- SOLTRAIN Press Release, 21 May 2019
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.2019-05-21 09:40:58
SOLTRAIN - Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative - is a regional initiative on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region. The programme in South Africa is managed by the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), at Stellenbosch University, and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), in partnership with AEE-Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) from Austria. It is funded by the Austrian Development Agency and co-funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
“SOLTRAIN is the most important and most successful know-how transfer project that AEE INTEC carries out worldwide,” explains Mr Werner Weiss Director of AEE INTEC. “The two solar thermal systems launched today were built as part of SOLTRAIN and are the two largest solar thermal systems south of the Sahara. We are proud to have supported our South African partners to design and build them.
“The success of the programme has led to the SOLTRAIN programme going into a fourth phase from July 2019 until December 2022. We are already looking forward to the continued excellent cooperation with our South African partners and the joint implementation of many other demonstration projects.
“With a broad transition to solar thermal systems for hot water preparation in the residential but also in the commercial and industrial sectors, the electricity sector in the SADC area could be massively relieved and, moreover, also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions, since the vast majority of the power plants in the region are run on coal.
“The 326 solar thermal systems built to date in the SOLTRAIN programme have a solar yield of 1 834 MWh/year and save about 2 000 MWh/year of electricity and avoid annually 638 tons of CO2. If one kWh of electricity is valued at R0.2139, the installed solar thermal systems save R4.3 million in electricity costs per year,” concludes Weiss.
The launch follows the fourth SOLTRAIN Conference, held on 14 May 2019 in South Africa, with all SOLTRAIN SADC partners and the solar sector.
The first of its kind, the Wits Junction district heating project combines solar, co-generation and gas heating technologies, servicing 14 student residence buildings with hot water from one centralised hot water plant room. Installation includes 600 m2 solar heating plant with 10 m2 Austrian collectors.
“The previous domestic systems were distributed systems on multiple roofs; the new solar layout is on one central roof,” explains Wally Weber of BlackDot Energy, one of the project developers.
“A combined system uses the advantages of each technology: solar has a very low running cost, while CHP (combined heat and power) gives continuous base load coverage. The combination covers thermal and essential electrical loads.
“There are 1 103 students in the 14 buildings, with an average consumption of 94 000 litres of hot water per day. Peak demand is in the morning, averaging 30% of daily consumption, with a maximum demand of 28 200 litres in an hour. The system supplies the entire hot water demand, including kitchens, laundry, cleaning and other domestic uses. Each student has his/her own kitchen and there are some centralised service rooms for cleaning staff.
“Since the system was commissioned, the complaints of not having hot water have reduced by 98%. The redundancy design guarantees supply, also during maintenance periods.
“The estimated costs savings are R40 million over the next 20 years and already the University has seen substantial electricity savings over the trial period of eight months. As the electricity cost from the co-generator is equal to municipal cost, the thermal energy is free and the centralised plant requires a lot less maintenance intervention, hence less costs. There is currently a back up water system installation in progress, with 300 000 litre tanks, and a more advanced logging and measurement system is also planned.
“The system has been a major success in not only meeting financial and energy saving parameters but also the service delivery levels have vastly improved. The small interruptions are from water interruptions from municipality or ring main circulation pumps blocked from debris in the water. Unlike previous systems, this project comes with integrated monitoring and maintenance from the very first planning day, moving us towards energy 4.0.”
The design team combined BlackDot Energy, DSB and Holms and Friends, with BlackDot Energy as project leader and appointed engineering company. Holms and Friends did the solar construction.
Klein Karoo tannery
The Klein Karroo International (KKI) tannery section has installed a 600 m2 solar collector system to reduce costs and increase competitiveness, since fuel costs are highly volatile. There was also an underlying strategy to move its production to a more renewable base; however finance was the main driver.
“Stellenbosch University approached various tanneries for process heat application viabilities and this tannery was the most forthcoming and had the budget to contribute to the study,” says Mr Doran Schoeman of E3 Energy.
