The Two Oceans Aquarium was designed using low-tech and energy-efficient systems. However, we constantly look for ways to reduce our overall consumption and to run our systems more efficiently using renewable energy, if possible.

Thanks to Project 90x2030, the Aquarium is one of six renewable energy demonstration sites in South Africa. With funding from the German government the Aquarium installed solar panels, and this renewable energy is feeding power to the admin block on the east side of the Aquarium.

Solar panels on the roof of the Two Oceans Aquarium

Other energy initiatives include:

  • Solar water geyser for our diver showers
  • Geyser blankets
  • Reflective, eco-friendly paint on our roof
  • Fluorescent tubes replaced with LED lighting
  • Chiller settings changed and introduced soft starts
  • Waste heat water from chilling process is used to heat tanks
  • Heat pumps installed to replace element heaters
  • Smaller pumps replaced with energy-efficient, variable-speed models that use a third of the power
  • Size of one of our major sumps reduced so that we only need 4 x 4kw heaters rather than the 8 x 4kw heaters we were using
  • Acceptable temperatures in the public spaces reduced/increased to reduce the heating/cooling requirements, therefore chillers/heaters work less
  • Chilling/heating for Shoreline Café has been shut off as this is an open-air space (open doors on all sides) and we cannot control the temperature
  • Units installed in the freezer that switch on the chillers only when the product temperature starts to increase rather than responding to air temperature, as this is very variable due to people entering and leaving frequently
  • Switched off non-essential hot taps
  • Solar powered outreach vehicle

In collaboration with Martin Pollack of Treetops Renewable Energy Systems, we designed a tailor-made renewable energy system for our outreach vehicle (we transport marine animals to schools that cannot afford a visit to the Aquarium). The system was designed to meet all the equipment requirements and still function in the most sustainable and effective way. Previously, the van had to be plugged into the electricity grid to charge the batteries, which in turn ran the life-support equipment and systems. After a complete overhaul, the van now sports solar panels on its roof, a new water chiller and circulation pump, as well as new batteries.

For the full story click here.

We were also the subject of an Eskom case study. Read the brochure here.