In what is the first large-scale commercial hybrid photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) project in the Cape Town central business district (CBD), Radisson’s Park Inn Hotel in Cape Town Foreshore, together with Solarus, has installed 30 innovative PowerCollectors™ on the hotel’s rooftop.
The PowerCollectors use a unique technology that combines the generation of thermal (T) energy with the photovoltaic (PV) generation of electricity, and produces one of the highest energy yields ever measured. When compared to traditional solar panels, the PowerCollector produces both electricity and hot water output up to 70°C and delivers about three times more energy on the same surface area.

Having been completed in March, the system produces an average of 1 050kWh of energy per week for the hotel.

In addition, the installation saves 79 000 litres of water per year by reducing energy used from the grid. This is because for every kWh electricity bought from the South African power utility company, Eskom uses 1,45 litres of water to produce. This is significant since water saving is a fundamental factor to any resident or business located in Cape Town, due to the city’s current water crisis.

“In the hospitality industry, there is a high heat demand and energy cost, and it was with this in mind that installing the 30 PowerCollectors, maximising our small rooftop, made absolute sense. With the location of our hotel, our rooftop is also the perfect location to absorb as much sun as possible and generate three times more energy,” said Jim Schleich, general manager of Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore.

“We are thrilled that the installation will not only be saving electricity but will also have a significant water saving, which adds to our extensive water-saving initiatives, as we strive to avoid Day Zero in the region.”

Inge Huijbrechts, global vice-president for responsible business at the Radisson Hotel Group, says the group aims to align itself with the global targets of the COP21 Paris Climate Agreement by significantly reducing its hotels’ carbon footprint. “One of the areas we are focusing on, is increasing the number of Radisson Group hotels making use of renewable energy. Renewable energy has immense untapped potential, even in city centres and business districts.”

Henning Brand, development director for Solarus in South Africa, adds that the sun is very generous in South Africa and makes for an attractive business case. “It makes absolute sense to harvest the free energy instead of using fossil fuel based sources.”

The energy produced in conjunction with the reduced demand from the grid will provide electricity and heat throughout the hotel. Over a 20-year period, this installation will save the hotel approximately R3 776 000.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the Radisson Hotel Group and Solarus for the information and photos provided.

Caption main image: The 30 PowerCollectors installed on the roof of the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore combine the generation of thermal energy with the photovoltaic generation of electricity to produce both electricity and hot water output up to 70°C.

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