Renewables drive sustainable development

All installations are done according to best practice regarding environmentally sound installations

KYLE BOHNSACK All installations are done according to best practice regarding environmentally sound installations

23rd June 2023

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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Comprehensive energy audits and advanced lithium-ion batteries have enabled renewable-energy company Blockpower to ensure a stable and high-quality power supply for The Emerald development, in Gauteng’s Hyde Park, while significantly reducing carbon emissions and promoting environment-conscious development.

The company specialises in designing and installing hybrid renewable-energy plants.

“Blockpower will always perform an energy audit first, prior to the start of any design. After assessment, we design and install a solution which aims to replace conventional methods of backup power with high quality, long lasting, zero carbon emissions solutions,” says Blockpower MD Kyle Bohnsack, who adds that investing in such a system can provide energy security and a hedge against utility and diesel rates.

He adds that all the installations are done according to best practice regarding environmentally sound installations and that every project “carefully tracks carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to ensure clients reach their goals along with environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) requirements”.

According to Bohnsack, the configuration effectively eradicated the necessity for traditional generators, resulting in a marked reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Faced with the need to mitigate a reliance on conventional diesel generators and minimise the carbon footprint of the development, a forward-thinking energy solution was required, and enabled, through the deployment of a lithium-ion energy storage system, which was accompanied by smart geyser control, Bohnsack explains.

“We also found that using the geyser control modules enabled us to stagger the load in such a way that peak loads are better managed, which can avoid sudden inrush currents avoiding nuisance tripping. This is becoming an increasing problematic occurrence for resildential property developers,” Bohnsack comments.

“While loadshedding is often scheduled and relatively predictable, systems need to cater for unscheduled power outages too – this adds increased complexity to design. The ability to manage up to 50% of the load of a development through geyser control enables us to mitigate the majority of the risks associated with unplanned outages,” he explains.

Installing energy storage solutions , along with energy management technologies, drastically minimises operational cost which includes maintenance, diesel and downtime.

This helps to ensure lower long-term costs, and allows for seamless changeover between different energy sources.

“The transition to the backup system ensures an uninterrupted power supply while seamlessly aligning with sustainability objectives, as the incorporation of geyser control modules facilitates load balancing, optimised energy consumption and minimised wastage,” he adds.

The configuration features a 150 kVA hybrid inverter with 400 kW hours of lithium storage for comprehensive backup coverage of between four and six hours for the entire development, as well as the integration of 150 smart geyser controllers.

Sustainable Gains

Blockpower has been spearheading sustainable building practices for the past seven years, and specialises in the sectional title property sectors.

By harnessing clean energy sources and obviating the dependence on fossil fuel-driven generators, Blockpower’s renewable-energy solutions offer substantial reductions in carbon emissions.

Alongside intelligent design, “state-of-the-art monitoring systems” further enhance efficiency, allowing for the maximisation of renewable-energy generation, which means that the initial installation costs “may appear higher”, says Bohnsack.

However, he underscores the long-term cost effectiveness, low operational expenditure and sustainability advantages of the systems.

“By embracing these green building initiatives, clients can unlock significant energy savings while actively contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.”

Through ensuring seamless performance monitoring and control of their renewable-energy systems, Blockpower harnesses the power of the industrial technology in tandem with an operator supervisory control and data acquisition system.

This sophisticated combination allows for the real-time monitoring of energy generation, consumption, and system performance, in addition to empowering the prompt identification of optimisation opportunities, furthering sustainability enhancements.

With solutions tailored to align with green building initiatives, the company optimises energy consumption and fosters a greener future.

By using its expertise and innovative technololgies, clients can actively participate in the green building movement, benefiting from long-term cost savings while making a “profound, positive impact on the environment”, Bohnsack concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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