Zetta Joule Sustainable Solutions

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New look at Energy

RE Solutions

ZettaJoule Sustainable Solutions Pty Ltd will focus on the analysis, creation, and profitable use of renewable energies.

The simplistic replacement of current energy sources with another one, like replacing power from Eskom with a Solar Photo voltaic (PV) installation, is not always the best way to approach the problem.

For example: It is five times more efficient to store thermal heat for later use, than storing electricity from a PV installation in a battery to heat up water at a later stage.

Any prospective user of renewables must first have a close look at the way energy is used to ensure that energy is used in an efficient manner without the burden of wasteful practices, or unnecessary use.

Domestic users must first consider one or more of the following.

  • Proper insulation of the roof of the building where space heating or cooling is taking place.

  • Gas, or more efficient heating devices such as Induction plates and Microwave ovens can be considered.

  • A kettle with a flat plate element that will allow you to only boil the water your need, and not the amount of water needed to cover the element in the kettle, is a simple way to use heat sources more effectively .

  • The use of LED and/or florescent lights are usually the first step in lightning.

  • Over use of pool pumps can be eliminated, and the use of timer or daylight switchs to switch off security lights is a good way to save on wasteful use.

Heating and cooling are the top consumers of energy. In any household one would start to look at ways to reduce heating and cooling as far as possible.

There is a school of thought that one should unplug cell phone chargers and switch off electronics that are on standby. Technically, this is not wrong. An electronic unit on standby can use as much as 2 watts, which will cost you R25 per annum. There is also a counter argument that electronics are aging faster if switched on and off every day due to the constant heating and cooling of equipment. Again this is true, but not to such an extent that it will require replacing electronics on a regular basis.

By reducing your shower time every day with one minute, one can safe as much as R100 on water and R250 on electricity. That is R350 per person per annum, for 1 minute a day effort.

If a security light, using 500 Watts, is kept on for 30 unnecessary hours, it will also cost you +-R25.

The bottom line in saving energy does not necessarily mean we need to go the nth dimension, nor should it be a burden on the entire household to unplug cell phones chargers and switch off every conceivable electronic device in the house.

We should rather focus on the top 5 consumers of energy in the house such as the Stoves, Kettles, Geysers, Air conditioners, Heaters, Tumble driers, and high power units such as Pool pumps and Security lights, that are on for long periods. If we focus on these energy monsters, we can get up to 95% of the possible savings we can possibly manage by living just a little bit smarter. The other 5% are the Cell phone chargers and the electronic devices on standby.

Commercial & Business considerations.

Load factor correction and load shifting (if possible), or variable tariffs (if it could be successfully implemented), are some of the first considerations plants can make. Heat sources from one part of the plant used to preheat water for another plant, is also a relatively easy project.

Then one can start to look for alternative sources of energy.

Many of these sources such as Wind and PV can be used successfully, but if the usage cannot be shifted to those periods of generation, then one needs to look at storage. Since we cannot sell electricity back to the utility in South Africa, experimental sites might be an option, but 99% of utilities will not buy your electricity.

One can have a closer look at different energy sources for the specific location. Some farmers in valleys have a far better Wind source than others, and some farmers have a sustainable water stream. With enough drop in height on the site, one can consider micro hydro to be used.

Bio energy can be considered where large feed stocks exist in the form of waste products from the core business. Examples of this are Cow, Chicken or Pig manure, where large amounts of animals are kept in a feed stock. Animal fat is one of the best feed stocks for Biomass plants, due to its high energy value.

Similarly, where heating and cooling are used on a 24/7 basis, Thermal storage can be considered by harvesting at high temperatures in the day or cold temperatures in the night.

Each site needs to be evaluated separately, and once inefficiencies are eliminated and possible complimentary energy sources are considered, one can develop a strategic plan to become self-sufficient in the generation of energy.

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