SOLTRAIN news

Solar geysers beat the limescale blues in Limpopo
Solar geysers beat the limescale blues in Limpopo

Families and members at Airforce Base Makhado, Limpopo, are reaping the benefits of yet another energy efficiency project – this time, solar geysers designed to reduce the damage of  limescale build up and the amount of electricity used to heat water in domestic housing. Piloted as one of the projects implemented through a five-year partnership between the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the military, this installation is part of ongoing research to ensure sustainable energy as well as quantify energy, cost and emissions savings through energy efficient and renewable energy interventions.

South Africa | Published Wed 30 Nov 2022 | view

IEA SHC award for Aussenkehr SOLTRAIN project in Namibia
IEA SHC award for Aussenkehr SOLTRAIN project in Namibia

The Orange River Vineyard Investment (ORVI) social housing project in Aussenkehr, Namibia was awarded the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Prize 2022 on September 28. Namibian SOLTRAIN project partners Helvi Ileka from the Namibia Energy Institute and Leonhard Eins of the company Solsquare accepted the award during the EuroSun 2022 event in Kassel, Germany.

Namibia | Published Wed 30 Nov 2022 | view

BBCDC extends learning facilities with energy-efficient 'Earthship'
BBCDC extends learning facilities with energy-efficient 'Earthship'

Rising enrolment at Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC) and lack of space compelled us to augment facilities over the last year.  In October 2021, ground was broken for a 200m2 Earthship, that would serve as a lecture theatre and hall.  Earthships are associated with the work of Michael Reynolds, an American architect and designer, who pioneered use of old tyres and earth sheltering in the United States.  His purpose was to reduce life cycle costs of homes, employ waste materials and reduce long term energy costs.

Lesotho | Published Wed 21 Sep 2022 | view

Solar industry association collaborates with world's biggest diamond producer to provide solar hot water to NGOs
Solar industry association collaborates with world's biggest diamond producer to provide solar hot water to NGOs

An alternative care home, SOS Children’s Village, and a boarding school for children with learning disabilities, Camphill Community Trust, both based in Botswana, are set to receive and benefit from the installation of 50 thermosyphon solar water heaters, which will directly improve the lives of 240 people, with thanks to grants from the SOLTRAIN project, funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the a locally based mining company, Debswana Diamond Company, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value.

Botswana | Published Wed 21 Sep 2022 | view

Strong presence of SOLTRAIN at ISEC 2022 in Graz, Austria
Strong presence of SOLTRAIN at ISEC 2022 in Graz, Austria

The 2nd International Sustainable Energy Conference (ISEC 2022), themed around Renewable Heating and Cooling in Integrated Urban and Industrial Energy Systems, took place in Graz, Austria, from April 5-7, 2022. 

Global | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

SOLTRAIN courtesy visit to ADA
SOLTRAIN courtesy visit to ADA

The SOLTRAIN delegation, which was attending the 2nd International Sustainable Energy Conference (ISEC) 2022 in Graz, Austria from 05 - 07 April 2022, paid a courtesy visit to the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Vienna on 8 April 2022.

Global | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

Katutura State Hospital maternity ward meets all its hot water needs from solar
Katutura State Hospital maternity ward meets all its hot water needs from solar

The Maternity Ward at Windhoek’s Katutura State Hospital is now meeting all its hot water needs through solar following the installation of a state-of-the-art solar water heating system by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), through the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI).

Namibia | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

Lady Pohamba Private Hospital installs Namibia's largest pumped solar water heating system
Lady Pohamba Private Hospital installs Namibia's largest pumped solar water heating system

The Lady Pohamba Private Hospital Private Hospital in Windhoek recently commissioned 278.2 m2 of a planned total of 358.68 m2 collector area of solar water heating, with the remaining 80.2 m2 targeted for commissioning by August 2022. When complete, the entire 251.04 kWth system with 39 800 litre storage tank capacity will make it one of the largest solar heating systems operational in Namibia.

Namibia | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

SOLTRAIN at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
SOLTRAIN at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair

The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair took place earlier in April this year with the purpose of promoting trade and providing a networking platform for local and foreign participants which would hopefully lead to investment.

