Generating hot water efficiently: Reducing the cost of producing hot water

BY TERRY BILLSON - MAY 18, 2015

Traditional methods of heating water is a significant contributor to the electricity costs in both commercial & domestic environments.

Genergy has focused on the large scale hot water space for the last eight years specifically as the business case for these applications have been favourable.

There are two main areas of opportunities that will make a significant difference in costs incurred for heating water, these are the hospitality sector and production processes where hot water is used; such as food processing, cleaning etc.

Genergy has vast experience in the mining sector where hot water is used in the change houses for the shift changes. In these environments, hot water consumption can be in excess of 60 000L per day.

Genergy has a policy of going back to first principles in all our solution designs. First principles ensure that there is a detailed understanding of the specific system requirements and designing the solution is based on actual data or measurements as opposed to assuming what is required or basing the design on the existing infrastructure. In our field, we see this error all the time. South African engineers are reknowned to overdesign hot water systems primarily because previously the electricity cost and consumption of electricity to make hot water were not material factors.

The era of high electricity prices as well as an environmental consciennceness seems to be driving people in a direction where consideration is given to the costs associated with producing hot water.

The technologies most favoured to produce hot water efficiently on a large scale is that of a heat pump or hybrid systems combining solar energy with heat pump technology; and in instances where 50% solar contribution is designed into the system and the back up is done with heat pumps, the total energy savings will be around 85% which equates to only 15% of a traditional hot water system.

Genergy has designed, installed and commissioned one of the biggest solar hybrid hot water facility in Africa, delivering in excess of 100 000L per day. This facility has a 3000m2 solar footprint and four 45kW air-sourced heat pumps.

To find out how Genergy can assist you in reducing your water heating costs contact them on 0861 159 159, email [email protected] or visit www.genergy.co.za.