SOLTRAIN news

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • SOLTRAIN policy workshops successfully concluded
    SOLTRAIN policy workshops successfully concluded

    Four SOLTRAIN policy workshops and three housing sector information workshops were convened in the latter part of November this year. Through these, a total of 66 people participated in the policy workshops held in Cape Town, Windhoek, Harare and Maseru, while the three housing sector information workshops included 25 participants.

    Global | Published Wed 06 Jan 2021 | view

  • SOLTRAIN Funded Solar Hybrid Project
    SOLTRAIN Funded Solar Hybrid Project

    In 2020, SOLTRAIN awarded bursaries to qualifying research students in its five partner countries. One of the recipients was Kago Rabasoma from University of Botswana.  His project involves fabricating a working model of a solar absorber and nocturnal radiator hybrid system (“SAANR”). The system is intended to harness solar energy during the day to produce hot water and then use nocturnal radiation to produce cool water. The hot water can then be used in the evenings for domestic purposes such as washing and bathing, and then the cool water can be used during the day. The main supervisor of this work is Dr Kevin Nwaigwe with co-assistance from Dr Ditiro Setlhaolo.

    Botswana | Published Wed 06 Jan 2021 | view

  • SOLTRAIN participates at Botswana's Virtual STEM Festival & National Science Week

    Clean Energy Research Centre contributed to Botswana’s virtual Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) festival and the National Science Week held at the beginning of October by showcasing the SOLTRAIN trailer, introducing SOLTRAIN and highlighting the benefits of solar thermal systems on energy supply, poverty alleviation, job creation and CO2 emission reduction. The demonstration of the trailer was done by our Senior Project Technician, Mr Mike Lethapa.

    Botswana | Published Mon 04 Jan 2021 | view

  • 2020 - A challenging but successful year
    2020 - A challenging but successful year

    As I already described in SOLTRAIN Newsletter #3 in August, none of the SOLTRAIN team imagined that the technical train the trainer courses and the policy workshops held at the beginning of the year would be the last time in 2020 that we would be able to convene in person and on-site in the respective partner countries.

    Global | Published Mon 04 Jan 2021 | view

  • Solar thermal policy workshops held recently for Mozambique & Botswana
    Solar thermal policy workshops held recently for Mozambique & Botswana

    Earlier in September, SOLTRAIN workshops for policymakers on solar heat were held in Botswana and Mozambique. The workshops marked a departure from the policy workshops held in the other partner countries earlier in the year in that they were conducted online due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Global | Published Thu 12 Nov 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN's technical training goes online
    SOLTRAIN's technical training goes online

    The global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged SOLTRAIN to come up with new and innovative ways to deliver training sessions despite limitations imposed by travel restrictions, with one such innovation being the use of online delivery for technical training.

    Global | Published Wed 11 Nov 2020 | view

  • Social institutions & housing projects make up bulk of demonstration systems so far in SOLTRAIN's fourth phase
    Social institutions & housing projects make up bulk of demonstration systems so far in SOLTRAIN's fourth phase

    Thermal heating and cooling includes a multitude of applications in Southern Africa such as hot water preparation in the household, hospital or hotel sector, space heating and cooling of buildings. In industry, in addition to the drying of agricultural products, it also includes the provision of process heat, such as low-temperature applications in the food and beverage industry.

    Global | Published Tue 10 Nov 2020 | view

  • 'Blue' solar water heating systems in Lesotho
    'Blue' solar water heating systems in Lesotho

    Solarsoft, the commercial entity of Lesotho SOLTRAIN partner, the Bethel Business and Community Development Center (BBCDC), is gaining traction with its BBCDC-branded 'blue' solar water heating systems.

    Lesotho | Published Mon 09 Nov 2020 | view

  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SOLTRAIN
    Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SOLTRAIN

    At SOLTRAIN's training courses, which were held in the SOLTRAIN partner countries in early 2020, no one would have thought it possible that the COVID-19 global pandemic would lead to a complete lockdown and significant travel restrictions worldwide. Of course, this situation had a significant impact on our work relating to the SOLTRAIN project.

    Global | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • Solar water heating dissemination workshop in Botswana
    Solar water heating dissemination workshop in Botswana

    A dissemination workshop on solar water heaters was conducted by the Clean Energy Research Centre at the University of Botswana in conjunction with the Solar Industries Association of Botswana (SIAB) recently. The workshop, which was held in early March, attracted 33 experts and professionals drawn from government departments, tertiary institutions, parastatals and the private sector. 

