- SOLTRAIN Administrator, 26 January 2018Namibia is southern Africa´s front runner in terms of solar energy. Solar could provide energy security for the country which currently depends heavily on fuel imports. This includes power and water heating for homes, but also heat for the food and mining industry and desalination of water.Dr. Edwin Matlotse, 23 January 2018The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) of the University of Botswana (UB) recently launched the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (BSTTR) along with its implementation plan, a key output of the Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) programme.
The proceedings started with a welcome address by the CERC director, Edwin Matlotse, during which the value of BSTTR the importance was emphasized, considering the policy vacuum with regards to solar thermal specifically in Botswana currently.
AEE-INTEC’s Werner Weiss gave a regional overview of SOLTRAIN achievements to date in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, congratulating Botswana for being the last participant to join the project but yet being on par with the rest of the SOLTRAIN partners who have benefited from their participation during the first and second phases. Dr. Edwin Matlotse gives the welcoming address.
The roadmap is a rigorous six-phase process sanctioned by the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Platform. According to Prof. Andrew Obok Opok, the roadmap will run from 2018 until 2030. Opok also presented financial data regarding different solar thermal systems in various sectors, both public and private, during the period under consideration.
Proceedings were concluded with stakeholders commending the UB project team for compiling the BSTTR document and expressing thanks to the programme sponsors.Fenni Shidhika, Helvi Ileka and Virginia Roman, 3 November 2017
Colleagues from the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre attended the Final Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation Plan of the Namibian Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap to present the first locally manufactured solar collector. Many of these individuals attended the Train the Trainer courses for professionals carried out previously under SOLTRAIN II. The aim of these courses was to increase the knowledge of professionals on solar thermal systems and to be able to design, build and install such systems.
The collector was manufactured by the Vocational Educational Trainers, Kayec Training Trust, National Youth Service, NamWater Human Resource Development Centre and National Training Authorit, with the assistance from Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbert’s (GIZ) ProVet programme.
A key objective of the manufacturing initiative was to start the manufacture of a collector with locally available materials. The size of the collector produced is 1.2 m by 1.2 m (1.4 m2 in total), with components consisting of copper pipes, black-painted flat sheets, insulation foam and the wood, which was used as a frame, could all be bought locally.
Participants tested the functionality of the collector in terms of temperature changes of the fluid in the collector. However, it is noted that this is an ongoing activity and more tests need to be performed on the collector to determine metrics such as the flow rate and efficiency of the collector. The Vocational Training Centres confirmed that they have the workforce available and are now in search of potential investors who can assist them with commercialisation efforts. It is encouraging to see that the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre is using the training materials provided by the SOLTRAIN project for practical training purposes. For example, the tank from the trailer will be used at the World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi later this month by the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre.
It is encouraging to see that the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre is using the training materials provided by the SOLTRAIN project for practical training purposes. For example, the tank from the trailer will be used at the World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi later this month by the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre.Ivan Yaholnitsky, 3 November 2017
This month’s submission to the Soltrain Newsletter from BBCDC, pays tribute to the work of Dr. Anton Schwarzlmueller in Zimbabwe. One of the great achievements of the SOLTRAIN program is the sharing of ideas and cross fertilization of experience. At one of the first presentations of SOLTRAIN II in Lesotho, Werner Weiss introduced some of the low cost institutional systems that were built by Tony and his team in Zimbabwe.
When I saw Tony’s systems, they immediately drew my interest, because of the low cost, bulk supply models they developed for schools and institutions. In Lesotho, we are in the same position of needing low-cost solutions, that include some local manufacturing and doing what you can with local materials and components. It took us some years, but I wanted to demonstrate for myself and at BBCDC, that system’s like Tony’s can work and are appropriate for the African context.
In 2017 we finally installed a system inspired directly by the work of Dr. Schwarzlmueller. BBCDC operates a lodge on its campus and in response to increased demand for bookings and accommodation, we renovated a house previously damaged by fire. A new roof was installed to provide extra sleeping space and two new guest flats were constructed and fitted with new bathrooms and plumbing. We needed hot water and this provided an opportunity to design and build a system like Tony’s in Zimbabwe.
We purchased two commercial evacuated glass tube collectors with heat pipes and then constructed a low pressure solar water heating system with a 500 litre plastic tank. A simple float valve is used to fill the tank and maintain low pressure in the water volume. The elevation of the tank and a good volume ensures adequate pressure at the shower heads.
A young German engineering intern by the name of Malte Schien came to BBCDC in June 2017 for a 6 month academic attachment for his degree, and assisting with this task was one of his first assignments. The system came together well and is working properly. We were stumped for a few days by reverse thermo-syphoning across the horizontal manifold which we could not explain at first. It seemed that nocturnal cooling of the un-insulated storage tank created an unexpected stratification of cold and hot water in the tank, which would reverse the thermo syphon from the previous day.
