Communication is key to raise awareness about the benefits of solar thermal technologies for industries in South Africa. So far only seven Solar Heat for Industrial (SHIP) plants are up and running in this sun rich country. Solar Payback partner, Markus Wolf, Project Manager at the Competence Centre Sustainable Energies at the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry took the chance to promote SHIP on the South African Energy Efficiency Convention (SAEEC) in Johannesburg at mid-November (see photo: SAEEC) and on the Industrial Efficiency Conference in Cape Town at mid September. The later was organized by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA). This is a national, governmental programme that promotes resource efficiency and cleaner production processes in order to support industries to lower costs through reduced energy, water and materials usage, and waste management.
„There was high interest of production companies after my presentation at both conferences, but there is still a big lack of knowledge about SHIP“, concludes Wolf. In his presentations the chamber representative stressed that especially companies which currently cover their heat demand with paraffin or electricity should have a look into SHIP installations as these can lower their costs and thereby increase their competitiveness. Most suitable sectors for SHIP are Food & Beverage, Textile, Chemicals, Machinery and Mining.
To illustrate the mature technology Wolf showed the Soltrain project film. It is about the installation of a 121 m2 solar thermal collector field on the roof of the Cape Brewing Company (CBC) based in Paarl, Western Cape, that covers a third of the annual paraffin demand. „We needed to have minimum interruption in our day-to-day operation and production,” COO of CBC, Andy Kung, says in the film and confirms that they had hardly noticed the adjustments.
The Solar Payback partners are currently searching for suitable manufacturing companies that are interested to receive a free energy audit conducted by the German research institute Fraunhofer ISE that is also partner of Solar Payback. Three companies will then be chosen for a detailed SHIP prefeasibility study and finally one will be chosen to receive a grant for the installation of a pilot SHIP installation.
Links to both conferences: