Werner Weiss hands over bursary to Anna Amupolo of Namibia University of Science and TechnologySOLTRAIN Editor, 21 July 2017
The bursary is for Anna's research on a comparative study of solar water heater and electrical geyser in terms of performance and financial benefits and the research endeavour seeks to provide proof of concept that a solar water heater is a longterm investment that will save money spent on water heating after the system has paid for itself.
The main objective of this research is to evaluate the economic cost of solar water heater and electrical geyser and this can be achieved by finding the present value of installing a SWH, the present value for installing an electrical geyser, the present value of saving for each system and finding the pay-back period.
This research will also evaluate the energy performance of the solar water heating system based on its long-term thermal performance and efficiency. Since it aims to promote the use of renewable energy, it will also help the consumers to choose the most efficient systems.
The awarding of the bursary is part of a SOLTRAIN initiative to provide support to masters students studying and researching in the field of solar thermal energy which you can find more detail on at this link.
Bursaries for Masters Students Working on Solar Thermal ProjectsMonika Spörk-Dür & Werner Weiss, 11 July 2017
To support the aims of the SOLTRAIN project in the partner countries Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and to motivate students at universities to do their masters thesis in the field of solar thermal, four students have been awarded bursaries to facilitate their research. The bursary supports travel costs to visit another institution in Southern Africa for further study or experimental work, equipment to conduct experiments to support the research and running cost of experimental work or further studies.Read more
All of the partner countries invited students to participate in the bursary program. By the end of March 2017, 19 applications had been received, comprising four female and fifteen male students. The share in respect of countries was five applications from South Africa, eight from Zimbabwe and seven from Namibia. There were no applications from Lesotho and Mozambique. Topics submitted ranged from more theoretical studies to work on real systems and the building of prototypes. A jury evaluated the applications in terms of relevance, feasibility and budget required.
Based on the evaluation, the four students with the highest scores were awarded the bursaries. There was a good distribution concerning gender (two female and two male students) and country balance, with two students hailing from Zimbabwe and one each from South Africa and Namibia.
A report describing and illustrating the research work, including the description of the studies undertaken and results of the research work will be available for each of the awarded research studies by the end of 2017. In 2018 a second round for applications will take place.
Gamuchirai Mutubuki from National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, is going to work on the design of a hybrid vapor absorption milk chiller (solar and biogas) for small scale dairy farms in Zimbabwe. In this project solar thermal energy will be used for cooling the milk during the day time when there is plenty of sunlight, and biogas energy will be used at night or when there is no sunlight. The heated water will be used to run the chiller, cleaning all the dairy equipment and for the employees' bathing.
In Zimbabwe, small scale dairy farmers use firewood for pasteurization and there are poor cooling methods. Dairy equipment, specifically pasteurizers and chillers, consume a lot of energy. This project is planned to eliminate the costly energy source of the chiller and thereby reduce day to day running costs of the dairy plant. It will investigate how dairy farmers located in the rural areas can be supported with this new technological approach.
Mandlenkosi Sikhonza from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, is going to design and monitor the performance of an innovative residential prototype solar air source heat pump water heater. The residential solar air source heat pump water heater will comprise a heat pump unit of 0.5 kW input power, a 1 kW solar PV panel, an inbuilt inverter circuit and a 100 litre storage tank.There will also be a 24V DC battery with a charging capacity of 10 Ah. The solar air source heat pump water heater uses two sources of renewable energy, solar and aerothermal energy, to produce the desired hot water for sanitary purposes. The two electrically driven components of the system are the compressor and the fan. The performance of the 100 litre residential solar air source heat pump water heater under controlled simulated hot water drawn off at specific period of the day (morning, afternoon and evening) will be compared to a 100 litre flat plate solar water heater as well as a 100 litre air source heat pump water heater and a 100 litre high pressure electric geyser.
Guidence Muchengeti from National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe is going to explore solar thermal integration opportunities for the tourism and hospitality sector in Zimbabwe.
