24 May 2012 – A member of the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (Sessa), Pacific Solar Technologies has provided the collectors for an ambitious solar water heating project in China. According to the company’s Sarel Joubert, some 330 m2 of non-pressurised solar collectors were installed for the Sheraton Hotel in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China, to bring the total area to 660 m2.

The products, which are available in South Africa, have achieved SABS certification and are manufactured under international standards such as ISO9001; ISO14001; OHSAS18001; CE; German Solar Keymark certification and Australian standards certification.

The collectors installed for the Sheraton Jinan provide 40 tonnes, or 40 000 litres, of hot water daily for use in the hotel’s kitchens and bathrooms saving it an estimate of 331.1 MWh each year according to manager Liu Zong.

“This solar system is a cost-effective and reliable way of generating hot water,” Zong says. “That is why we decided to meet 100% of the total hot water demand of the Sheraton Jinan Hotel by extending our solar system from 330 m2 in 2009 to 660 m2.”

Joubert calculated the payback period at only 28 months and says that the system, over its 15 year life span, is expected to save 930 tonnes of coal and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,800 tonnes.

“Since green products and services are becoming more important to customers, solar thermal technology represents an opportunity for the hotel industry to not only save energy costs, but make a contribution to a sustainable use of energy at the same time,” he says. “The Sheraton Jinan is proof of what can be achieved and, given South Africa’s high levels of solar radiation, should be easily duplicated by every hotel in the country.”