In order to better their eco friendly credentials, while most automakers have shifted their focus towards fuel-efficient and low-emission hybrid and electric vehicles, Kia Motors South Africa is betting on the use of solar power to power its dealerships. The company has announced that it will be opening its first environmentally friendly dealership in Weltevereden Park later this month. The dealership, which the first-of-its-kind in the local automotive industry, will be powered entirely by solar energy.
The 3620sqm dealership will feature 288 roof-mounted solar panels that will collectively generate about 69kW of renewable power, enough to power 22 average households, each day. The energy generated by the solar panel array will be split by three converters, providing three-phase electricity at 50Hz and 240V. While the dealership is expected to use most of this renewable energy, any excess energy will be stored in three state-of-the-art battery banks, which will serve as a back-up system for use during bad weather conditions. The batteries are expected to store enough electricity to power the entire dealership for 12 hours.
Moreover, the dealership will also make use of energy-efficient lighting fixtures such as CFLs to reduce overall energy consumption. Apart from doing pretty well on the renewable energy scale, the dealership will also collect rainwater from the facility’s roof, which will then be stored in six containers, each with a holding capacity of 10,000 liters. This water will then be pumped into the car wash where it is used. After washing cars, the same water will be pumped back into the water filtration system, which gets rid of oil, soap and dirt and then re-uses this water in the car wash bay.