Zimbabwe | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

Excitement as SOLTRAIN Botswana resumes fairs & exhibitions

SOLTRAIN Botswana exhibited the solar trailer during the World Facilities Day exhibition held May 11, 2022 in Gaborone. This exhibition comes after a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Botswana | Published Wed 22 Jun 2022 | view

First housing project in Aussenkehr receives solar hot water heating co-financed by SOLTRAIN
First housing project in Aussenkehr receives solar hot water heating co-financed by SOLTRAIN

Aussenkehr, a settlement in the far southern region of Namibia about 50 km northwest of the Noordoewer border post to South Africa, is one of the hottest and driest places in the country. Roughly 12 000 to 15 000 permanent and seasonal workers live in the vicinity of the settlement of which most work at the nearby grape farms. The majority of people stay in traditional huts which do not have a water and electricity connection.

Namibia | Published Tue 08 Mar 2022 | view

Solarsoft Fresh Fast Food in Mohales Hoek
Solarsoft Fresh Fast Food in Mohales Hoek

SOLTRAIN partner in Lesotho, Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), is showcasing how solar thermal technologies can be bundled to create broader, more lasting synergies along with job creation and additional value.

Lesotho | Published Tue 08 Mar 2022 | view

Supporting access to finance for solar thermal developers
Supporting access to finance for solar thermal developers

Access to finance for starting or scaling up of solar thermal projects remains a challenge in many countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The European programme GET.invest, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, offers a number of services to assist clean energy projects and companies, including in the solar thermal market, in overcoming this challenge and accessing finance.

Global | Published Wed 15 Dec 2021 | view

Harare hosts a successful SOLTRAIN Conference 2021
Harare hosts a successful SOLTRAIN Conference 2021

After a break of two years, the SOLTRAIN conference took place again in late November 2021. Around 90 solar thermal experts, representatives of solar companies from seven countries, political stakeholders and global finance experts met in Harare, Zimbabwe for the conference, and were joined by about 20 people participants online.

Global | Published Wed 15 Dec 2021 | view

Botswana Defence Force to collaborate with SOLTRAIN
Botswana Defence Force to collaborate with SOLTRAIN

The Director-General Support Services, Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Major General M. M. Seikano has promised to collaborate with the Botswana SOLTRAIN team on installing pilot solar water heating systems in various camps and barracks of the Botswana Defence Force. He made this promise during an information workshop organised by the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), University of Botswana. As a follow-up, the BDF and CERC also set up a joint project implementation task team mandated with realising this objective.

Botswana | Published Wed 15 Dec 2021 | view

Austrian ambassador visits SOLTRAIN system at the Cape Brewing Company
Austrian ambassador visits SOLTRAIN system at the Cape Brewing Company

Austrian Ambassador to South Africa, Dr. Johann Brieger, visited E3 Energy's Solar Heating for Industrial Process (SHIP) installation at the Cape Brewing Company (CBC) near Cape Town, South Africa.  A tour was provided by Doran Schoeman, General Manager of E3 Energy, the company that installed the system, and Karin Kritzinger, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University.

South Africa | Published Wed 15 Dec 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN partners participate in the IEA SHC ‘Smart Solar Hot Water for 2030’ task

SOLTRAIN partners, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and SACREEE were among the 55 experts who participated in the International Energy Agency - Solar Heating and Cooling (IEA SHC) ‘Smart Solar Hot Water for 2030’ Task Development Workshop in late September 2021. The participation of the SOLTRAIN partners in the IEA SHC Tasks is facilitated by the Global Network of Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) with funding from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Global | Published Tue 30 Nov 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN demo system at Lar São Pedro Julião seminary in Mozambique
SOLTRAIN demo system at Lar São Pedro Julião seminary in Mozambique

Lar São Pedro Julião is a Catholic seminary, which accommodates about 20 junior priests. The hostel was founded in 1991 and is located 3 km away from the Maputo Town Center. Residents come from all the corners of Mozambique to stay at this location.

Mozambique | Published Tue 30 Nov 2021 | view

Augustineum secondary school reaps the benefits of solar hot water through SOLTRAIN
Augustineum secondary school reaps the benefits of solar hot water through SOLTRAIN

The Augustineum Secondary School, established in 1866, is among the oldest schools in Namibia. Originally situated in Otjimbingwe, it was relocated to Okahandja in 1890, and finally to Windhoek in 1968. It is a public school located in Khomasdal, a suburb of Windhoek. Recently, the school has undergone refurbishment, which included the replacement of old electric boilers with solar water heaters.