“The process heat infrastructure uses an oil burner and not electrical heating. The fuel source is LO10 paraffin oil, at an indicated rate of 11.8 kWh per litre. The feasibility study design was that the solar would displace the local fuel, indicated as 60% solar fraction. The savings, based on measurements from the plant, indicate 285 000 kWh, with an average indication of R265 000 for the period of eight months or 24 150 litres of oil.
“Stellenbosch University indicated a payback of 6.5 years, based on a solar fraction of 60%. This is from a financial model analysis from the feasibility study, which includes maintenance, finance costs and all system related expenses.
“Strategically, the approach was to implement a first phase of renewable energy utilising solar thermal, and to monitor actual results to implied savings. There has been no further commitment as yet, as the analysis is still in progress,” ends Schoeman.
Dr Karen Surridge, Centre Manager, Renewable Energy Centre of Research & Development, SANEDI continues, “SANEDI is delighted to be associated with such landmark developments that put the SOLTRAIN projects firmly on the renewables table. The successful conference we have just held with SOLTRAIN partners indicates the relevance of this highly successful programme for the SADC renewable energy strategy and the development in successful systems across six countries.”Fenni Shidhika, Helvi Ileka & Angelo Buckley, 18 December 2018
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.2019-02-01 07:14:39
During his mission to Windhoek, Dr Ledolter visited some of the Namibian beneficiaries of the SOLTRAIN project, accompanied by staff from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Namibia Energy Institute (NEI), Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC), National Training Authority (NTA), National Youth Service (NYS) and Trinity Business Solution (TBS).
Dr. Ledolter’s visit also coincided with the official Launch of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREE). ADA is a core donor to SACREEE and supports the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres. In his keynote statement, Dr Ledolter highlighted the importance of regional cooperation and Austria’s support for the establishment of regional sustainable energy centres such as SACREEE. He also participated in the round table discussion of SACREEE partners on the theme “Promoting Sustainable Energy for Infrastructure Development through Regional Cooperation”.
Dr Ledolter also had the opportunity of being shown the first collector manufactured in Namibia by the participants of Train the Trainer Courses carried out under SOLTRAIN II. The collector was manufactured by the Vocational Educational Trainers, Kayec Training Trust, National Youth Service, NamWater Human Resource Development Centre and National Training Authority, with the assistance from the Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbert’s (GIZ) ProVet programme. The collector was also exhibited during the official launch of SACREEE.
Lastly, Dr Ledolter also paid a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor of NUST, Prof. Tjama Tjivikua. NUST is the main SOLTRAIN implementing partner in Namibia.
On the South African leg of his journery, Dr Ledolter was accompanied by Angelo Buckley and Karin Kritzinger from CRSES in visiting two of the large-scale solar thermal installations that were co-funded by SOLTRAIN, namely, the 120 m2 solar thermal system at Cape Brewing Company in Paarl and the 100 m2 solar thermal system at Melomed Hospital in Gatesville, Cape Town. These systems were installed during SOLTRAIN phases 2 and 3 respectively.
CRSES was proud to host Dr Ledolter and happy to present the positive impact ADA and SOLTRAIN has had on the solar thermal industry in South Africa and its beneficiaries through the co-funding of some of the largest solar thermal demonstration systems to date in the Western Cape.Dr Karen Surridge, 17 December 2018
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.2018-12-17 07:05:00
Initial project prioritisation identified Solar Water Heating (SWH) as a target for implementation, and in October, SANEDI, under the banner of SOLTRAIN, hosted a half day of decision maker seminar training and understanding SWH operating at different scales, followed by a half a day site visit to a large scale solar water heating installation at Wits Junction in Johannesburg.
The first part of the morning session explored an overview of SWH technologies at differing scales and what they can deliver. This was presented by Dr Karen Surridge (RECORD Centre Manager, SANEDI) and included an understanding of global solar thermal, SWH first principals, thermodynamics, thermosyphon versus pumped systems, different types of applications for solar thermal technologies (e.g. district heating, cooling, drying), and finally, examples of South African solar thermal installations.
