The Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative

Written by Dr. E. Matlotse on 19 March 2018
CERC director, Dr. E. Matlotse, outlining the SOLTRAIN project

The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), ran a successful first dissemination training course in early August. Participants included twenty Ministry of Basic Education technicians resulting in representation from at least two officials for every district in the country.

The technicians operate regionally in attending to school’s solar water heating systems, and lack of skilled capacity had resulted in a high failure rate for these systems. The SOLTRAIN training therefore provided a much-needed shot in the arm in ensuring that the potential of solar thermal technology is realized in providing basic energy services to rural learners.

Proceedings were officially opened by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) deputy dean, Dr. O. Kanyeto, followed by CERC director, Dr. E. Matlotse, who delivered an overview of the entire SOLTRAIN project and some specifics of the training course itself.

Thereafter, the roughly two-day training session kicked off in earnest, with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Grace Muzila, visiting on the second day of proceedings to offer a word of encouragement to the participants. Muzila promised that they will send more technicians to training of this nature.

The training culminated in an official closing and awards ceremony. Dean of Graduate Studies at UB, Prof. G.O. Anderson, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and CERC director, Dr. E. Matlotse, again outlined the SOLTRAIN project to attendees.

Guest speaker from the Ministry, Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Oemetse Sally Nkoane, gave a keynote address during which she thanked both UB and the SOLTRAIN project sponsors for the excellent work that they are doing in the solar thermal sector. After her address, she awarded the certificates to the participants.

One of the participants, Mr. A. Kakungirue, gave a vote of thanks in which he expressed his thanks to UB, SOLTRAIN and his employers in affording him the opportunity to attend and benefit from the training session.

The closing ceremony was itself concluded with a tour of the SOLTRAIN trailer by the dignitaries and a group photo of dignitaries, trainers and trainees.

DPS, dean of graduate studies, the trainers (UB SOLTRAIN project team), trainees and other guests conducted a group photo in front of the solar trailer