MANILA, Philippines—Today, there is a growing concern about protecting Mother Earth, and people are looking for ways to conserve resources.
Edward Marcs Philippines Inc. (EMPI), which started its business in 1984, takes pride that they are the first to apply solar energy in various applications.
“Initially, we were focusing on trading electro-mechanical equipment and spare parts, and transmission line materials for companies engaged in power generation and distribution,” Felix Richard A. Cordova, EMPI president and chief executive officer, says.
The company has been recognized as a reputable supplier to different companies, such as the National Power Corp., Transmission Corp. of the Philippines (now National Grid Corp. of the Philippines), Philippine National Oil Co., Bauang Private Power Corp., Mirant Philippines Corp., Panay Power Corp., San Miguel Corp., Goodyear Philippines and Fortune Tobacco Inc.
However, in 1997, EMPI thought of venturing into new and renewable energy.
“Since our exposure is in the energy sector, we noted the growing dependence of the country on fossil fuel and the ill effects of coal-fired power plants to the environment,” Cordova says.
EMPI then introduced the solar water heater using flat plate panels. Later on, the company launched in the Philippines the evacuated heat-pipe solar water heating system.
“It has greater efficiency in terms of solar thermal heat collection,” Cordova says.
Alternative energy sources
Over the years, EMPI continued to search for alternative sources of energy that could not only provide hot water but also give power to run basic appliances for household use.
“We thought of using solar photovoltaic panels. And through the help of the Department of Energy and other government agencies focused on renewable energy, we carried it out in several rural electrification projects throughout the country,” Cordova says.
Today, EMPI can design solar energy system for different applications such as solar home lighting, solar streetlight, solar water pumping, solar lighting for communal facilities and more, depending on its clients’ need.
The latest innovation in solar technology that EMPI introduced is the solar-assisted air conditioner or the Sedna Aire Solar Absorption Air-Conditioning System.
“Two years ago, we brought to the Philippines the solar-assisted air conditioner,” Cordova says. “By just two-hour sunlight exposure, savings can be achieved up to 96 hours,” he adds.
Ramon L. Ycasiano, EMPI’s business development officer, says it spells a lot of savings for the people consumer and preservation of the nature’s resources used for power generation.
“Because of the nature of our climate here in the Philippines, the majority of the energy consumption in homes, offices, factories and other institutional facilities is used to power air-conditioning units. The solar-assisted air conditioner will relieve as much as 50 percent of energy for other use,” he adds.
According to Ycasiano, under the Sedna Aire Solar Absorption Air-Conditioning System, the solar evacuated tubes are used to superheat the ozone-friendly refrigerant. This minimizes the function of the compressor, thereby reducing its power consumption.
These solar-assisted air-conditioning units also happen to be the only ones that are color green, symbolic of it being environment-friendly.
“Although it still uses electricity to pump the refrigerant and activate the blower, the power requirement is already reduced since the superheating function of the compressor is already being done by the solar collector,” Ycasiano says.
The solar-assisted air con has helped EMPI gain a lot of satisfied customers, Cordova reveals. Today, it is being used by several companies already, such as Nestlé Philippines (Cavite and Cagayan de Oro facilities), Club Manila East, Unilever Philippines, Legend Villas along Pioneer Street, Ayala Property Management Corp., Davao Invent Foods Corp., Department of Environment and Natural Resources-GTZ office, Casa Leticia Resort and many others.
“The latest company to have availed of the Sedna Aire installation is the Makati Medical Center,” Cordova says. “It is the first hospital in the country to use solar-assisted air-conditioning units.”
Ycasiano admits that Sedna Aire Solar Absorption Air-Conditioning System is more expensive than the regular air-conditioning system.
“That’s why we always inform clients. If you’re not a heavy user, it is not yet for you,” Ycasiano says. “But if you’re using your air con for 10 hours a day, you can save using this.”
This solar-assisted air conditioner is the only one of its kind that can give you returns of investment (ROI), according to Ycasiano. “That’s why we call it investment. And how fast you can get your ROI really depends on how heavy you’re using air conditioner.”
“Payback for 22-hour users of air conditioner is less than a year,” he says.
Cordova says that with the rising cost of electricity and growing concern over climate change, the demand for alternative sources of energy is increasing.
“With the right support and resources, we intend to provide more quality products that use alternative sources of energy in the coming years,” he says.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:04:00 11/04/2010
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