This was followed by a presentation by Ms Karin Kritzinger (Senior Researcher CRSES, Stellenbosch University) that focussed on economic aspects and considerations for SWH in South Africa. Topics covered in order to understand the implications of investing in a SWH system included efficiency curves, user profiles, simulation software as a decision assistance tool, expected capital expenditure on different systems, expected operational expenditure in relation to durability, repair and maintenance, tariffs, return on investment and finally, payback period prediction.
Discussions from the morning session of theory included understanding the relationship between expenditure and energy savings when considering investment in a SWH system. The scale and what can be delivered by a system to different building types and demands was also of paramount importance in how a system could be engineered to deliver optimal performance in answer to the defined need.Fenni Shidhika and Helvi Ileka, 7 November 2018
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.2018-11-07 09:04:36
NEI, together with the AEE-Institute for Sustainable Technologies, installed monitoring equipment at four of the houses with domestic solar water heaters (DSWH) with electrical back up elements, and two monitoring systems on houses with normal domestic electric water heating (DEWH) systems.
The measuring, monitoring and data acquisition equipment functioned to collect and store data about system performance in order to verify and demonstrate the efficiency and cost savings of SWH compared to conventional electric geysers. Parameters analysed included the proportion of thermal energy generated by solar (the solar fraction), the energy from the electrical back-up element, the energy required to heat the water, the total mains electricity consumption, the volume of hot water per person per day and thermal heat losses.
A long-term comparison of benefits and disadvantages between DSWH and DEWH systems is useful in informing policy makers and to guide the NHE in the implementation of the cabinet directive.
From the graph below, a number of observations warrant attention:
- The electricity consumed in the two houses with DEWH is much higher compared to the houses with DSWH.
- The average solar yield per month is between 58 - 63 kWh/m2.
- House 2’s SWH system is under-designed, resulting in the need for an additional 86 kWh to heat up the water with an electrical backup element, representing 37 % of total energy consumption.
- The hot water demand is between 26 - 40 litres per person per day.
- The heat losses in DSWH are much higher when compared with those in the DEWH systems. This is due to the water in the storage tanks reaching higher temperatures during sunlight hours when compared with DEWH, resulting in a higher temperature difference compared to the ambient temperature of the tank’s surrounds. These losses could easily be reduced in future systems by better insulation of the tanks.
It was also observed that for some months, house 1 and 4 used 100 % solar to heat their water and the back-up element was only switched on in winter when solar energy was limited. Furthermore, the demand for hot water varies with seasons, and the behaviour of the occupants affects the operation of the SWH with the yearly solar fraction ranging between 60 - 96%, while the yearly solar yield ranges from 700 - 760 kWh/m2.
House 3 and House 5 were selected to do a detailed comparison of the two systems due to the fact that these houses both had 5 occupants. The results indicated that a house with a DSWH can save between 50 - 96% of the energy required for heating water on an annual basis, while a house with DEWH uses 37% of their total electricity consumption for heating water.
The savings realised by houses with DSWH equate to between N$1 500 and N$3 000 per year. This results in a payback period of 7 years assuming an initial investment of N$25 000, an inflation rate of 6% and an annual maintenance cost of 1% of the initial investment.
This could be reduced to 5 years with a subsidy from MME. Assuming that good quality DSWHs have a service lifetime of 15 to 20 years, the results look promising in demonstrating the long term techno-economic benefits of DSWHs when compared with DEWHs.Dr Karen Surridge, 7 November 2018
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.2018-11-07 08:53:45
Through this relationship, SANEDI was subsequently invited to speak at a provincial environmental forum to contribute towards improving energy usage and assist in advising towards compliance with the DODs environmental and energy strategy at military installations in Limpopo region.
SANEDI representatives have to date attended several exploratory trips to military installations at different scales throughout Limpopo Province in order to assess energy needs and to be able to provide preliminary informed advice on plausible, sustainable renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions. SANEDI now has a formal agreement to act as an implementing arm for DoD on identified collaborative projects that will address energy needs.
An initial project will entail the construction and operationalization of two 1 500 litre Solar Water Heating (SWH) systems at a pre-selected military base in Limpopo province. Since DoD is already constantly undertaking installation, maintenance and repair of water heating infrastructure at its units, this project aims to support and build capacity in this space for the DoD and its members. This can be achieved by implementing an energy efficient, renewable energy hardware system that supports human capacity development (HCD) as well as contributing towards reduced energy costs and reliable water heating energy security.