Four research areas will be selected and solar thermal surveys will be carried out. The current heating systems being used in these tourism facilities will be assessed and the hot water demand will be analysed for optimal design of the solar thermal heating system. The research will also seek to determine the breakeven points for different operating conditions for hotels in Zimbabwe.
The use of solar water heating in Zimbabwe has been largely driven by domestic installations, however there is potential in the hospitality industry, hence the need to unlock demand of solar water heating systems in the hospitality industry in Zimbabwe. The study is aimed at improving the collector area per capita for Zimbabwe.
Anna Amupolo from Namibia University of Science and Technology is going to do her research on a comparative study of solar water heater and electrical geyser in terms of performance and financial benefits. The research work seeks to provide proof of concept that a solar water heater is a longterm investment that will save money spent on water heating after the system has paid for itself. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the economic cost of solar water heater and electrical geyser and this can be achieved by finding the present value of installing a SWH, the present value for installing an electrical geyser, the present value of saving for each system and finding the pay-back period.
This research will also evaluate the energy performance of the solar water heating system based on its long-term thermal performance and efficiency. Since it aims to promote the use of renewable energy, it will also help the consumers to choose the most efficient systems.
SOLTRAIN Demonstration Systems at Malealea Lodge and Pony Trekking Centre in LesothoIvan Yaholnitsky, 10 July 2017
Malealea Lodge is a 55 room lodge with bar,dining room, recreational hall and thrivingtourism business. It is located about 75km from Maseru in the Mafeteng District and hosts approximately 5 000 visitors per year. There are 28 permanent staff, 12 temporary, 15 pony trekking guides, 30 horse owners, and 15 hiking guides working as commercial community partners. The contribution of the Lodge to the local community is immense.Read more
In August 2016, the status quo at the Lodge was the following from a power and energy perspective: electrical power was available for 5 hours daily from 16:00 to 21:00 and provided by a 35KVA diesel genset that burned approximately 35 litres of fuel per day. All hot water was provided by LPG instant heaters and 48kg cylinders. There was a problem with the availability of water and quality especially in summer because of intermittent flooding and contamination of the source.
Several issues of an economic and technical nature were apparent in this situation. The advent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 provides a good framework for understanding this cluster of problems at Malealea and how they were addressed. The SDGs comprise an interdisciplinary structure which grasps the connection between problems. In plain speak you have to solve several problems all together in most instances. SDG 17 is Partnerships for the Goals and its underlying logic is that complex networks are necessarily involved in the solution of most problems. The basis for SDG17 is trust, discipline, organizational efficiency and excellent communications.
A complementary group of social, business and institutional forces combined in this example to carry out the necessary work. The network included Malealea Lodge and Pony Trekking, SOLTRAIN III Lesotho, Telecom Techniques which is major integrated renewable energy business located in Port Elizabeth, and Bethel Business and Community Development Centre/Solarsoft.
The people involved included Glen and Mick Jones (Malealea), Werner Weiss (AEE Intec/ SOLTRAIN), Andre Friend (Telecom Techniques), Ivan Yaholnitsky, Sehloho Holomo and Stephen Lelimo (BBCDC), and BBCDC graduates.
A cluster of technologies and social capital assembled, went to work and materialized in an orderly fashion overall. BBCDC and Telecom Techniques replaced the diesel generator with an 8.4kW solar micro-grid, and BBCDC renovated the water supply infrastructure. Once this was done, SOLTRAIN came to the fore and facilitated installation of 1 x 100 litre solar water heater (SWH), followed by 5 x 150 SWH, followed by another order for 5 x 150 SWH just 3 months later.
The success of this project is due to the professionalism and commitment of all parties involved. Malealea Lodge has resolved in the long term program to phase out all the LPG water heating equipment and replace it with SWHs. Silent clean power is now available 24/7, water quality and availability is enhanced along with pumping infrastructure, and 11 SWHs are operating daily.
