a homeowner can use less energy to heat up water, without breaking the bank to get your hands on the newest heating technologies:
- To heat one litre of water by 1oC, you need to use approximately 0.00116 kWh of energy. This means that to heat a 150l geyser from 20oC to 60oC, you’ll need 6.96kWh (150x40x0.00116 = 6.96) of energy to achieve this. The simplest and cheapest method is to reduce the geyser’s set temperature, decreasing the set temperature by 5 degrees can lead to a saving of 0.9 kWh per full 150l of water. If you have a fairly large household that uses the full 150l capacity each day, you can save over 300kWh a year, just by reducing your temperature set point. Assuming a very conservative electricity price of R1.90 per kWh, 300kWh can save R570 per year. This is a fairly conservative number and the savings can be even greater if you take into account the efficiencies of the geyser and the actual price of electricity.
- Another method is to eliminate the loss of heat by reducing exposure to cold air or water. Insulating your water geyser as well as water pipes can save a significant amount of energy especially during winter. This will help your geyser to maintain its set temperature and require the geyser to be on for a shorter period, resulting in less energy being used. Although this is not a cost free method, it is much cheaper than a new water heating system.
- And finally, taking shorter showers or to opt for a shower instead of a bath will not only save water, but can indirectly affect your electricity bill by reducing the amount of hot water you use each time. The more hot water you use, the more cold water has to be heated up to maintain the set temperature and the more electricity you will use.
Electricity savings can easily be achieved just by changing your behaviour and although behavioural changes don’t always seem to have the biggest savings impact immediately, the long term impacts involved can become significant.
Last published 08 July 2019