SA innovation offers high-tech solution to energy crisis: smart geyser devices integrated into household solar systems could significantly decrease residential load on Eskom, with potential to reduce household electricity bills by 80%
Based on the data provided by a successful 12-month case study, Sensor Networks smart geyser devices integrated into household solar systems can store excess solar energy by heating water in the geyser, creating an opportunity for South African households to save up to 80% on their electricity bill monthly.
The data provided by this study shows that smart geyser devices could effectively lower the residential demand on our national grid, especially during the sunniest 6 months of the year (September to March), harnessing excess capacity to heat geysers and store the energy. The smart geyser device is able to do so by remotely switching geysers on and off at peak sun times, leveraging the power of technology and innovation to maximise energy conservation efforts in our country, while securing substantial electricity cost savings for households as well.
This innovative approach offers a strategic opportunity for energy conservation in South Africa, as businesses and homes continue to transition to solar at record-breaking levels. Over R12 billion in solar panel imports were recorded from January to August 2023, outperforming all solar import figures in previous years. In a country where the supply and generation of electricity is regularly disrupted by power cuts, the widespread use of smart geyser devices with solar technology could play an indelible role in our collective pursuit to conserve and store power effectively.
These findings come shortly after Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa revealed that South Africa is haemorrhaging close to R1 billion daily due to load shedding, with power station performance for the past eight months now sitting at 54% of installed capacity.
The large-scale roll-out of smart geyser devices could play a leading role in decreasing the rate of power cuts in our country. Even if installed without a home solar system, smart geyser devices can be used to lower the set-point temperature of any electric geyser (which usually rests at around 60°C). Based on the data provided by another study of 6,809 smart geyser devices across South Africa, Sensor Networks can confirm that the average energy usage for 6,346 geysers with a set-point temperature of 51 to 70°C was 0.492 kWh per day. The sample size of geysers with a modified (slightly lower) set-point temperature of 50°C included 463 geysers, with an average geyser energy usage of 0.357 kWh per day.
This clearly illustrates a significant degree of savings (0.135 kWh per day) on geyser energy usage if smart geyser devices are installed to reduce these set-point temperatures. If we apply those savings to more than 7 million electric geysers already in use across the country, we could secure total energy savings of around 945,000 kWh – roughly equivalent to one stage of load shedding (1,000 MWh).
Both case studies prove that smart geyser devices could offer a direct pathway to improve South Africa’s energy efficiency, without any of the usual compromise. As a company, Sensor Networks remains well-positioned to assist government and stakeholders towards achieving these outcomes, and will continue to develop innovative tech-based solutions to maximise energy conservation efforts in our country.
Omnia Strategic Counsel & Communications
+27 84 552 3122 or via [email protected]
About Sensor Networks: Sensor Networks is a locally-based company that builds smart technology and systems to improve people’s lives. It offers pioneering solutions to maximise energy efficiency, specialising in smart technologies that can improve the future of energy security in South Africa.
Their commitment to innovation drives the company to create a tangible impact on our country’s energy landscape. The Sensor Networks Smart Geyser controller provides energy savings of up to 30% on a household’s geyser energy consumption. They have also prevented 97% of element-overheating faults, and reduced consequential water-damage insurance claims by 84%. Their website is available via https://www.sensornetworks.co.za/.