[Lesotho] Malealea Lodge: Building on solar thermal successes
In 2016, Bethel Business Community and Development Centre (BBCDC) installed five 150 litre solar water heaters as a pilot project at Malealea Lodge. After monitoring and evaluating the project for 6 months, a decision was taken by the lodge to install another five systems in 2017, again with BBCDC’S help.
Through monitoring, it was found that the geysers were effective for at least 300 days of the year, and during this time, produced a wholly adequate amount of hot water for the establishment’s guests.
During the rainy season, when a lot of overcast conditions occur, the output of the solar geysers needs to be carefully monitored. When the solar output is not sufficient, staff at the lodge switch back to the original gas geysers as a backup. The system was designed so that the change over is extremely simple.
The savings on gas has been significant due to the ample amount solar radiation the lodge receives for much of the year, and plans are afoot to install another 10 systems in the not too distant future.