Radiation conditions in Lesotho are generally excellent, and according to the manager Glen Jones, since installation of the SWHs, there was no need for back-up in the rooms equipped with SWHs after several months of operating experience.
Data monitoring and analysis for NamibiaHelvi Ileka and Fenni Shidhika, 10 July 2017
SOLTRAIN has financed monitoring equipment that is now installed at four of the 62 houses equipped with solar water heating systems (SWH), and at two houses meeting their hot water requirements through electric geysers. The low cost houses low cost were constructed by the National Housing Enterprises (NHE), in Otjomuise, Windhoek. Additional monitoring equipment has also been installed at a residential house in Dorado Park and at Joe’s Beer house.Read more
Existing monitoring equipment which was installed under SOLTRAIN I at Katutura hospital has also been revived after a system refurbish in 2015, with the antenna of the modem being extended in order to alleviate data transmission problems.
The results of the data analysis of solar water heaters at NHE houses were presented at the “Revision of the Blueprint and Development of a Strategy to Guide the Implementation for the Mass Housing Development Programme”, that was held at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in late March, 2017.
Two bachelors students in the electrical and computer engineering field at NUST are at advanced stages of writing up their final research projects using the NHE housing project’s data.
Collected data was computed to determine the harvested solar energy, the hot water consumption, and the share of additional backup electrical consumption, and was compared to the main total consumption at the houses. The results of the computation are shown in figure 1 for all 4 houses equipped with thermosiphon solar water heaters, and two with conventional geysers.
Summary of the data analysis:
If a solar water heating system of the correct size is installed, no electrical backup is needed as can be seen with House 1 that used 100% solar power to heat up the water from March 2016 to February 2017. In contrast, House 2’s SWH system is under-designed, resulting in the need for an additional 74 kWh to heat up the water with an electrical backup element, representing 33% of total energy consumption.
Other information that came to light was that the hot water demand per person is between 13 and 60 litres per day, and that overall electricity demand for houses without solar systems is significantly higher than for houses with a SWH system installed.
SOLTRAIN updates from LesothoPuleng Mosothoane, 8 May 2017
SOLTRAIN Lesotho has provided updates on recent activities, including the 3rd SOLTRAIN Lesotho Roadmap Meeting, Quality Inspector training and further developments regarding its parabolic solar bread baking technology.Read more
SOLTRAIN Lesotho: 3rd SOLTRAIN Roadmap meeting in Lesotho
The 3RD SOLTRAIN Roadmap Meeting was held at Avani Maseru in late February at which the results of the previous meeting were presented. Important guests who were present included Werner Weiss and Rudolf Moschik from AEE-INTEC. The welcoming remarks were made by Mr Liketso Ntho representing the Department of Energy. There were at least twenty eight 28 participants from different stakeholders including, solar companies, research institutions, government, academia and other interested parties.
SOLTRAIN Lesotho: Quality Inspector training
A quality inspector training session was carried out in late February at the Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC). The course was led by Rudolf Moschik and Werner Weiss from AEE-INTEC and Martin Coetzee from the Institute of Plumbing SA (IOPSA). There were ten participants from different organizations who had all attended previous SOLTRAIN courses.
BBCDC solar parabolic bread baking technology technology making waves
In December 2016, Ivan Yaholnitsky and students continued with the development of their parabolic bread baking technology with the fabrication of a new parabola for export to a client in South Africa.
Solar power was used for all the cutting and welding needs of the parabola, thus minimising its embodied energy. The parabola is a robust, simple device, appropriate for supporting cottage food industries on a dispersed and decentralized basis. A full arc template was built from scratch for the shaping of the parabola.
