Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa

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SESSA member, Selected Energy, has installed solar energy systems at two South African schools: in Bloemfontein, some 26 solar water heaters expected to pay for themselves within three years were installed at the Martie du Plessis School for Grade R to Grade 12 special needs students while a 300-litre Solahart solar water heater was donated to the Save the Children (SCF) centre in Tjakastad, Mpumalanga.

Martie du Plessis School was established in 1985 and wanted a solar water solution that would provide sufficient hot water to its three boarding houses and nine flats, the former accommodating about 150 students and the latter school personnel. During the first phase, 21 systems delivering a total of 6 069 litres of hot water daily were installed at the boarding houses. An additional five catering for the needs of the school’s personnel followed as part of the second phase.

According to Selected Energy dealer, Piet van den Berg, the total installation saves more than 50% of the original percentage kW consumption a year; at current electricity prices this is sufficient to ‘pay for the system’ in three years, he said. “By investing in Solahart solar water heaters, the school is now able to provide its students with hot water, during rain or shine and times of unreliable power supply,” said Van den Berg.

Ensuring access to hot water all year round was also the intention behind Selected Energy’s donation of a 300-litre Solahart solar water heater in Tjakastad, Mpumalanga, where Save the Children has been giving a helping hand to many communities for the past 60 years.

The 300-litre solar water heater installed at the centre will have a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most, and make their everyday lives a little bit easier, said Selected Energy managing director, Jim Hickey.

Chairman of Save the Children: Gauteng, Mapitso Malepe, added that it was a pleasure to work with the Solahart dealer from Witbank. “The crew from Witbank was wonderful to work with, we are grateful for all they did for us. Everybody is thrilled to have hot water on the premises, something they haven’t had for a very long time.”