A Western Cape settlement will be enjoying cooler homes this summer, thanks to a passive cooling project undertaken by the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) in partnership with the Thermal Insulation Products and Systems Association of South Africa (TIPSASA).
The project aims to measure the combined temperature reduction achievable when using cool-coated roofs in conjunction with insulation, to make living conditions more comfortable in the heat of South Africa’s sunny days.
Cool community care
Denise Lundall, project officer for energy-efficiency cooling at SANEDI, explains: “Cool roofing entails the application of heat-reflective coating to roofs, which then aids in lowering the indoor temperature. It is a much-needed application to bring relief to those living under corrugated metal roofing, which can reach temperatures of 65°C or more in the summer. Global research has shown that used in conjunction with insulation, cool roofs achieve significantly better results.”
Thermal insulation has been mandatory since 2011. Most areas in South Africa average more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year and the annual 24-hour global solar radiation average in South Africa is one of the highest in the world. Thermal insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow or heat transfer, whereas cool-coated roofs prevent absorption of the heat by means of solar reflectance, reducing heat transfer to the interior. “Combining cool coatings with insulation provides a cost-effective and more efficient cooling solution,” says Lundall.
Research done in other countries has led SANEDI to encourage the same research locally. SANEDI in partnership with TIPSASA, a strong industry body leading the way for passive heating and cooling across the country, have started the rollout in the Masonwabi settlement. “This area will not only benefit from cooler homes, but also gain work experience as the project hires and trains local unemployed people, offering them an artisans’ certificate and a wealth of experience,” concludes Lundall.
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