SOLTRAIN news

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

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

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

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

Monitoring of domestic solar water heating systems in Namibia

A Namibian cabinet directive of 2007 on Solar Water Heaters (SWH) requires SWH to be installed in all government financed and subsidised buildings such as those of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE). The NHE authorised the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) II project to contract Trinity Business Solutions to install 62 SWHs in newly constructed houses under the NHE in Namibia starting from December 2015 until March 2016, and the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) through the SOLTRAIN project, Ministry of Mines and Energy and NHE, financed the installation of 62 SWHs at low-cost houses in Otjomuise, Windhoek.

Namibia | Published Wed 07 Nov 2018 | view

SANEDI assists the SA National Defence Force with going green
SANEDI assists the SA National Defence Force with going green

From 2014 to 2016, SANEDI, as a government partner, was invited to speak about renewable energy and energy efficiency at national level at the Department of Defence (DoD) Annual Environmental Seminar.

South Africa | Published Wed 07 Nov 2018 | view

Investigating the cost of large-scale solar thermal systems in SADC countries

A study entitled “Investigation into the Costs of Large-Scale Solar Thermal Systems in SADC Countries”, authored by Mr Angelo Buckley and co-authored by Ms Karin Kritzinger and Prof Sampson Mamphweli from the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Stellenbosch University, was submitted and presented at the Southern African Solar Energy Conference (SASEC) 2018 which was held in Durban, South Africa in late June.

Global | Published Wed 07 Nov 2018 | view

SOLTRAIN Bursary Programme - Applications about to close
SOLTRAIN Bursary Programme - Applications about to close

The SOLTRAIN Bursary Programme aims to support the work of the SOLTRAIN project in SOLTRAIN partner countries, and to motivate students at universities to do their masters thesis in the field of solar energy.

Global | Published Wed 07 Nov 2018 | view

Energy stakeholders conduct tour of Maruapula Secondary School’s solar thermal installations
Energy stakeholders conduct tour of Maruapula Secondary School’s solar thermal installations

Various stakeholders from different entities, led by the Department of Energy (DoE), converged on the Maruapula Secondary School to conduct a site visit of the school’s solar thermal installations which were 50% sponsored by  the Solar Thermal Training and Development Initiative (SOLTRAIN).

Botswana | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

International environment day commemorations
International environment day commemorations

The National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe’s SOLTRAIN country partner, exhibited  and  presented  at the International Environmental Day’s commemoration held in late March at Milton Primary School, Bulawayo.

 

Zimbabwe | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

SOLTRAIN at Sustainability Week
SOLTRAIN at Sustainability Week

Sustainability Week has taken place each year since 2015 and is hosted by the City of Tshwane, South Africa’s capital city and a pioneer of green urban development.

South Africa | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

SOLTRAIN’s Second Dissemination Training Course
SOLTRAIN’s Second Dissemination Training Course

The University of Botswana Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) held the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) project’s second dissemination training course at the end of May, 2018.

Botswana | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

Malealea Lodge: Building on solar thermal successes
Malealea Lodge: Building on solar thermal successes

In 2016, Bethel Business Community and Development Centre (BBCDC) installed five 150 litre solar water heaters as a pilot project at Malealea Lodge. After monitoring and evaluating the project for 6 months, a decision was taken by the lodge to install another five systems in 2017, again with BBCDC’S help.

Lesotho | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

SOLTRAIN at African Utility Week
SOLTRAIN at African Utility Week

The 18th annual  African  Utility  Week hosted 6 411 attendees over 3 days from 84 countries and 300 exhibitors from 30 different countries. The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) was one of the exhibitors for the 2018 African Utility week showcasing various projects implemented through SANEDI, including the SOLTRAIN programme.

South Africa | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view

University of Zimbabwe re-launches Master of Science Renewable Energy
University of Zimbabwe re-launches Master of Science Renewable Energy

First launched in 1996 and then suspended, University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Engineering has relaunched its Master of Science Renewable Energy (MRE).

Zimbabwe | Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 | view