Air Products, Jeka highlight benefits of solar rooftop installations

Air Products, Jeka highlight benefits of solar rooftop installations
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A solar photovoltaic (PV) roof-mounted power plant system installed at industrial and specialty gas manufacturer and supplier Air Products’ Kempton Park facility generates sufficient energy to meet between 60% and 70% of the facility’s day-time requirements, Air Products GM Maropeng Bahula says.

The plant, installed by black-owned Jeka Energy, can also be expanded into a hybrid system in the future to store energy to cater for the facility’s night-time energy requirements.

The installed system is designed to generate up to 329 394 kWh in its first year of operation.      

Bahula tells Engineering News Online that the power plant forms part of the company’s commitment to sustainability goals.

“Essentially, our aim and our commitment is to ensure we continually reduce our environmental impact,” he avers.

Meanwhile, Bahula says it chose Jeka to install the solar PV plant owing to its record of executing “a project of this nature”, its competent engineers and demonstrated financial acumen.

“[Another] element we looked at was essentially that they have offered us, as part of the system, a remote monitoring system – we can basically monitor the generation of electricity or energy using this solar system,” he highlights.

Engineering News Online also spoke to Jeka Energy CEO Thembani Marhanele, who previously said in a release sent to Engineering News Online, that solar energy was “a valuable tool for companies, such as Air Products, as the solar energy generated can be stored and used during peak demand periods if a hybrid system is installed”.

Marhanele tells Engineering News Online that what makes the Air Products installation unique is that the Kempton Park facility had enough roof space to install solar panels facing East, West and North.

The adequate roof space, Marhanele highlights, allows the facility to cover the energy requirements per building, which “makes it a very different system”.

“Most of the panels are laid in a way that they generate energy in both directions, but we also have a north-facing one, which is custom made as per their specification.”

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