Tuesday, 23 May 2006

CPUT gives off positive energies

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In trying to fast track its energy-saving Demand Side Management (DSM) project, Eskom has joined hands with the Energy Technology Unit of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) by conducting a three week pilot study to see how much energy can be saved through the retro-fitting of energy saving lamps and other initiatives.

Eskom sponsored five million Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) to the Western Cape as a means of saving 400 MW of energy in the province and thereby reducing blackouts drastically.

Twenty students from the Electrical Engineering Department at CPUT are involved in the 1000 homes project at Flamingo Vlei in Table View. They replace conventional, incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s, which consume only one-fifth of the energy normally consumed by a conventional bulb and CFL’s last six times longer.

Prof Ernst Uken, Head of the Energy Technology Unit (ETU), suggested that apart from the CFLs, Eskom should look at other effective means of saving energy in homes to which Eskom agreed.“Not all energy in homes should be electricity based, you have to give other energy sources a chance, “ said Prof Uken.

Once the 1000 home project is completed, CPUT and Eskom will decide on future extensions of similar projects in the Western Cape and beyond. The Blaauwberg area has also been targeted for a similar project.

Apart from the survey, CPUT hosted the 14th International Conference on the “Domestic Use of Energy” (DUE) at the Cape Town campus. Practitioners and professionals in all fields of domestic energy were invited to examine the most recent developments in the efficient use of energy in the domestic sector.

This conference was of importance as the domestic sector’s energy demand in South Africa has risen so much and the question of electricity has become topical in the light of recent power outages in the Western Cape.

The DUE’s mission is to advance sustainable development in Southern Africa. These countries face many challenges in the electrification and the wider use of household energy.

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Full of Energy: Prof Ernst Uken, Head of the Energy Technology Unit.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za