BBCDC in the news
The Global Solar Thermal Council has published an article on the BBCDC - entitled SOLTRAIN Lesotho: Small Country, Big Accomplishments
SOLTRAIN hands over demonstration trailer to University of Botswana’s Clean Energy Research CentreDr. Edwin Matlotse, 8 May 2017The handing-over ceremony of a solar trailer to the University of Botswana’s Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) took place in early March at the university’s Conference Centre. The 25,000.00 EURO trailer was donated to the institution by SOLTRAIN. During the ceremony, the keys to the trailer were handed over by Mr Rudi Moschik from AEE-INTEC to Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Professor Martin M. Mokgwathi. Read more
“University of Botswana is the oldest and largest university in Botswana with a proud history of having served the nation diligently over the last 32 years of existence” said Mokgwathi, reminding the audience during his opening remarks that “the bulk of Botswana’s public and private sector leaders, managers, professionals, and officials had gone through the gates of this institution”.
He emphasized how “the trailer will serve to strengthen several areas of the University’s strategy, particularly engagement and entrepreneurship, and enhancing capabilities and research” and outlined some of SOLTRAIN Botswana’s key milestones to date, including the three solar thermal training courses conducted to date, the formation of the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Platform and the preparation of the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for the period 2017-2030.
Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), Dr. Edwin Matlotse, introduced details of the SOLTRAIN project to guests, emphasising the importance of information sharing among partner countries. He outlined SOLTRAIN’s aim to provide target countries with support towards transforming from a largely fossil fuel based energy supply system, to a sustainable supply structure based on renewable energy through training in the design, installation and maintenance of solar thermal systems used in heating and cooling.
“With this trailer, we will be able to undertake public awareness campaigns and enhance training as it demonstrates all of the solar thermal technologies,’’ he said, adding his assurance that CERC would make the demonstration project a great success. Dr. Matlotse concluded his remarks by thanking the SOLTRAIN project sponsors for preaching solar thermal comfort at the national and regional levels.
Guest speaker, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Mr. Dikagiso Bogatsu Mokotedi, delivered a keynote address, noting how, despite being a relative latecomer to the programme, SOLTRAIN Botswana had already made great strides in a very short period of time, particularly that the programme had trained 50 people so far. He further thanked SOLTRAIN for their concerted effort in ensuring that the country embarks on the use of solar thermal energy in heating and cooling.
The formalities were concluded with a tour of the trailer itself.
South Africa: SOLTRAIN Presence at African Energy IndabaKhothatso Mpheqeke, 26 April 2017The Africa Energy Indaba is an annual conference that engages in discussions and seeks solutions to enable adequate energy generation across the continent, and which covers the renewable and non-renewable sectors. The conference took place in February at the Sandton Convention Centre. Read moreEach year SANEDI exhibits all their programmes and projects at this event. There were a number of delegates who approached the SANEDI stand with an interest in solar thermal and some had knowledge of the SOLTRAIN project. As always we informed visitors to the stand of what the SOLTRAIN projec entails, as well as its achievements and goals. We hosted a media panel discussion which focused on renewable energy in South Africa and colleague Dr. Karen Surridge-Talbot raised skills development and SANEDI ‘s involvement in it. We were lucky enough that a gentleman from the Austrian Embassy visited the SANEDI stand and was very impressed with SOLTRAIN ‘s progress to date!
Concrete steps towards implementation of the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for NamibiaZivayi Chiguvare, 13 December 2016
The Permanent Secretary in the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy, Mr. Simeon Negumbo, has expressed his appreciation and gratitude for initiatives such as the Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN), which is viewed as one of the best strategies for the implementation of the Cabinet Directive of 2007 on solar water heaters, and is looking forward to the Roadmap Implementation Plan which is in line with national programmes. He said this while addressing the solar thermal technologies stakeholders in Windhoek, on 20 October, 2016.Read more
Members of the Solar Thermal Technology Platform (STTP) Namibia Steering Committee were also introduced to stakeholders during a workshop on the Implementation Plan of Namibia’s Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap under the SOLTRAIN project. The workshop was organised by the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), together with Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).
During the stakeholders’ workshop, concrete steps, which included the formation of five working groups to work on the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap implementation plan for Namibia, were also taken.
