Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons

A combined smoke and natural ventilation system at a leading Western Cape wine grower’s new production facility at Simondium is using chain actuators, monitoring and control solutions from SE Controls Africa to help provide a comfortable and safe working environment.


Smoke and Environmental

Rupert & Rothschild

Rupert & Rothschild

Established in 1997, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons’ new 6,000 m2 winery was constructed to meet growing demand for their wines. The process engineer and principal agent was consultC Engineering and the architectural vision was produced by Malherbe & Rust Architects. 

The new facility is separated into zones, each dedicated to a specific wine production process. Maturation accounts for almost 2,400 m2 of the total area and the remaining capacity is split between fermentation and the storage & blending areas.

In order to meet the ventilation requirements for carbon dioxide(CO2) smoke and natural ventilation, Charl de Kock of consultC Engineering designed individual window automation and control solutions dedicated to each zone. Key switches are also installed to enable localised operation by authorised users. 

By using window automation rather than automatic opening roof vents, the maximum roof space could be made available for solar PV panels, which help reduce energy consumption and plant running costs.

During normal operation, the system uses natural ventilation to allow the day-to-day management of temperatures, while also enabling CO2 produced during the fermentation process to be vented to atmosphere. In the event of a fire, the natural ventilation mode is over-ridden. When the system receives a signal from fire and smoke sensors, the smoke ventilation mode triggers all windows to automatically open fully, which enables smoke to be vented and escape routes to be kept clear.

SE Controls Africa worked closely with smoke control specialist, Curvent International on the system, which uses a total of 44 SECO Ni 24 40 twin chain actuators and nine OS2 SHEVTEC controllers, as well as 4 SELA N linear actuators dedicated to the maturation area. With SE Controls latest SHEVTEC controller, the client now has the resources available to enable remote monitoring of the system’s live performance. This software tool allows parameters to be set and adjusted to meet the requirements of individual installations. With improved data logging functionality, the client has full control over the system and has the ability to record and print events logs. This includes faults, battery low and activation of fire signal. 

Dyllan Seller, General Manager with SE Controls Africa, explained: “We have an immense amount of experience in combined natural and smoke ventilation solutions, which we utilised fully when working on this project. As a result the system provides a safe and comfortable environment for workers at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons’ impressive new facility.”

Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by calling +27 31 466 1857