Central Technical Supplies (Pty) Ltd. – Geiger Engineering (CTS) was approached by Farmers Meat Market Mariental to design, supply and install a solar water heating system with the aim to reduce the monthly diesel consumption as two diesel boilers are operated to heat water up to 82 deg. C for production purposes.
The water requirements of the abattoir are as follows:
- 2,000 litre/hour @ 45 C°
- 3,000 litre/hour @ 60 C°
- 500 litre/hour @ 82 C°
This adds up to a total daily water requirement at 60 deg. C of roughly 25,000 litre.
The system is design such as to preheat water from 18 deg. C to between 50 deg. C and 60 deg. C before supplying the diesel boiler system, thus reducing runtime and diesel consumption of the diesel boilers. A 20,000L stainless steel tank (nonpressure tank) manufactured locally according to CTS design, acts as the buffer tank for the daily water requirement. A total of 120 flat plate collectors supplied by Solsquare Namibia with a total surface area of 300 m2 are connected by means of a 450kW Alfa Laval flat plate heat exchanger to the water tank.
A set of two Calpeda circulation pumps connected to Danfoss variable speed drives and a timer circuit guarantees at all times that the heat from the collectors is effectively transported to the water tank. Flow as well as temperature monitoring on all four ports of the heat exchanger make it possible to determine the instantaneous as well as accumulated kWh produced from the collector field.
Furthermore additional heating energy is obtained from the ammonia refrigeration plant. A heat exchanger is installed on the ammonia discharge side before the existing cooling towers to be able to heat the water during night time as well, as this is the time when the refrigeration plant runs at full capacity to cool down the newly slaughtered meat in the cold rooms. Again flow control and temperature monitoring on the hot water side of the heat exchanger accurately indicate heating energy obtained from the refrigeration plant.
A total of four pump sets have been installed and pumps are cycled on a 24 hour basis in automatic mode. Should at any given time a pump fail, the system can be switched to manual mode to be able to repair the pump without system down time and a resulting increase in diesel consumption.
All systems components are sized such as to allow for future heating capacity upgrades should it be required.
After a year of operation, the plant is performing better than expected and the client is able to safe nearly N$ 60,000 per month on diesel costs, bringing the payback period of the entire system down to below two years. This clearly shows that solar energy, be it for heating or for electricity production, surely is the way forward for a cleaner and greener future for generations to come. CTS is proud to be part of making Namibia and the world a better place for our grandchildren to live in.