These developments have a great deal of overlap with the Austrian-funded bi-lateral project called the Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) which aims to tackle similar needs and create opportunities through addressing the SWH sector across six partner countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), namely, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia,
SOLTRAIN visits Regional Works Unit (RWU) Limpopo in connection with potential collaboration and training/skills development support.
Left to right: Cpt. (now Maj.) Shivhishi ; Mr Werner Weiss (Director AEE ITEC); Col. Benedict Manzini (Officer Commanding RWU Limpopo); Lt. Col. Hennie Davel (Chief Environmental Officer RWU Limpopo); Dr. Karen Surridge (RECORD Centre Manager, SANEDI)
South Africa, and Zimbabwe. All these partner countries are pursuing policies that enhance security of supply, energy conservation and increase energy access. Furthermore, in all partner countries there are national plans and policies on the support to increase the use of solar thermal systems in place.
Starting in 2009, SOLTRAIN aims to support the national solar thermal plans and is currently in its third 3-year-long phase, through the initiative, parties are able to apply (through the appointed contractor) to the SOLTRAIN programme for financial support towards SWH systems and artisan training (elaborated in a subsequent project agreement). SANEDI, supported by the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at University of Stellenbosch, is the national implementing partner for the SOLTRAIN programme in South Africa.
In this regard, RECORD (Renewable Energy Centre Of Research and Development) at SANEDI, has been hard at work procuring a SWH system for the DoD, the first of several collaborative projects taking place between SANEDI and the DoD after the signing of a 5-year Memorandum of Agreement on 16 July 2018. The project is expected to be partially supported through SOLTRAIN funding and will be implemented by SANEDI, thus cementing the interaction of SANEDI, the DoD and SOLTRAIN in the upcoming fourth phase commencing in July 2019.
This SWH installation will provide hot water to two accommodation bungalows that are used to accommodate military members, approximately half of which are female, performing medical tasks. Furthermore, four DoD members will be trained to maintain this system and will shadow the contractor during installation and maintenance.
In a similar vein, RECORD has delivered a number of training sessions on renewable energy, energy efficiency and SWH system understanding and awareness at several military units, in order to prepare members for the upcoming projects.
Furthermore, SANEDI and RECORD, under the banner of SOLTRAIN, are conducting half-day awareness sessions including the basics of renewable energy and energy efficiency with a focus on how SWH works, and how it can make a difference at varying scales.
This includes an experiment conducted from a worksheet designed originally for School Science clubs known as the Science Spazas. In the experiment, members of the South African National Defence Force get to test the hypothesis behind why heating water with the sun really works. In fact, at the most recent session, after only three and a half hours in the sun, the test water had reached a whopping 660 Celsius! There is nothing like a touch and feel exercise to prove science.Mr Angelo Buckley, 7 November 2018
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.2018-11-07 08:50:22
The goal of the study was to investigate the variation of the specific costs in EURO/m2 installed of both thermosyphon and pumped type solar thermal systems in the partnering SADC countries of the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN). These countries include South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The cost data of SOLTRAIN co-funding applications from 2010 to mid-2017 was made available by AEE-Intec to conduct the study. This included co-funding applications from SOLTRAIN phase 1, phase 2 and midway through phase 3. This data accounted for 92 solar thermal projects, which amounts to a total of 294 solar thermal systems which applied for co-funding from the six SADC partnering countries.
The study highlighted the following:
- The average specific cost of pumped solar thermal systems ranged from approximately 470 to 1 000 EURO/m2 across five of the six countries, with Lesotho exhibiting the highest costs.
- The average specific cost of thermosyphon systems ranged from approximately 500 to 700 EURO/m2 across four of the six countries, with South Africa presenting the highest costs.
- The average specific cost of pumped and thermosyphon systems was 745 EURO/m2 and 613 EURO/m2, respectively, over the period from 2010 to mid-2017.