The working groups deal with issues of capacity building and training, government subsidy and policy framework conditions to support the use of solar water heating systems, implementation steps in the mass housing programme of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), different applications of solar thermal in housing, industry and commercial and demand side management. Roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder group for three years until November 2019 were also clarified.
Werner Weiss, the project leader from AEE-INTEC, spoke on the Implementation Plan of Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap and the global perspective. He highlighted different support schemes for road map implementation, giving examples of Tunisia, Lebanon, Poland and Bulgaria’s funding mechanisms towards solar thermal technology. China, USA and Germany were presented among 10 leading countries in Solar Thermal technology and usage, who have policies in place that support Solar Thermal Technologies.
Ms Lydia Mulunga, from the Electricity Control Board (ECB), presented the final draft of the Namibian Renewable Energy Policy, where she highlighted that the Solar Thermal Road Map had been adopted by the Renewable Energy Policy, together with its goals and objectives.
Group members under the leadership of Steering Committee Members met the next day to discuss the outline and to give more input to the implementation plan. The first draft of the Implementation Plan for the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap will be presented at the SOLTRAIN Conference which will bring all SOLTRAIN partners to Windhoek, on 22-24 February 2017.
The members of the STTP Steering Committee include the following people: Mr Nico Snyders from MME (Chairperson), Dr Zivayi Chiguvare from NEI (Deputy Chairperson), Mr Vilyo Kuutondokwa (MME-Alternate Chairperson), Ms Helvi Ileka (NEI - Alternate Deputy Chair), Mr Canisius Matsungo (Ministry of Works and Transport), Dr Al-Mas Sendegeya (NUST), Mr Phellemon Kalume (Valombola Vocational Training Centre), Mr Alpheas Shindi (National Training Authority), Ms Niita - Iishuna Amakutsi (MME-Solar Revolving Fund), Ms Aina-Maria Iteta (Environmental Investment Fund), Mr David Jarret (RDJ Consulting) , Dr Detlof von Oertzen (VO Consulting), Mr. Levy Nakatana (National Youth Service) and Mr Gadney Gordon (NamPower) and Tonateni Amakutuwa (Electricity Control Board).
First Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap meeting held in LesothoPuleng Mosothoane, 13 December 2016
Lesotho’s first Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap meeting was held during the second week of October at the Avani Lesotho Hotel in Maseru. Although only 26 of expected 40 participants attended, the gathering consisted of a diverse set of stakeholders in the renewable energy and allied fields, including solar companies, the Department of Energy, Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA), research and academic institutions, sponsors and others.Read more
Puleng Mosothoane from SOLTRAIN Lesotho’s implementation partner organisation, the Bethal Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), conducted the welcoming address, followed by a presentation outlining the SOLTRAIN project by Werner Weiss from AEE INTEC. A presentation on solar thermal systems in the Lesotho market and solar thermal applications by Sehlooho Holomo from BBCDC and a presentation on the renewable energy policy and possibilities for co-operation with SOLTRAIN by Dr. Thabang Phuroe from the Department of Energy, were also part of the proceedings.
All participants became the proud owners of a SOLTRAIN t-shirt which we reported on in the previous SOLTRAIN newsletter as part of our awareness-raising activities.
A second meeting is planned for the 18th and 19th of January 2017, preceded by a technical tour to Pitseng, where participants will have the opportunity to observe and learn more about the systems installed there through the SOLTRAIN programme. These include a 3000 litre solar thermal system with 15 collectors, a 2000 litre solar thermal system with 12 collectors and a 5 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.
Other recent SOLTRAIN developments in Lesotho
- A parent’s meeting was held at the BBCDC in late October at which display stations were set up. Parents were able to familiarise themselves with the PV systems installed with the funding from SOLTRAIN and other solar products, including the box cooker, the parabolic solar cooker and the fruit dyers.