All of us learned something, and finally, modification of the flow lines from the tank to the manifold eliminated the problem, along with insulation and covering of the storage tank. In the end the system is producing plenty of hot water, and we were able to build a 500 litre solar water heating system for a relatively low cost. Many of our students were up on the roof with us, and as an educator, I am happiest not to give them answers, but to allow them the opportunity of figuring it out for themselves. This is the best development outcome. After seeing presentations about Tony’s work in Zimbabwe, I scratched my head and found our own solution. The premise of the SDGs is local agency and selfsufficiency; so be it for our students.
There are numerous boarding schools in Lesotho because of the dispersed nature of the population, especially at secondary level. A pressing technical and health imperative is installation of low cost bulk solar water heating solutions for large populations of boarding students. What is needed for showering is a large volume of warm but not necessarily hot water. Developers, technicians, plumbing firms and administrators can get with it as we did. Thanks haholo Tony.Blessed Sarema & Samson Mhlanga, 3 November 2017
The National University of Science and Technology SOLTRAIN team continued with their schools outreach programme aimed at creating awareness about solar thermal technology and applications. This time the destination was Mahlothova Secondary School, located in Umguza District 45 km from Bulawayo on the Victoria Falls Highway. This was the team’s first visit to a school outside Bulawayo thanks to Gawain Badcock who volunteered to tow the Mobile Solar Training Unit, accompanied by Sam Stroupe, a student from Texas Tech University.
At the workshop the team managed to train 9 teachers and 239 students in three sessions. The first session focused on the theory behind solar thermal heating, covering various applications for solar thermal systems, preconditions for solar energy, utilization and solar resource, flat plate versus tubular collectors, materials and other components.
In the second session, participants were taken through the Mobile Solar Training Unit. Practical demonstrations on how the thermosiphon systems and active pump systems work were conducted. Space heating applications of solar thermal energy was also demonstrated through the radiator circuit of the trailer. The team also took the opportunity to explain functionality of the photovoltaic system on board.
The final session of the training sought to impart some practical skills to the participants in terms of making solar collectors using locally available resources. The team demonstrated the basics of soldering that is required during assembly and installation of solar water heating systems.
Fittingly, the training was concluded with a visit to a local vocational training centre as the team sought opportunities for broader collaboration within the field of solar thermal energy.Dr. E. Matlotse, 3 November 2017
The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), in partnership with the Department of Energy (DoE) under the Ministry of Minerals Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE), embarked on a public awareness campaign at the Gaborone International Consumer Trade Fair in late August.
Activities included the setting up of adjacent stalls by both CERC and the DoE, as well as putting the SOLTRAIN project trailer on display. In keeping with the public awareness component of the SOLTRAIN project, it was hoped that the presence of the trailer would promote awareness of different solar thermal technology principles and concepts, and highlight some of the benefits of clean energy to Botswana citizens. Building acceptance is seen as an important step towards the mainstreaming renewable energy technologies.
CERC’s and the DoE’s public awareness efforts seemed to have paid off, with many visitors expressing interest in the technologies and an appreciation of what it is that the two parties are trying to achieve. Most importantly, they came to appreciate how they can also be a part of the country’s journey towards a sustainable energy future.Angelo Buckley, 20 October 2017
WWF-SA recently published a technical report exploring the barriers and potential for the uptake of solar thermal energy in South Africa in the agri-processing and textile industries. Staff at the Centre for Renewable And Sustainainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University, one of the South African SOLTRAIN partners, co-authored the report.
Although the use of solar thermal technology in industry is highly applicable to low temperature requirements, the key reason why it has not received the level of attention of PV is due to the high cost of both the installation of the plant and the storage of heated water.
South Africa has some of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the world, and while both domestic and industrial use of PV to generate electricity has gained traction, the use of solar thermal for industrial process heat has not attracted much attention. The agri-processing and textile industries offer key market opportunities due to their need for low temperature heat (below 160 ⁰C).
Download the report at this link.Blessed Sarema & Samson Mhlanga, 20 October 2017
The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and SOLTRAIN hosted another round of solar water heating system installer training in Bulawayo in early July. Aimed at improving the quality of installations in Zimbabwe, this was the second round of training, with the first having been conducted in Harare at roughly the same time the previous year.The training was conducted by Rudi Moschik from AEE INTEC alongside Eng. Samson Mhlanga from NUST.
A total of 15 installers drawn from various fields including technicians and engineers were included in this round. The training included important theoretical concepts such as collector type, collector efficiency, orientation, inclination and some of the fundamental installation errors that one needs to look out for.
Once again the Solar Mobile Training Unit proved to be an important training resource, and some of the lessons were delivered on the trailer itself, with the participants being able to appreciate the best practices evident from the system that is installed on the trailer.
