Electricity and Control February 2022


CSIR gains electricity savings with solar PV

The CSIR reports that the electricity generated by the so- lar photovoltaic (PV) plants installed at its Pretoria cam- pus has reduced the organisation’s electricity bill by over R14 million since 2015. The CSIR Energy Research Centre began investing in renewable energy with the installation of solar PV systems at the start of 2015. It commissioned the solar PV system to provide a demonstration facility, leading the way to- wards a sustainable energy future; to provide a cost sav- ing in the form of reduced monthly electricity bills; and to provide a research platform to test and validate locally manufactured and assembled products in a real-world environment. The PV plants are commercially designed and built to meet a 25-year lifespan, providing a steady stream of electricity during daylight hours at costs below the prevailing tariffs, which leads to a positive net present value on the investments made in the facility. In addition to the reduction in electricity cost, the PV plants have aided industry collaboration. The plants have attracted the attention of numerous companies wanting to understand how the system works and what the comparative benefits are. These visits have resulted in collaborations between companies in the PV industry and the CSIR. The solar PV plants installed consist of a 558 kWp ground-mounted single axis tracker, a 202 kWp ground- mounted dual axis tracker, a 250 kWp east-west fixed rooftop system on one of its buildings, a 911 kWp east-west fixed rooftop system across five additional buildings, and an additional 30 kWp ground-mounted dual axis tracker on the south side of the campus. Specifications ƒ The 558 kWp ground-mounted single axis tracker plant was commissioned in 2015. Its modules tilt significantly closer to our vision of achieving energy secu- rity and stability in South Africa. This has been a long and complex journey with numerous barriers to surmount – from securing financing to obtaining regulatory approvals. “Our success shows that we have the capabilities in Africa to energise a brighter future. Natural gas is cheap- er than currently available conventional energy sources, such as diesel and LPG, and promises significant eco- nomic benefits. We are excited to contribute to a new economic future by providing a responsible and respon- sive energy solution with lower greenhouse gas emis- sions than other fossil fuels.” Last year DNG received final authorisation from the Transnet National Ports Authority to begin bunkering op- erations in the Port of Coega in the Eastern Cape. The company has deployed a 125 000 cbm-capacity float- ing storage unit to support these operations. In addition, it has completed terminal infrastructure at Algoa Bay, where its hub is located.

from east to west over the course of each day to in- crease electricity production, compared to a fixed tilt system, and this reduces the CSIR electricity demand by 4 to 5%. ƒ The 202 kWp ground-mounted dual axis tracker plant was commissioned in 2016. The dual axis tracker system allows modules to track the sun in elevation (up/down) and azimuth (east/west), so the modules are always facing the sun directly during the day. Four additional dual axis trackers were installed in 2019, bringing the total capacity of the dual axis tracking systems to 232 kWp. The PV plants reduce the overall CSIR electricity de- mand by 2 to 3%. ƒ A 250 kWp east-west fixed rooftop system was commissioned in 2017. The rooftop system was designed with an east-west-facing rack and reduc- es the electricity demand by 2%. ƒ The 911 kWp east-west fixed rooftop system (Phase 1) plant was commissioned in 2019. The Phase 1 plant system was designed with east- west-facing racks at a 10 degree tilt and reduces the overall CSIR electricity demand by 7%. This advanced infrastructure will be used to offer ship- to-ship transfers for international trading ships as well as onshore LNG transfers via road and pipelines. DNG has developed a network of gas supply, enabling reliable LNG supply to penetrate the energy market nationwide. The company has already conducted proofs of concept with partners in the private and public transport industries, including Imperial, Masana BP and Rea Vaya. The infra- structure will also serve mining and industrial customers and is a critical enabler for independent power producers. Mbalati said: “We see the LNG value chain in a ho- listic way, from source to consumption, and have robust infrastructure expansion plans for South Africa, Mozam- bique and Nigeria. Over the next few years, LNG has the potential to drive significant growth and job creation, as well as helping South Africa meet its targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30% to 40%. For more information visit: www.csir.co.za The solar PV installation at the CSIR’s Pretoria campus has brought the organisation substantial savings on electricity costs.

For more information visit: www.dng.energy

FEBRUARY 2022 Electricity + Control


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