This year has marked some of the highest levels of political and economic uncertainty around the world. Public awareness of global warming and the consequent climate change is growing. Global citizens have started talking about scarcity of food, supply chain vulnerability and above all, energy security. The world is debating; and the way we do business is changing. In these uncertain times it is left to innovators to develop new practices that reconcile these dilemmas in order to create security for businesses and information. It is this context which makes the development of small-scale renewable generating plant so exciting.
The need to secure information and increase energy security has been prioritised at Eveready SA (Pty) Ltd. Eveready believes that the future energy solution for industry includes active participation by consumers, accommodates all energy types, and provides reliability for a digital economy. Each electricity consumer needs to become a responsible energy user and encourage the augmentation of the traditional energy supply.
Eveready’s innovative environmental energy practices have included the installation of small wind turbines, manufactured Eveready’s renewable energy division, at the Eveready factory. Now, Eveready has installed South Africa’s first roof-mounted industrial system for IT server back-up. The Eveready-Kestrel e300i (1kW) wind turbine charges batteries for server back-up. When the batteries are fully charges, the wind energy is fed-in to the grid through the third net meter to be installed in the area. These small-scale bidirectional net meters are the only ones that are operational in the country.
By increasing the use of sources of energy, diversifying supply that traditionally comes from a single source, minimises the risk of supply instability and the impact of information loss as well as reducing industry’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Sceptics suggest that small-scale systems are a drop in the polluted ocean; however Eveready-Kestrel knows that the effect of millions of small wind turbines from its experience exporting to the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Across the USA and UK, in domestic dwellings, businesses and public buildings, small-scale renewable energy is helping to meet much of the national demand for electricity and the demand is being met at source, which is increasing higher levels of energy autonomy.
By generating and consuming energy at the same place the carbon dioxide emissions saving is virtually doubled, as traditional electricity which arrives at its end point of use has lost roughly 50% of its initial raw energy value from efficiency losses along the way. Also, a lessened load on the transmission lines reduces maintenance requirements. Whether a micro- or mega-sized alternative energy source, each installation does more than create carbon free electricity; it also actively reduces the consumption of traditional electricity over its lifetime.
Proudly South African Eveready is pioneering this system because of its potential contribution to the country. Small roof-mounted turbines have been designed for large-scale deployment in many areas; industrial, rural, urban and under-utilised land. Because of the large target locations, Eveready-Kestrel’s have specific characteristics which comply with the demands and expectations of consumers, planners and the distribution network operators. These include: low noise levels, reliable operation, value for money, minimised visual intrusion and compliance with all safety requirements, both structural and electrical.
A rooftop installation is very specialised, for two main reasons. Firstly, all wind turbines vibrate, and they transmit this vibration to the mounting structure. Secondly, all rooftops create turbulence that interferes with the wind turbines operation. Eveready-Kestrel’s engineers have designed a sophisticated dampening system that isolates the wind turbine from the structure. To avoid rooftop turbulence, the Kestrel wind turbine has been raised well above the roof line.
At this early stage of development there is a great deal of excitement and potential regarding urban roof-mounted wind turbine. The IT systems of Eveready are secured and supply to the department has been stabilised. Eveready is keen to share this installation concept with other businesses. This is the first installation of its kind in South Africa and the development of urban roof-mounted Kestrel wind turbines has only just begun. By pioneering systems in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro area, Eveready-Kestrel is becoming a renewable energy ambassador with the message that small wind turbines work and are useful.
“Small-scale wind can make an important contribution to the energy mix of South Africa, and we have one of the best wind resources in Africa. From this background, a pilot system showcasing Eveready-Kestrel technologies on offer makes great sense.” – Stuart Daniels, National Sales Manager
Kestrel Marketing Co-ordinator
Editorial Contact on behalf of Eveready Diversified Products (Pty) Ltd
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