Industrial Geysers

There are many hot water generation systems that service the South African Hospitality sector. The geyser (or hot water tank) is one of the highest electricity consuming products in hotels as all guests tend to enjoy a regular hot bath or shower during their stay.  Other water heating systems may include steam to water systems or gas fired thermal exchange units. This section concentrates specifically in electric powered geyser hot water systems but be well aware that the new South African standard requirements for all new building specifies ‘a minimum of 50 % by volume of the annual average hot water heating requirement shall be provided by means other than electrical resistance heating, including, but not limited to, solar heating, heat pumps, heat recovery from other systems or processes’ SANS204 clause

What you need to know:

  • New regulation specifies that geysers and tanks shall be insulated with a material achieving a minimum R-value of 2,0. NOTE To achieve this value, insulation in the form of a geyser blanket may be needed in addition to the manufacturers’ installed insulation.
  • A new geyser will cost you anything from R2500.00 upwards depending on size
  • A geyser temperature should ideally be set to a maximum of 60 degrees to ensure optimal economy
  • There are a number of energy saving products available to hotel owners/managers who do not wish to go the solar route or the existing lifespan of their current geyser still has some years to run. These products include Load Control Units (Relay or Timer) and Geyser Blankets amongst others
  • South Africa has many reputable geyser manufacturers. Most manufacturers do not deal with the public directly. For example a manufacturer like Kwikot does not sell directly to the homeowner. Instead, geyser manufacturers rely on various middlemen which include wholesalers, retailers and intermediaries like accredited plumbing companies
  • To ensure optimum efficiency, strike a balance between your guests hot water requirements over the high demand periods with the periods of low demand where consumption can be reduced.    
  • Latest geyser relay timer models also include remote energy management of multiple geysers offering multi-function management via satellite monitoring

Load Control Unit (Relay or Timer) For Geysers

If you are using a standard geyser to supply hot water needs to your hotel, lodge, B&B or guest house, then consider installing a Relay Timer. It is a cheap, quick and easy way to regulate the amount of electricity directed to your hotel geyser or geysers. The device allows your geyser to operate more efficiently by turning it off during the periods of the day or weekends when hot water is not required and then switching it on for peak hot water demand periods.  A relay timer or load control unit as it is sometimes called can be customised according to your own hotel needs by simple programming. There are devices available on the market that can regulate multiple geysers from a remote location. See the Green Your Hotel Special Offers

What you need to know:

  • This energy saving option can be fitted to your existing geysers
  • A saving of up to 60% of your geyser energy consumption is achievable depending on your hot water usage and up to 25% savings on your overall electricity bill
  • Expect to pay between R500 and up to R2000.00 for the device (excluding fitting)
  • Payback period:  between 6 to 12 months depending on cost of the device and the amount of hot water consumption
  • Incentive – Yes! Through their ‘Integrated Demand Management (IDM)’ programme  , Eskom makes funds available to its clients in support of reduced energy demand or consumption. There are a number of different subsidised funding options. The geyser control unit can fall into a rebate incentive scheme that best suites the type of hotel operation you run. Check out: funding-options
  • The relay timer can also be used in conjunction with other energy saving technologies like solar water heating.
  • Latest models also include remote energy management of multiple geysers offering multi-function management via satellite monitoring.
  • Green Your Hotel and Geyserwise are currently running a special offer on a control unit with installation – Read More

Geyser Blankets

A geyser blanket provides extra insulation for your geyser, improving its heat retention ability.

What you need to know:

  • A geysers temperature drops when not in use triggering the thermostat (temperature monitoring device) to activate reheating on an ongoing basis. A geyser blanket eliminates the frequency of this occurrence by promoting heat retention.
  • Approximately 20% reduction in energy costs is achievable if wrapped properly with a further possible 10% if the inlet and outlet pipes are also properly wrapped (see pipe wrapping).
  • Expect to pay anything from R150 for A small blanket (100L), R200 for medium (150L – 200L) and R250.00 upwards for 250 to 300L blanket.
  • An all in charge of R 500.00 should include delivery and fitting.
  • The payback period is usually between 3 and 6 months depending on hot water consumption.
  • It is maintenance free and easy to fit provided you have free access to the area around the geyser.


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