Namibia | Published Tue 30 Nov 2021 | view

Solar thermal information dissemination and training continues in Zimbabwe
Solar thermal information dissemination and training continues in Zimbabwe

The SOLTRAIN team in Zimbabwe continued to fulfill its training mandate in the country despite challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic during the second quarter of the year. The workshops included training and dissemination workshops and covered four towns - Masvingo, Harare, Bulawayo and Kwekwe -  drawing a total of 133 participants, among which 23 were women.

Zimbabwe | Published Thu 09 Sep 2021 | view

Solar technology for wastewater treatment in Butha Buthe, Lesotho
Solar technology for wastewater treatment in Butha Buthe, Lesotho

During the second quarter of this year, Bethal Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC) constructed a wastewater treatment system/living machine at at Queen Mamohato Children’s Village in Butha Buthe that applies simple yet powerful solar thermal technology to significantly enhance process, economy, and environment. This is the third such structure developed by BBCDC in Lesotho.

Lesotho | Published Thu 09 Sep 2021 | view

Women and youth a driving force in solar thermal activities in Zimbabwe
Women and youth a driving force in solar thermal activities in Zimbabwe

Involving women in the dissemination of solar thermal technologies will go a long way towards solving Zimbabwe’s energy-related challenges of shortage and pollution. This was one of the conclusions from Sustenergy and Statix Electrical’s initiative of partnering with SOLTRAIN in training women and youth in solar thermal technologies at the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute in Harare in April.

Zimbabwe | Published Thu 09 Sep 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN kicks off the next round of Mozambique's training activities in Beira
SOLTRAIN kicks off the next round of Mozambique's training activities in Beira

The next round of SOLTRAIN's training activities kicked off recently in Mozambique at Young Africa (YA), an organization located in Beira, about 1 000 km from the capital, Maputo. YA is a vocational skills training organization, with boarding facilities, where youth are trained in commercial and technical trades including carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and welding.

Mozambique | Published Thu 09 Sep 2021 | view

Solar thermal success story: Maru-a-Pula school hostels
Solar thermal success story: Maru-a-Pula school hostels

Maru-a-Pula is a co-educational, independent day and boarding secondary school which was founded in 1972 and established as a non-profit trust. It was built on 50 acres of land donated by the Botswana Government with facilities that consume a significant amount of electricity. As part of lessening its carbon footprint, saving costs and in order to encourage the adoption of solar energy as a source power for heating water used by boarding students, two solar installations were carried out at both the boys and girls boarding houses.

Botswana | Published Tue 20 Jul 2021 | view

Hospital reaps the reward of hybrid solar thermal system
Hospital reaps the reward of hybrid solar thermal system

Hospitals have a very large demand for hot water and water heating is a major expense. Most hospitals use heat pumps to save energy when supplying their hot water requirements, and it is also possible to supplement the heat pumps by retrofitting a component to save even more energy and cost.

South Africa | Published Tue 20 Jul 2021 | view

Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology visits University of Botswana's SOLTRAIN trailer
Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology visits University of Botswana's SOLTRAIN trailer

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Botswana, Honourable Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe, visited the University of Botswana on a campus-wide tour of renewable energy projects at the University.

Botswana | Published Tue 20 Jul 2021 | view

Maternity clinic reaps the benefits of solar hot water
Maternity clinic reaps the benefits of solar hot water

Mother Paula Maternity Clinic is situated in the suburb of Paradise Park in the town of Marondera, near to the capital, Harare. The clinic is operated and managed by the Catholic Nuns of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, and is named after the co-foundress of the congregation.

Zimbabwe | Published Fri 28 May 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN assists with providing solar hot water for townhouses in Maseru
SOLTRAIN assists with providing solar hot water for townhouses in Maseru

A townhouse complex in Lesotho has become a beneficiary of the SOLTRAIN Demonstration Project initiative in which SOLTRAIN funds up to 50% of the cost of supply and installation of solar thermal systems.

Lesotho | Published Fri 28 May 2021 | view

Ostrich leather tannery's cost and energy savings quantified after two-and-a-half years of operation with solar
Ostrich leather tannery's cost and energy savings quantified after two-and-a-half years of operation with solar

Cape Karoo International (CKI), is the result of a merger between Klein Karoo International and Mosstrich, and is the world’s leading producer of ostrich leather, feathers & meat products with our tannery division boasting an 80% global market share in its supply of ostrich leather. Despite this prestige, our responsibility towards sustainability remains. In fact, ever more so. With our dependence on fossil fuels ever increasing, we decided to seek opportunities for improving on the energy security of our business.

