Lower geyser temperature may reduce shedding – study


Research shows that a lower temperature on South Africa’s seven million geysers can relieve enormous pressure on Eskom and reduce power consumption by almost 1 MW – equivalent to almost one phase shedding.

The company Sensor Networks recently conducted a case study to determine the effects of geyser temperature reduction strategies. They concluded that, if the temperature of every geyser in the country were to be lowered by 10 °C, it could reduce the load on Eskom by around 942,000 kWh per hour.

According to Sensor Networks, the average temperature of a geyser rests at around 60 °C.

Mark Allewell, CEO of Sensor Networks, says the company can, based on data from a sample of 6,809 geyser controllers in South Africa, confirm that the average geyser energy consumption on the day of the survey for 6,346 geysers with a temperature of 51–70 °C stood at 0.492 kWh.

The sample size of geysers with a modified temperature of 50 °C included 463 geysers with an average geyser energy consumption of 0.357 kWh and clearly illustrates a significant amount of savings (0.135 kWh) on geyser energy consumption if the temperature is reduced to just 50 °C become

“The average energy saving of a single geyser over this specific sample set was measured at 0.135 kWh. If we apply those savings to the more than seven million electric geysers that are already in use nationwide, we can ensure an overall energy saving of approximately 942,000 kWh.”

However, the company points out that the data is based on a single day of measurement, and from a select group of customers who have installed active Sensor Networks Smart Geyser controllers on their domestic electric geysers.

However, the case study proves that a reduction in geyser set point temperature can offer a way to improve South Africa’s energy saving and efficiency.

“We can expect these figures to change constantly due to real-world factors such as the weather, load shedding and the time of year. However, it highlights the tangible benefit of using real-world data to make data-driven decisions about geyser temperature reduction, and its strategic implications for energy conservation if managed correctly,” says Allewell.