Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 09:34
Seychelles Nation 30-January-2017 - One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of using solar energy is to produce and store hot water. During recent electricity baseline studies, undertaken by the GOS-GEF-UNDP Resource Efficiency Project, it was found that 21% of household electricity costs relate to water heating. Installing a solar water heating (SWH) system can reduce the costs of generating hot water by up to 75% (Source: Solahart), potentially saving you hundreds of rupees a year.
Fuelled by the sun (free energy!) instead of fossil fuels, SWH systems emit none of the pollutants and greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides – produced when fossil fuels are burned. Seychelles has very good conditions for the application of this technology – it has a significant number of hours per year of direct solar radiation and has a warm climate throughout the year, which results in the systems operating with low thermal losses (i.e., with better efficiency). However, from the same electricity baseline studies, it was found that in the sample of houses studied, only 4.5% are currently using solar energy to prepare hot waters.
These elements showcase the fact that SWH is a promising technology for households and businesses (e.g., guesthouses, self-caterings and hotels) because it increases their financial sustainability and competitiveness. These elements should be of significant interests to business developers, entrepreneurs as there is a reasonably large potential market for those who want to develop a business in the sustainable energy area (e.g., importers and/or installers of SWH systems).
Investing in SWH system will allow for you to recoup the cost within a few years depending on the quality of your product and installation, your usage and size of system.
Heating water in Seychelles
From the houses included in the above-mentioned study, the ones with the SWH use the SWH system only for showering. However, SWH is also good for general domestic use (dishes and clothes washing, or cooking).
SWH has the potential to save significant amounts of money to the households and businesses throughout Seychelles. As a medium- long-term investment, SWH is a promising choice as it allows for household/business to have increased income from the decreased cost in utility bills (i.e., the avoided energy costs) to other improvements in the house or business.
The contribution of the SWH system you decide to purchase depends on your household's hot water consumption and the amount of sunshine the collectors receive – daily and throughout the year. In Seychelles, an appropriately sized and installed SWH system will meet most of your hot water needs all the year round. However an electric or gas-fired backup unit, can be used for cloudy days.
A Solar Water Heating Endorsement Initiative (SWHEI) has been set up by the Seychelles Energy Commission, with the support of the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency project. The intention is to strengthen the Seychelles market of SWH products and services. The SWHEI aims at increasing the installed solar thermal power in the country, as well as, obtaining SWH installations of higher efficiency and better quality. It is important to establish trust in the clients, concerning SWH technology, and ensure that a certain minimum set of skills and quality is maintained and made available in the marketplace.
All suppliers and installers were invited to a training course which took place from January 18 to 26, 2017. This training was conducted in two parts, starting with theoretical learning, and followed by a hands-on practical training with a SWH system sponsored by Solahart Industries, Ltd. The participants sat exams on the final day so as to be eligible for certification, and eventually be endorsed and registered with the Seychelles Energy Commission.
It is to be noted the courses will be offered in future as part of the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) advanced certificate in plumbing, and SIT will also be providing short training courses for in-service persons as well as those who may be interested in venturing into such energy related business.
Follow the activities of the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficient project on Facebook at 'Resource Efficiency Seychelles'.
Source: Seychelles Nation @http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=252712