South Africa | Published Fri 28 May 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN Student Project Support Scheme: A supervisor's perspective

As a lecturer for Energy and Industrial Engineering at Botswana University of Science at Technology (BIUST), it was my honour to supervise Mr Modie Orapeleng, who was granted a bursary from SOLTRAIN’s Student Project Support Scheme in 2020, funded by the Austrian Development Agency. 

Botswana | Published Fri 30 Apr 2021 | view

Solar Thermal Energy for Maluti Mountain Brewery: A bursary recipient perspective

My name is Malillane Lillane, a Mosotho woman pursuing a Masters in Sustainable Energy at the National University of Lesotho and the following is my account of my experience of SOLTRAIN Student Project Support Scheme in pursuit of my MSc. in Sustainable Energy final year dissertation.

Lesotho | Published Fri 30 Apr 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN’s Support Scheme for Postgraduate Students has awarded fifteen bursaries so far with more to come
SOLTRAIN’s Support Scheme for Postgraduate Students has awarded fifteen bursaries so far with more to come

SOLTRAIN’s Student Project Support Scheme supports masters or PhD theses dedicated to the topic of solar thermal energy. The scheme provides financial support for students in order to encourage them to work in the field of solar thermal, to build up capacity and to promote the opportunities that solar thermal energy offer with regard to various applications and sectors, with the overall aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels for a sustainable future.

Global | Published Thu 08 Apr 2021 | view

Solar cooking with evacuated tubes
Solar cooking with evacuated tubes

Evacuated glass tubes are central to a host of solar thermal applications. Several years ago innovators began harnessing evacuated glass tubes for cooking, putting them in a horizontal orientation and adding a reflective concentrator wing on each side, and then using an oblong narrow cooking tray that slides inside the tube. Various tube manufacturers have responded to this innovation and now offer much larger evacuated glass tubes designed expressly for solar cooking.

Lesotho | Published Wed 03 Mar 2021 | view

Centurion Building: Lessons and savings from solar thermal in the residential sector
Centurion Building: Lessons and savings from solar thermal in the residential sector

A report on one of SOLTRAIN's demonstration projects in the residential sector in Cape Town has been published.

The Centurion Building's solar thermal system (shown below) with heat pump backup was commissioned in 2018 and has saved 470MWh of electricity (a reduction of 69%) and R220,000 since commissioning.

The building is an old hotel that has been re-purposed as apartments for retirees. There are 134 apartments, with some retail outlets on the ground level.

Download the full report from this link.

South Africa | Published Wed 03 Mar 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN holds impactful hybrid information workshop targeting social homes in Botswana
SOLTRAIN holds impactful hybrid information workshop targeting social homes in Botswana

The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with the Solar Industry Association of Botswana (SIAB) hosted a number of representatives from social homes late last year. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 'hybrid' half-day workshop was held in Gaborone, Botswana, and attracted more than 20 participants from orphanages, retirement homes, women’s shelters and children’s homes to inform them about the SOLTRAIN project, what it offers and how they can benefit from it.

Botswana | Published Wed 03 Mar 2021 | view

SOLTRAIN's policy workshop from the private sector perspective
SOLTRAIN's policy workshop from the private sector perspective

A recent policy workshop in Botswana was the very first fully virtual policy dialogue hosted by SOLTRAIN through AEE INTEC, CERC and the Solar Industries Association of Botswana. It provided an opportunity for information sharing between the various parties, with public and private sector participants taking the floor to present the work being undertaken, as well as some of the practical challenges faced by the private sector in that country.

Botswana | Published Wed 03 Mar 2021 | view

Policy interventions in support of the implementation of Solar Thermal Roadmaps

The SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) has a mandate to increase access to modern energy services and to improve energy security across the SADC Region. The six SOLTRAIN partner countries; Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have developed Solar Thermal Technology Roadmaps and Implementation Plans (https://www.soltrain.org/assets/roadmaps), and the roadmaps have set solar thermal technology targets of each of the partner countries.

Global | Published Wed 03 Mar 2021 | view

Lesotho’s Contribution to Net Zero
Lesotho’s Contribution to Net Zero

Countries, cities, organizations and corporations around the world are, on a  daily basis, making impressive commitments to decarbonize their economic activities.  Most of these commitments are framed against a deadline, 2030, 2040, 2050, etc. using the term “Net Zero.”  I do not know if the Government of Lesotho has any official word to say on the matter and I will not pretend to speak for it.  Sustainable development is a decision everyone can make immediately, implement and engage.

Lesotho | Published Fri 08 Jan 2021 | view