The development of a methodology to measure & verify the impact of a national solar water heating program
Coetzee, René Pierré
MetadataShow full item record
The School for Mechanical Engineering at the North-West University is home to one of South Africa's most established Measurement & Verification (M&V) teams. The team is involved with South Africa's electricity utility, Eskom, and their efforts to reduce the energy demand of the nation through Demand Side Management (DSM). One of the DSM initiatives in the residential energy sector is a National Solar Water Heating Program which encourages homeowners to purchase and install an Eskom accredited solar water heating system by means of a financial incentive. Massive financial investments have been incurred and it is only natural for stakeholders to question their return on investment. The need consequently exists to determine the impact of the National Solar Water Heating Program and establish whether it is being sustained. Before developing a methodology to measure and verify the impact of a solar water heating program an in-depth study had to be done on M&V as well as the concepts around solar water heating itself. After considering financial, time and accuracy constraints it was decided that an M&V Solar Water Heating Application along with the M&V methodology be developed. The primary aim of the application was to simulate the electrical hot water demand caused by the electrical-backup elements of the solar water heating systems and thereby avoiding the logistically and financially impossible process of measuring the electrical demand. A high-level simulation application, based on energy balances, was developed with solar water heating system types, geographical locations, weather conditions, hot water demand profiles and installation positions as inputs. The outputs of the application were the uncontrolled, simulated electrical hot water demand and were compared to the actual measured electrical hot water demand of a solar water heating system located in Cape Town. The outputs from two scenarios were compared to the measured data; one calculated with weather data from the global weather database Meteonorm, and the second calculated with the measured weather parameters acquired during the measurement period. The first scenario indicated relative accuracy with a mean bias error (MBE) and coefficient of variation of the root mean squared errors (CV (RMSE)) of 13.5% and 16.00/o respectively. The second scenario revealed improved accuracy with an MBE and CV (RMSE) of -1.1% and 5.5% respectively. The M&V Solar Water Heating Application and methodology has set the process in motion to measure and verify the impact of the National Solar Water Heating Program and will be refined as more data and information become available.
- Engineering