- The BBCDC hosted students from National University of Lesotho (NUL) on an educational tour, where they were also able to see the various technologies mentioned above, as well as the new rondavel with the rotating, solar-tracking roof and the demonstration solar thermal system.
- Work has begun on five solar water heater demonstration systems at Malealea Lodge by Stephen Lelimo.
- SOLTRAIN’s advertising run with the Lesotho Times is entering its fifth month with an advertisement placed in the third week of each month. This is in addition to the other awareness initiatives which we highlighted in the last newsletter, including weekly radio slots, SOLTRAIN t-shirts and brochures which are made available at each locally convened event.
South Africa: Third South African Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap workshop held in Cape TownKarin Kritzinger, 13 December 2016
The third workshop in a series aimed at furthering the implementation of the South African Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (SA-STTRM) was held in Cape Town at the end of October. This builds on outcomes of the second implementation workshop earlier in the year where a lack of focus on technology awareness, understanding and marketing solar thermal technologies were identified as shortcomings in the sector.Read more
The South African Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (SA STTRM) is a project within the South African Solar Thermal Technology Platform (SA-STTP) which brings together all interested parties from academia, government, financiers, end-users and industry to share information on technical, practical and financial aspects of solar thermal energy. In addition, the project seeks to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities, mobilise institutions and individuals to perform the required research, record-keeping and publication of data relating to the roll-out of solar thermal energy systems in the country, with an over-arching aim of having have 1⁄2 m2 of solar thermal collector area for every South African citizen by 2030.
Workshop delegates were welcomed by prof. Wikus van Niekerk from Stellenbosch University, Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies with presentations on the following topics:
- Werner Weiss, AEE INTEC, Austria - Solar Roadmaps and implementation plans: the global perspective
- Prof. Wikus van Niekerk, Stellenbosch University - Overview of the STTRM SASTTP overview with WGs SA-STTRM
- Werner Weiss, AEE INTEC, Austria - Aim and goals of the Solar Thermal Roadmap implementation plan
- Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot, SANEDI/RECORD - The way forward from the implementation plan workshop in September: the tools and needs to be addressed
South Africa: Specialised course on solar heat for industrial applications a successStefan Hess, 13 December 2016
A specialised course for a restricted number of experts was held in Stellenbosch in early November, giving insight into state-of-the-art design, simulation, planning and installation of advanced high quality solar thermal (ST) systems for industrial applications in Southern Africa.Read more
Despite the restriction of only admitting participants with previous experience in ST system design and installation, the number of applications far exceeded available capacity, and 40 participants were accepted, of which about half were planners from the solar thermal industry. The remaining participants comprised SOLTRAIN partners, researchers and members of public institutions.
The course was lectured by SOLTRAIN coordinator, Werner Weiss, from AEE - Institute for Sustainable Technologies in Austria, and by Dr Stefan Hess from CRSES and STERG, the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group of Stellenbosch University.
On the first day, delegates visited the TIA Helio100 demonstration site and the CBC brewery solar thermal installation in nearby Paarl.
The second day focused on the status of large-scale stationary systems in Southern Africa and provided extensive theoretical background on planning and installation of such systems.
The third day and final day was used for a simulation exercise, for which all participants had been provided with a free T*SOL license in advance. A realistic example of a laundry was used to determine the optimum collector area and storage volume for different framework conditions. Afterwards, all course material was made available for download.
The feedback of participants was unanimous in that they derived great benefit from attending the course, and expressed great interest in any future SOLTRAIN courses. It was suggested that future training also includes economic performance assessment in addition to the hydraulics of large-scale ST systems.
South Africa: SOLTRAIN study visit to the Cape Brewing CompanyRyan Dearlove, 13 December 2016
Forty delegates from the SOLTRAIN course on Solar Heat for Industrial Applications were treated to a tour of the solar thermal process heating system at Cape Brewing Company, Paarl in early November.Read more
Having been in full production since 2015, the 120m2 solar thermal array heats a 10 000 litre storage tank, providing hot water at a target temperature of 85°C. The 12 large scale flat plate solar collectors were imported from Austria specifically for the project, being the first time that such collectors have been used in South Africa.