The study shows that there is a large variation in specific cost of both pumped and thermosyphon installations in the SADC countries in relation to the gross collector area installed and that this variation is noticeably larger for pumped systems in relation to that of thermosyphon systems. The results of this study were limited to the availability of application data, which, it is hoped, will be built upon with the progression of the SOLTRAIN project.
The findings of this study aim at providing clearer approximation of the average specific costs for particular solar thermal technologies attributed to each of the SADC countries, and also to investigate the behaviour of cost trends through the growth of the technology’s deployment within the SADC region.SOLTRAIN Admin, 7 November 2018
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.2018-11-07 08:45:27
The bursary supports travel costs to visit another institution in Southern Africa for further study or experimental work, equipment costs to conduct experiments to support research, and the running cost of experimental work or further studies.
You can read more on last year’s successful applicants here.
This year’s application form can be downloaded at this link. Please distribute it to your local networks and note that the closing date for applications is the 16 November 2018.Prof. E. Matlotse, 30 July 2018
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).2018-07-30 15:35:44
Also in attendance was Ms. Helvi Ileka from the Namibia Energy Institute, SOLTRAIN’s Namibian country partner.
The installations at the school involved the refurbishing the existing solar heating system at the boys’ hostel and installling new solar thermal systems at the girls’ hostel.
The proceedings started with the principal of the school, Mr. A. Taylor giving a welcoming address. In his address, he thanked the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) and the SOLTRAIN project sponsors (Austrian Development Agency and OPEC) for their support.
CERC Director, Prof. E. Matlotse, outlined the SOLTRAIN project achievements to date and thanked the school and the SO SOLAR (Pty) Ltd for partnering in the project.
Ms. K. Giffard of SO SOLAR (Pty) Ltd, took the attendees through how they, as a company, executed the installations from start to finish. She emphasised that an important thing to note was that they had been beneficiaries of the SOLTRAIN training programme, and had thus become elligible to apply for SOLTRAIN funding to kickstart the project. They then approach the school after consulting its respective management and they were successful. Finally, they executed the installations. She also took time to thank the school management, CECR and the project sponsors.
After the speeches, attendees conducted a tour of the installations. Proceedings were closed by Mr. H. Ngwenya of Capricon Solar (Pty) Ltd. In his closing address, he thanked everyone who came to this important occasion and encouraged all stakeholders in the solar thermal technology space nationally to work towards realising the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (BSTTR). He added that even though it will be challenging, it is still achievable!Samson Mhlanga, 30 July 2018
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.2018-07-30 15:33:33
Other organisations present included the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education represented by the Provincial Education Director - Bulawayo Province, Bulawayo City Council Parks, Alliance Française de Bulawayo, Environmental Management Agency, Forestry Commission, Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition, Zimbabwe Water Authority, Meteorological Department, National Parks and Wildlife Department, Zimbabwe Tree Ambassador and various Primary and Secondary Schools.
The objective was to use a single day to commemorate a number of significant global environment events occurring in March, including Africa Environmental Day, World Wildlife Day, International Forest Day, World Water Day, World Meteorological Day and Earth Hour Day. The commemoration involved raising awareness of the different days and their importance through presentations, followed by Quiz Time for the students.
These sessions were then followed by a practical demonstration by Mr G Munhuwamambo and Eng A. Mnkandla of the Solar Thermal Technology which offered practical solutions to challenges common to all the environmental days.
The gathering was concluded with a symbolic tree-planting ceremony. The event was sponsored by Alliance Française de Bulawayo represented by their Director, Mr Durand-Massé. Mr J Zvaita (Programme Director of Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition), Mrs S B Ncube (Deputy Provincial Education Director), Eng S Mhlanga (SOLTRAIN-NUST Representatives), Mr D. Ndlovu (EMA) and Mr S Dube (BCC) also presented at the event.Khothatso Mpheqeke and Karen Surridge, 30 July 20182018-07-30 15:27:28
The African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum is the premier Sustainability Week event for city leaders on the African continent and key challenges threatening growth and development in Africa are addressed, including issues such as rapid urbanisation, energy and water access and stresses, sanitation, the global economic slowdown, rising unemployment and social inequities, trade facilitation, connectivity, land and biodiversity degradation, amongst others, as well as the significant and growing impacts of climate change.
