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Plentify to roll-out Hotbot™ to help ease loadshedding


Plentify to roll-out Hotbot™ to help ease loadshedding
28-11-22 / Tommy Jackson

Plentify to roll-out Hotbot™ to help ease loadshedding

Johannesburg  - At a time when loadshedding has never been worse, smart energy company, Plentify, has announced that it is building a revolutionary solution for South Africa.

With a mission to enable utilities to deliver affordable, clean and reliable energy, the company says it aims to play a meaningful role to curb loadshedding, and aid in transitioning homes towards clean energy in the near term.

Plentify says HotBot™, is the smartest geyser controller, and it is a device that fits onto a home geyser. "HotBot learns and adapts to a household's hot water needs, shifting electricity demand away from peak times when the grid struggles the most. Its smart savings technology figures out the most efficient way to give you hot water with available energy, ultimately reducing impact on the grid," says Plentify Chief Executive Officer, Jon Kornik.

In addition, HotBot™ is now Loadshedding Aware™, meaning that it monitors loadshedding schedules in real-time, and pre-heats your geyser if hot water is needed during or soon after loadshedding, it says, further explaining that unlike other geyser timers or controllers, this will save people from cold showers, or drained batteries for those who rely on backup power for their geyser.

The smart device also has its built-in surge protection that helps protects your geyser when electricity comes back on.

And there's numbers to back it up.

To demonstrate how geysers can be used as a fix for loadshedding, Plentify is running a project in collaboration with the City of Cape Town. Based on findings from Project Smart Geyser, Plentify was able to calculate that 75 000 Hotbots installed in Cape Town in 2021, would have been able to eliminate 80% of the total loadshedding in that year.

Next up, says Plentify, is Gauteng where the team plans to run a similar project to assess Hotbot's potential impact on the city.

"The exciting thing is that if we are able to reach a critical mass of users, we'd be able to eliminate an entire stage of loadshedding," says Kornik.

Convenience and Cost Offering

The ability to control HotBot from a phone means geysers can be controlled remotely, allowing people to receive live temperature updates, switch off their geysers when they're away from home or on holiday, and, in combination with Loadshedding Aware™, ensure there's hot water when needed.

Plentify says Hotbot is also able to detect if your geyser has any problems, like losing more heat than it should or relying on a failing thermostat, and for peace of mind, it is also able to detect and automatically turn off water to a leaking geyser, protecting your home from further damage.

With geysers responsible for up to 60% of an electricity bill, HotBot can save you up to 30% of that amount — which works out to an average of R250 per month, across all of Plentify's customers (and even more if inefficiencies are detected).

"HotBot adapts to your hot water habits, and eliminates the trade-off between saving money at the expense of hot water," says Kornik

Clean Energy Offering

A major issue with renewable energy is that it isn't always produced when people want electricity, creating a disparity between supply and demand. You can solve this problem with batteries, but those are expensive. This is where an affordable device like HotBot proves invaluable.

Hotbot is able to draw electricity when renewable energy is available, making sure customers are able to enjoy hot water at their convenience without relying on battery power. And coupled with solar panels, one HotBot will save each home about one tonne of carbon emissions per year, says Plentify.

"If we look toward 2050 and imagine the energy system at that point, there is no way we will balance irregular supply from renewables unless we're able to manage flexible demand. This is not only a fundamental ingredient to the energy transition, it's also how we go about fixing loadshedding: by shifting demand away from the grid when it's at highest risk of failing, to times when energy is more abundant," concludes Kornik.

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