    Botswana | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • Lesotho experience with dual training
    Lesotho experience with dual training

    Solarsoft, the commercial entity of Lesotho SOLTRAIN partner, the Bethal Business and Community Development Center (BBCDC), recently partook in SOLTRAIN's “Dual Training for Artisans” programme which includes theoretical training under the leadership of AEE INTEC, as well as hands-on courses in combination with a 3-6 month internship. The cost of the internship is shared by SOLTRAIN and the local solar thermal companies.

    Lesotho | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN supports the installation of another 100 solar thermal demonstration systems
    SOLTRAIN supports the installation of another 100 solar thermal demonstration systems

    The support of the installation of solar thermal demonstration systems in so called “Flagship Districts” continues in Phase 4 of SOLTRAIN, with the goal to co-fund the installation of another 100 solar water heating systems for different applications. The districts were established in all six partner countries in the previous phases of the project after consultation with policy, local authorities, training and research institutions, industry and NGOs.

    Global | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN 4 bursaries awarded
    SOLTRAIN 4 bursaries awarded

    SOLTRAIN provides financial support for masters theses or other student theses that deal with topics of solar thermal energy. In July 2020, eight students from five partner countries were awarded bursaries for the first round of bursary applications for SOLTRAIN 4.

    Global | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • Train the Trainers Workshop at Harare Institute of Technology

    The National University of Science and Technology (NUST), country partner in the SOLTRAIN 4 project in cooperation with AEE Intec, continued to support solar thermal uptake by conducting a Train-the-Trainer workshop at the Harare Institute of Technology in early February.

    Zimbabwe | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • Local Zimbabwean SMME exemplifies efficacy of SOLTRAIN's practical and theoretical training interventions

    One of the key aims of the SOLTRAIN programme is to increase technical skills through training and local skills transfer, and Sunnex, a Zimbabwean solar SMME, presents a good example of some of SOLTRAIN's success in this regard.

    Zimbabwe | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • SACREEE joins the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme
    SACREEE joins the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme

    SOLTRAIN regional partner, SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), has joined the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme (SHC TCP). The SHC TCP, established in 1977, is one of the first programmes of the IEA to promote the use of all aspects of solar thermal energy.

    Global | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • Solar drying innovations in Lesotho

    Solar dryers have been taken to new level in Lesotho as Solarsoft introduces dryers that are operated by both solar thermal heat and electricity.

    Lesotho | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe exhibits at the Renewable Energy and Biofuels Policies launch
    SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe exhibits at the Renewable Energy and Biofuels Policies launch

    Just prior to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe managed to exhibit at the launch of the Renewable Energy and Biofuels Policies Launch at the Harare International Conference Centre under the theme “Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential in Zimbabwe”.

    Zimbabwe | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN Hosts Zimbabwe’s first solar heat policy workshop
    SOLTRAIN Hosts Zimbabwe’s first solar heat policy workshop

    Zimbabwe held its first-ever solar heat policy workshop in early February in Harare. The workshop was hosted by SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe and was held against the backdrop of the launch of the solar thermal roadmap and implementation plan in November 2018 and subsequent endorsement by the government in July 2019. It was aimed at informing policymakers on the future plans for the SOLTRAIN project and mapping the way forward in terms of implementation of solar heating systems guided by the national targets and the roadmap.

    Zimbabwe | Published Tue 01 Sep 2020 | view

  • More than 300 solar thermal systems as part of training & R&D co-operation
    More than 300 solar thermal systems as part of training & R&D co-operation

    By the end of phase III of the SOLTRAIN programme, 3 000 people had been trained in 110 training courses, and the lessons learned in the courses have been implemented by local companies in 326 demonstration projects. The annual solar yield of all the plants installed since 2009 adds up to 3 533 MWh with CO2 savings of 1,222 tons.

    Global | Published Tue 11 Aug 2020 | view

  • Solar electric vs solar thermal water heating: A comparison
    Solar electric vs solar thermal water heating: A comparison

    How does a solar PV-driven hot water system perform in comparison with an equivalently sized solar thermal driven system in the same locality?

