The Queen of Calitzdorp - News | Energy Security Game Changer

The Queen of Calitzdorp

29 June 2017
A guesthouse is harnessing the abundance of sunshine in the Klein Karoo to power its establishment.  

The Queen of Calitzdorp is a fifteen bedroom family owned guesthouse situated in the centre of Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo. The owners, the Leuthold family, took a decision in 2011 to give this over a century old establishment a whole new lease on life.  The owners maintain they are committed to maintaining Kannaland’s reputation as a bio-diverse destination and to keeping countryside values of community, and this was incorporated into the revamp. The approach to the renovation was fourfold: Water Management, Energy Conservation, Renewable Solar Energy and Community Involvement.

The sun shines for an average 330 days of the year in the Klein Karoo and harnessing its power was the obvious next step borne out of the desire to use a clean source of renewable energy.

The Queen conserves energy where it can by using heat-exchange geysers, energy saving lightbulbs, and day/ night and movement sensor lighting.  An array of 48 x 330W panels were installed in 2015 as Stage 1 of the initiative. Due to its success another 24 panels were added this year bringing up the arrays to a total of 72 panels. These arrays supply more than enough energy during the day, even powering air-conditioning. Management is currently focusing efforts on synchronising energy usage with production. This is done by analysing usage patterns to find ways in which they can further cut down overall consumption. Battery storage of the power is not being used, for the time being, due to battery life and disposal concerns. However, a battery system will be implemented once the technology matures.

Water management was applied by adding a 30,000l capacity for rainwater catchment and grey water recycling tank.  This allows the extensive gardens of the property to be irrigated throughout the year with minimal need for precious tap water. A recycling initiative has been implemented as an outreach project in cooperation with one of the residents in the nearby Bergsig community and spent batteries (from TV remotes) and lightbulbs are regularly taken to Cape Town depots for responsible disposal.

Information and images provided by The Queen of Calitzdorp