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!