The National University of Lesotho (NUL) solar thermal project funded by SOLTRAIN made headlines in Astana, Kazakhstan, where it was awarded first prize in the category “Future Energy.”
The project demonstrated an innovative and unconventional solar energy system that garnered the world’s attention according to NUL’s Mr Anadola T’siu, the designer of the system.
This was not the first time the project had received accolades. In 2016, it won second prize at the International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to Improve Energy Access held in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, at which it was recognised for its potential for alleviating energy poverty in rural Lesotho.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the Bureau of International Exhibitions, lauded the project as a concrete example of the core values of both Expo 2017 Astana and Expo ’90, to promote sustainability and environmental protection. Mr. Shinya Kubota of the Expo ’90 added that the project fully embodies the harmonious coexistence of nature and mankind, the fundamental principle of the Expo ’90 Foundation.
The solar energy system offers traditional water heating for general use, space heating (including under floor heating and wall radiation heating) and can also generate electricity using the Organic Rankine cycle, thus eliminating the need for unsustainable and expensive storage batteries.
A published paper on the system can be found at this link. https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/318344342_Construction_and_ Performance_Evaluation_of_A_Low-Cost_Flat- Plate_Solar_Energy_Collector