Vulintaba Country Estate is a lifestyle estate near Newcastle nestled in a picturesque amphitheatre of mountains just 3 hours’ drive away from Gauteng. ‘Vulintaba’ literally means 'Open the Mountains’, and offers a tranquil rustic lifestyle in a pristine setting with glorious mountain views. The resort also boasts a par 72 golf course with 9 greens and 18 unique tees.
Centrally located in the Estate is the top class Vulintaba Country Hotel consisting of 69 rooms, including 58 standard rooms, 4 Family suites, 3 penthouse suites, conference facilities catering for up to 400 people and a wedding chapel with 120 seats.
Obviously, a premier hotel like this called for maximum guest comfort, and Aircat airconditioning of Newcastle were called in to do the airconditioning installation. “Having been in the aircon business for over 20 years,” says Tim Williams, owner of Aircat airconditioning, “I’m well aware of the quality of Samsung airconditioners and these are what were primarily used for the installation.”
Different systems for different areas
Junaid Razack of Fourways Airconditioning KZN did the overall design involving several different areas: lower ground floor, ground floor, first floor, spa plus gym, chapel and 69 rooms.
Says Razack: “For the lower ground floor, we used an AM120 and AM140 Samsung DVM S condenser coupled with sixteen 4-way Samsung Cassettes of varying sizes. Climate control of the ground floor called for two AM120 DVM S outdoor units feeding 5 Samsung 4-way Cassettes plus two 48 000 Btu Alliance Underceiling units.
“One AM100 DVM S outdoor unit linked to four Samsung 4-way Cassettes took care of the first floor, while for the chapel, one AM100 DVM S outdoor was linked to 4-way Cassettes. Each of the 69 rooms had its own Samsung 12 000 Inverter Compact cassette with separate outdoor units. All the different systems were installed by Aircat airconditioning, who did a great job.”
Says Aircat owner, Tim Williams: “Fourways KZN who supplied the units were extremely helpful not only in doing the design and ensuring on-time supply, but also carrying out the final commissioning of all the systems.
“We encountered no problems with the installation which was completed in September 2015, and the owners of Vulintaba, Forever SA, are very satisfied with the final result.”
Singita: ‘a place of miracles’
Singita Lebombo lodge, located on the banks of the N’wanetsi River, is one of the most exclusive lodges in Kruger Park. With 21 luxurious glass-enclosed units overlooking the river, this Afro-chic lodge is a paradise patronised by film stars and royalty. Its name means ‘place of miracles’, and a near-miracle was required to solve a tricky airconditioning problem.
The problem in this paradise was climate control: unsightly and noisy airconditioning units that were disturbing the peace of the bush, while also battling to cope with the heat of Northern Kruger.
Fourways Airconditioning were thus asked to go onsite last year and evaluate the problem.
With ambient temperatures reaching up to 54°C in Summer, a very special solution was called for. Following Fourways’ investigation, it was recommended that the existing ducted splits be removed and replaced with Samsung DVM S units with desert-specification outdoor units. Each lodge would have one DVM S unit with one 28kW ducted indoor connected to it, with separate over/under voltage relays for each system.
The contractor, Johnny Demos of Cudo Point, was in total agreement with Fourways’ recommendation, and Phase 1 of the installation comprising 18 lodges was completed by February 2016. The result is that the airconditioning is now virtually soundless, exponentially increasing the comfort level of these lodges along with guest satisfaction.
What makes this particular installation so unique is that the Singita lodge is completely off-grid, making use only of solar and generator power. Obviously this makes for a very volatile power supply, especially when switching between the two sources. However the Samsung DVM units have run 24 hours a day ever since installation and there have been no reliability issues whatsoever. The lodge owner has now asked Johnny to also replace all the existing other-brand smaller aircon units used at the lodge with Samsung units.
Singita had originally appointed an electrical engineer to set up their power grid, specifying the size of the generators and PV solar banks. When he came to check the power utilisation of the Samsung DVM units, he could hardly believe his eyes, because the Samsung DVM S units were actually saving 60% of the power previously allocated to airconditioning. Truly a remarkable ‘miracle’ at Singita!
Today, Mr Johnny Demos is a happy man because he is now the only airconditioning contractor allowed on Singita Lebombo’s site for the next 5 years, taking care of all their airconditioning and refrigeration needs, and is also looking forward to carrying out a refurbishment on other Singita lodges. No prizes for guessing which airconditioners he will be specifying!