The 207-room luxury Vineyard Hotel, the Petousis family’s flagship hotel, has been chosen for the installation of 60 of Solarus Sunpower’s hybrid solar PowerCollectors. The demonstration project, subsidized by the Dutch government, will see the 90kWp hybrid photo-voltaic-thermal system providing 75kW peak thermal and 15kW peak electric output.
The South African market is familiar with photo-voltaic units that convert and store renewable electricity; and with thermal units that use renewable energy for heating purposes. The advantage of this installation, the first of its kind in Africa, is that Solarus Sunpower’s PowerCollectors provide both solutions in a single unit, offering a significant space-saving solution, which also happens to be more efficient than side-by-side units.
“The Vineyard Hotel and sister properties, Townhouse and Oude Werf, are committed to continuously improving the levels of our energy efficiency, especially where energy can be sourced from renewable sources,” says CEO Lex Petousis. ”Our target was to increase our storage and conversion of solar energy and to produce thermal energy – for heating water, for example.
“The space-saving solution offered by Solarus PowerCollectors hybrid system, which meets both electricity and heating requirements and is highly efficient on limited roof space, made this system the obvious choice for the Vineyard Hotel. We are very proud that the Dutch government recognized our commitment to sustainable practices and chose to subsidise the installation. We hope that the success of the project will encourage other hotels to follow suit.”
With the installation at the Vineyard Hotel, Solarus is making its official entry into the African market. More projects are in progress covering sectors including hospitality, housing, swimming pools, office real estate, farming and manufacturing.
The installation consists of 60 PowerCollectors, which produce four times more total energy than traditional photo-voltaic installations of the same size, and provides heat to a thermal storage of 5 000 litres. This heat can then be distributed to the 10 River Suite hotel rooms, the spa, gym and Splash Cafe.
Advanced measurement tools will be installed to measure the total output of the system as well as the carbon savings. Readings will start as soon as the installation is completed in mid-October.
The installation partner for this project is Greenability, a leading service provider in the renewable-energy field in the Western Cape.
Joerg Schilling, CEO of Greenability says: “We are always looking to improve our offering with products that give our clients the best solutions on the market. With the PowerCollectors we are able to meet two of the most important needs of our clients; heat and electricity in one system. In the past we installed separate Thermal and Photovoltaic Solar collectors; as the PowerCollector ticks both of these boxes, installation is quicker and more convenient. The system is also more effective than the independent units.”