Solar heating for Municipal Rest Camp

Nearly N$2 million will be forked out to replace an old heat pump at the Municipal Rest Camp with a green heating option.

03 December 2018 | Government

Swakopmund Town Council; “. . . replacing the heating system is an urgent matter that cannot wait until the next financial year.”

Jessica Botes

In an effort to become more ‘green’ the Swakopmund Town Council has approved the installation of a solar geyser system at the Municipal Rest Camp.

According to council it is vital that the current system be replaced in order to offer good customer service and address the numerous complaints received due to a lack of hot water. Installing the solar geyser system is also in line with council’s strategy of sustainable development.

For the past 30 years, the rest camp has been using a heat pump to warm its water.

“At the moment the system is experiencing breakdowns and for the past five years, more than N$100 000 has been spent to repair or maintain it. In addition the system is outdated which makes it difficult to find spare parts or source a specialist to identify faults,” said council during its most recent ordinary council meeting.

The community development services department of the municipality carried out a study to determine the best heating option for the rest camp. Various experts were consulted who recommended the solar heating system for a number of reasons.

The system would automatically switch over to electricity when the desired temperature is not reached due to insufficient sunlight. Solar energy is also a natural and renewable resource and water can be heated on cloudy days as solar heaters use different energy in the atmosphere to heat water. Solar heaters hardly require maintenance. It is a once-off investment that goes a long way because these heaters can last up to 20 years.

The municipality could also save money on electric bills and the rest camp would have hot water even if there are power cuts.

According to council the system would cost an estimated N$1.9 million.

“Unfortunately, no financial provision has been made in the current financial year. On the other hand, replacing the heating system is an urgent matter that cannot wait until the next financial year.”

Council recommended that an amount of N$250 000 earmarked for the repair of the current heating system and N$816 000 earmarked for the renovation of some of the rest camp houses be utilised for the solar geyser system.

The installation of the solar geysers will be implemented in two phases because of the lack of sufficient funds.

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