A demonstration of the installation of a vacuum system was also completed, and all the participants participated in the practical step-bystep installation procedure leading up to the commissioning stage. Key maintenance checkpoints were also discussed. To conclude the training, participants were assessed by means of a test, with certificates being awarded to successful participants.Dr. E. Matlotse, 20 October 2017
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.Fenni Shidhika and Helvi Ileka, 20 October 2017
The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), through the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI), organised the Final Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation Plan of the Namibia Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (Nam-STTR) under the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN Project) in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). The workshop took place in late June at the NUST hotel school.
The main objectives of the workshop were to present the final draft of the Namibia Solar Thermal Roadmap Implementation Plan and get input from stakeholders. In addition the workshop sought to obtain full commitment and pledges in the implementation of the Roadmap from Key Stakeholders and participating institutions such as Electricity Control Board (ECB), NamPower, Environmental Investment Fund (EIF), Namibia Standards Institute (NSI), National Training Authority (NTA), Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT), Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia, (REIAoN), National Housing Enterprise (NHE) and the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST).
The implementation plan will guide the key stakeholders on various activities, milestones, strategies and timelines in order for Namibia to reach the mission of achieving an installation of 1.5 million m2 of solar thermal collectors installed capacity in Namibia by 2030, which translates to about 0.5 m2 per inhabitant with a thermal output equivalence of approximately 1.05 GWth (based on the international conversion factor of 1 m² = 0.7 kW).
Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice Chancellor in an address delivered on his behalf by Mr Lameck Mwewa, elaborated on the achievements of the SOLTRAIN Project to date. John Titus, the Director of Energy from MME who delivered the speech of the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Mines and Energy spoke highly of the SOLTRAIN initiative. The impacts of activities and contributions from SOLTRAIN are already evident in Namibia, especially in the work towards the development of Renewable Energy Policy, Demand Side Management Study, Update of the National Energy Policy, the development of the curricula in Universities and in Vocational Training Centres.
Tonateni Amakutuwa from ECB said that ECB commits to offer regulatory support, while Arno Pfohl from NamPower pledged that NamPower will offer technical support. MET underscored Namibia’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and gave assurance of its support towards the goal of having 70 % of electricity generated from renewable energy by 2030.
Petrus Muteyauli from MET head of Environmental Economics Unit stated that they are willing to work with the energy industry to submit bankable renewable energy projects to access funds from the Green Climate Fund. Aina- Maria Iteta from the EIF said the stakeholders should strive to own the Nam-STTR. She emphasised that the EIF will continue to make a loan facility for renewable energy available through local banks. Nico Snyders from MME stated that the Renewable Energy Policy and the National Energy Policy spearheaded by the Ministry, which has been recently approved by Cabinet, will enhance the uptake of solar thermal technologies.
Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, the Executive Director for SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) who wants SOLTRAIN to be replicated in all SADC member states, also commited support for the roadmap implementation plan in industrial applications of solar thermal technologies.
Paulus Mungeyi from NCRST said that they will support the roadmap implementation plan on research activities in the energy sector, prioritising renewable energy. Nandaemua Maharero from NSI said that NSI together with the industry will be engaged to review, develop and adopt relevant standards for proper implementation of various technologies.
Harald Schutt from REAIoN stated that they will support the implementation plan of the roadmap in various solar thermal technologies. Christoph Heil from NTA and Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbert (GIZ) presented the initiatives and activities undertaken by NTA and GIZ on the promotion of Vocational Education & Training in Namibia (ProVET) in the implementation of Unit Standards on Solar Technologies at all Vocational Training Centres.
The Implementation plan of the Namibia Solar Thermal Roadmap is divided into two phases and has identified activities and key stakeholders to fast track the implementation of the Roadmap. The first phase, which is the short-term strategy (2017 – 2021), will focus more on awareness, policy support, and training, and pave way for the full scale implementation. This will be done while physically implementing a number of installations.
The planned activities in this phase include carrying out a review of any existing policies and, if necessary, developing relevant policies that may support the smooth implementation the Roadmap, carrying out outreach and public awareness to showcase the benefits of increased solar thermal technology deployment and usage, and encouraging academic institutions to develop training programmes, and implement research programmes to support the sector. The development of possible financing and subsidy mechanisms for the various technologies will be encouraged in this short-term strategy phase.
The second phase which is the long-term strategy (2022 – 2030) will consolidate the activities initiated in the first phase, and some of the tasks in phase 1 will continue into this phase. The full scale deployment of the installations will be emphasized in phase 2, with objective of meeting the set targets. The activities will be monitored by the steering committee, which will receive regular updates from the secretariat (NEI), and systems assessment will be through direct interaction with the key stakeholders. The Roadmap will be continuously updated during actual implementation phase and monitoring and evaluation will form part of the process during the implementation. The entire activities will be overlooked and supervised the Roadmap Steering Committee.SOLTRAIN 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.Monika 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.
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.Ivan 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.
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.Helvi 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.
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.Puleng 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.
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