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


Submitted by Monika Spörk-Dür
Published 1 year, 11 months ago

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.

Bursary handover in Namibia

During the course of SOLTRAIN’s third and fourth phases, three bursary calls have been put out, attracting a total of 40 applications. From these, 15 projects have been approved which contribute to the overall aims of the SOLTRAIN project which include promoting the use of solar thermal energy in the SADC region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster the change from fossil fuels to the use of renewable energies.

Applications were received from students from all of the SOLTRAIN partner countries, and the SOLTRAIN steering committee took pleasure in being able to award four students from South Africa and Zimbabwe, two each from Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia and one student from Mozambique, meaning that all SOLTRAIN partner countries were represented. The gender breakdown of the applicants amounted to five female and ten male students.

The successful recipients dealt with topics like the potential analyses and transition of domestic hot water technology to solar thermal systems with respect to different applications like health, tourism and the industrial sector. Technology-oriented topics included the development and investigation of a solar absorber and a nocturnal radiator hybrid panel in Botswana. A full list of the topics covered so far:

  1. Comparative study of solar water heater and electrical geysers in terms of performance and financial benefits
  2. Design and performance monitoring of an innovative residential prototype solar air source heat pump water heater
  3. Design of a hybrid vapor absorption milk chiller (Solar and biogas) for small scale dairy farms in Zimbabwe
  4. Exploring solar thermal integration opportunities for the tourism and hospitality sector in Zimbabwe
  5. Soltrain research study for solar thermal system expansion and stagnation management
  6. Design and fabrication of a small-scale solar maize dryer with automated dryer control in Zimbabwe
  7. Adsorption refrigeration system design through modelling adiabatic cooling effects
  8. Potential analysis for solar thermal systems in the health sector - Lesotho (abstract)
  9. Solar Thermal Energy for Breweries - Lesotho (abstract)
  10. Numerical and experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a solar absorber and nocturnal radiator (SAANR) hybrid panel for climatic conditions of Gaborone - Botswana (abstract)
  11. Potential analysis for solar thermal systems in the Namibian health sector
  12. Domestic hot water technology transition to solar thermal systems: Barriers and opportunities in Maputo City - Mozambique (abstract)
  13. Potential analysis for solar thermal systems in the health sector - Botswana (abstract)
  14. Techno-economic assessment of a solar thermal industrial-scale system using compound parabolic collectors
  15. Development of a pilot-scale solar thermal dryer for the treatment of faecal sludge from on-site sanitation facilities

The current call for applicants for the support scheme is open and applications have to be submitted by 16 April 2021.

Please go to to appply.