Moving through the plant in two groups, delegates viewed the storage tank and heat exchange station which were fabricated locally predominantly from stainless steel and to the client’s exacting standards.
Overall, the impression gained from questions and interactions, was that solar thermal process heating systems will be valuable and trusted part of the heating landscape of the future.
The afternoon concluded with a beer tasting, an appropriate way to end a solar day!
South Africa: Renewable energy for industrial heat in the agri-processingLouise Scholtz, 13 December 2016
WWF-SA together with GreenCape and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University hosted a very successful workshop aimed at gaining a better understanding of the potential of solar energy in the agri-processing industry. The workshop was held at the STAIS Wallenberg Centre in Stellenbosch in mid-November.Read more
Presenters covered a broad range of topics, including an overview of the potential of solar thermal in the sector, the demonstrated the benefits using findings extrapolated from existing installations, lessons from previous and current tender processes and training support for installers.
The subject matter provided a compelling case for the increased uptake of the technology and it was clear is that the technology holds enormous potential to address both energy needs, whilst also opening up local manufacturing opportunities.
The workshop was well attended by industry representatives, financial institutions, key government departments and system installers.
In the discussion session, facilitated by Prof Wikus van Niekerk, Director of CRSES, participants provided input on what they saw as critical success factors to ensure higher uptake of solar thermal technology. These included the need for pre-feasibility studies to demonstrate the business case to agri-processors, addressing the issue of outstanding system component certification and difficulties in getting loan finance from financial institutions.
Suggestions on how the organisers could possibly support the increased uptake included assisting role players to collaboratively develop a template for submission to financial institutions to ease present difficulties in obtaining loan finance, and secondly, the development of more specific in-depth analysis of the potential in specific agricultural sectors.
SOLTRAIN puts in a good showing at a high level, international solar conferenceSOLTRAIN, 20 October 2016
The 185 experts representing 38 countries from all over the world met to present and discuss technological developments and market requirements for increasing solar deployment in developing countries.
In order to strengthen the international professional network and to present the results of SOLTRAIN, experts of the SOLTRAIN partner institutions participated at the conference at the invitation of the Austrian Development Agency.
The SOLTRAIN partner countries put in a good showing with fourteen experts from all six partner countries participating at the conference. Energy advisor to SADC, Wolfgang Moser, Werner Weiss from AEE INTEC and Alexander Karner from the Austrian Development Agency also participated at the conference. SOLTRAIN partners presented results of the joint project as well as from other solar technology-related projects that they are involved in. In all, six oral presentations and seven posters were presented by SOLTRAIN partners.
The poster presented by Anadola Tsiu on “Design, Construction and Testing of a Low-Cost Flat Plate Solar Collector” was selected as one of the three best posters of the conference and was awarded a poster prize.
Lesotho: BBCDC takes SOLTRAIN awareness campaign to the next levelBethel Business & Community Development Centre, 20 October 2016
SOLTRAIN’s Lesotho partner, Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at elevating the awareness of SOLTRAIN 3 and solar thermal in general.Read more
A print campaign appeared in the Lesotho Times in late August and SOLTRAIN was given a slot on KEL radio on Monday and Thursday nights throughout September. This slot afforded BBCDC the opportunity to explain to listeners what the SOLTRAIN 3 project is along with its aims and objectives. Listeners were in turn afforded the opportunity to ask questions about SOLTRAIN and to give comment.
In addition to print and radio, BBCDC has also printed SOLTRAIN 3 T-shirts. The T-shirts will be issued to the trainees of future SOLTRAIN workshops and to stakeholders who engage in roadmap implementation meetings. The T-shirts are co-branded with the SOLTRAIN and BBCDC logos and promote the installation of solar water heating.