Architects have taken the challenge of sustainability head on, determined to decrease carbon footprints through design. It is true that sustainability is an ongoing effort and we should always look for new methods, but a good place to start is with the way we manage our water and energy consumption.
Of course, the best first step is to simply reduce your consumption where you can. Renewable energy can provide you with more sustainable water heating, the question is which type? Due to falling costs and increasing efficiency, solar PV has become an ever more viable water heating alternative to the better-known systems of the ‘past’ such as solar thermal and heat pumps.
In our journey to sustainability, it is pertinent to consider the “cradle to grave” impact of our energy sources on the environment. South Africans should be particularly interested in this more holistic view, considering that a major portion of our grid electricity generation comes from burning coal.
Estimates suggest that, on average, coal produces about 900 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated. Rooftop solar PV, on the other hand, produces about 40 grams of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated. Solar PV systems without a battery are closer to the lower end of that scale.
The SANS 10400 XA regulations have been instrumental in driving the adoption of renewable energy for water heating. All architects in South Africa will most likely be au fait with these regulations and what they require, and PowerOptimal’s Elon makes compliance easy.
For homeowners, the benefits of using solar PV water heating include: renewable energy, there is no obtrusive tank on the roof, and you won’t be disturbed by the audible hum of a generator or heat pump. The list of benefits only gets longer when the solar PV system includes PowerOptimal’s Elon water heating technology.
PowerOptimal’s Elon enables you to connect solar PV panels directly to any standard electric geyser. You can go off-grid or have grid electricity as a backup power source. No battery or inverter is needed, which greatly reduces the cost of the solution, and makes installation easier.
PowerOptimal’s Elon is designed such that it does not require additional plumbing or maintenance – solar PV panels can last 30 years or more and so PowerOptimal’s Elon is built to last.
Not only do these benefits result in higher savings for the homeowner and a simpler, more efficient solution – they also contribute to a far more sustainable solution.
Selecting and integrating renewable technologies into the design of your home is one of the ways in which architects are contributing to a more sustainable future.