SunTank, a leading solar heating company in South Africa, recently completed two commercial-size solar water heating installations for government hospitals. SunTank worked with the architects, consulting engineers and building contractors to install the solar water heating systems at the Worcester Provincial Hospital and Germiston Hospital.
Hospitals consume large amounts of thermal energy and are typically suited for solar thermal installations. The SunTank solar energy systems installed at these public hospitals are designed to achieve a significant reduction in the hospitals’ electricity consumption and enable them to reduce peak electricity load.SunTank managing director, Yoram Gur Arie, comments: "Government's commitment to the rollout of solar water heating installations is showing gradual progress with the vision slowly turning into implementation. As higher electricity prices start biting, government and private sector institutions are starting to deal with conversions from electric power to solar power with a noticeable sense of urgency. The bottom line impact can no longer be ignored.”
However, he says that lack of awareness in the market-place remains a factor to be overcome and that there is some confusion where some decision makers believe that heat pumps are an alternative to solar water heating. Arie says that heat pumps are, rather, an efficient alternative to electric elements and a reasonably good backup option for solar heating systems.
SunTank operates throughout Southern Africa, East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. The company handles the manufacturing, distribution and installation of solar heating systems as well as the construction and operation of clean energy plants.