    Angelo Buckley from University of Stellenbosch recently addressed this in a lecture entitled “Comparison of Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems in the South African Context”.

    South Africa | Published Tue 11 Aug 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN fulfils its training mandate with the Namibia Energy Institute and Osona Village Housing Developers
    SOLTRAIN fulfils its training mandate with the Namibia Energy Institute and Osona Village Housing Developers

    One of the SOLTRAIN programme's key focus areas is the strengthening institutional structures which can offer expert advice, training and technical support to the local industry and government officials. To this end, Osona Village Management accepted a proposal from SOLTRAIN, through the Namibian University of Science and Technology - Namibia Energy Institute to train their  housing contractors on quality assurance in the selection and installation of solar water heaters.

    Namibia | Published Wed 17 Jun 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN supports solar thermal decision makers
    SOLTRAIN supports solar thermal decision makers

    In keeping with some of SOLTRAIN's key focus areas, and specifically the strengthening of institutional structures which can offer expert advice, training and technical support on solar thermal technology, one of SOLTRAIN's South African partners, SANEDI hosted a half day of 'decision makers' seminar on solar water heating  operating at different scales, followed by a half a day site visit to an installation comprising 1 500 litres of storage, heat pump backup and 30m2 of solar collector area at a military base in Hoedspruit.  The target audience for this seminar was the military decision makers within the Department of Defence (DoD) as well as the tourism and hospitality service providers from Limpopo province.

    South Africa | Published Mon 08 Jun 2020 | view

  • SOLTRAIN builds on successes and extends to a fourth phase

    SOLTRAIN is pleased to announce that the programme will be extended to a fourth phase. SOLTRAIN began its first phase in 2009, with partner institutions in Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and with the second and third phases seeing the extension of the programme into Lesotho and Botswana.

    Global | Published Tue 02 Jul 2019 | view

  • Solar Drying Course in Mohales Hoek
    Solar Drying Course in Mohales Hoek

    SOLTRAIN Lesotho hosted a solar drying course in Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, late last year at the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre. There were 25 participants from various SOLTRAIN partner countries including Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. The course was led by Mr Georg Hubmer from CONA and Mr Werner Weiss from AEE-INTEC.

    Lesotho | Published Tue 02 Jul 2019 | view

  • Launch of Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap and Implementation Plan
    Launch of Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap and Implementation Plan

    Zimbabwe launched its Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap and Implementation Plan (STTRIP) in late 2018 at the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers’s in Harare. The STTRIP outlines the country’s vision for solar thermal installations of 0.1m2 per capita by 2030 in support of the government’s vision for upper middle-income country status. The STTRIP is part of the SOLTRAIN programme, with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) as the Zimbabwean country implementation partner.

    Zimbabwe | Published Tue 02 Jul 2019 | view

  • Solar thermal energy for wastewater treatment

    Earlier this year, Bethel Business and Community Development Centre completed a combined cycle biogas and wastewater treatment system at St. Elizabeth Training Institute in Mohales Hoek, Lesotho.

    Lesotho | Published Tue 02 Jul 2019 | view

  • New solar thermal heat systems save millions

    The 15th of May 2019 saw the launch of the first solar district heating system and the largest solar process heat system in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the Austrian Ambassador officially launched these two major SOLTRAIN projects. These are the first sub-Saharan district heating plant for Wits University and a solar process heat plant for the Klein Karoo tannery, both of which will save millions in energy costs over the lifetime of the plants.

    South Africa | Published Tue 21 May 2019 | view

  • Austrian Development Agency  (ADA) Managing Director, Dr  Martin Ledolter, visits Namibia  and South Africa
    Austrian Development Agency (ADA) Managing Director, Dr Martin Ledolter, visits Namibia and South Africa

    In late October, Namibia and South Africa played host to Dr Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). ADA is the main funder of the SOLTRAIN project which started in 2009 and is currently in its third phase.

    Global | Published Fri 01 Feb 2019 | view

  • Decision making in solar thermal  investment for government  partners
    Decision making in solar thermal investment for government partners

    SANEDI has been engaging on sustainable, potential renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for several government departments intensively since October 2017.  This has led to the signing of Memoranda of Agreements to collaborate on specifically identified projects for at least the next 5 years.

    South Africa | Published Mon 17 Dec 2018 | view