The conference and exhibition has a broad audience base with the exhibition not only visited by professional delegates within the sustainability space, but also by the public and students, and is thus an important means of spreading information to a wider audience.
Due to the profile of this event, SANEDI often fields requests from the media for interviews, and Dr Karen Surridge, SOLTRAIN programme lead for South Africa in Gauteng, was approached to do an interview about Sustainability as a broad concept.
She utilised the platform to speak about the SOLTRAIN programme and used solar water heating as an example of sustainable renewable energy-based technology.
The link for the interview is provided on the SOLTRAIN website and/or can be accessed here (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=6VfZP2U7MuE).Prof. E. Matlotse, 30 July 2018
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, 2018.2018-07-30 15:25:33
Ten individuals were trained, including four from the Department of Energy (DoE). Two of the DoE participants were permanent staff members and two were attached students from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology. Another two participants were technicians from the Maruapula Secondary School and, with an additional two individuals from Pumping Fuel company. The remaining two participants were private individuals.
In the opening address, Prof. E. Matlotse restated that this was the second of the five training courses which are planned for SOLTRAIN III
The first training course was held in the third quarter of 2017 in which 20 Ministry of Basic Education technicians coming from all the 9 national districts were trained. The next training course will be held in Maun.
Prof. E. Matlotse added that the project is intended to position the country to be able to implement the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap (BSTTP) which is one of the key outputs of SOLTRAIN. In turn, the country would make gains in the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, thereby contributing to climate mitigation.
The second training course was three-days in duration, with participants being awarded certificates upon completion.
The training was administered by the UB team under the CERC and included the efforts of were Prof. E. Matlotse, Prof. A. Obok Opok, Mr. O. T. Masoso, Mr. O. Seretse and Mr. M. Lethapa.Malealea Lodge, 30 July 2018
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.2018-07-30 15:23:28
Through monitoring, it was found that the geysers were effective for at least 300 days of the year, and during this time, produced a wholly adequate amount of hot water for the establishment’s guests.
During the rainy season, when a lot of overcast conditions occur, the output of the solar geysers needs to be carefully monitored. When the solar output is not sufficient, staff at the lodge switch back to the original gas geysers as a backup. The system was designed so that the change over is extremely simple.
The savings on gas has been significant due to the ample amount solar radiation the lodge receives for much of the year, and plans are afoot to install another 10 systems in the not too distant future.Khothatso Mpheqeke and Karen Surridge, 30 July 2018
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.2018-07-30 15:21:57
The African Utility week is an international conference hosted annually, providing the largest gathering of energy and water professionals focused on all aspects of provision of energy services to the African market, where attendees can source solutions, generate business and connect with new and existing energy markets. SANEDI participates at this conference annually, through speaking and/or exhibiting.
This year, various stakeholders approached the SANEDI exhibition stand, many of whom were aware of the SOLTRAIN programme and had benefited from it since the first phase through training, knowledge sharing and networking and system installations. SOLTRAIN promotional material was widely distributed and the project received great interest.Tawanda Mushiri and Samson Mhlanga, 30 July 20182018-07-30 14:55:44
Energy is essential to economic growth and poverty reduction in Zimbabwe and the national drive to eradicate poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires skilled professionals to manage and implement energy development projects. While basic knowledge is imparted in the undergraduate program, there is need for specialization to successfully implement renewable energy projects.
The serious energy security challenges being faced by the country point to increased demand for renewable energy experts, preferably at postgraduate level, who would service all sectors related to demand and supply of energy in Zimbabwe.
The academic programme was suspended by the University in 2012 due to dwindling numbers of lecturers and supervisors who were qualified to offer MSc programmes. Recently however, the Department of Mechanical Engineering engaged partners in the region and beyond, to provide qualified complementary personnel as a short-term measure to allow the programme to run while staff development efforts are intensified to support the training of academics in order to attain PhD qualifications in the renewable energy field.
The partners include:
- Africa EU Renewable Energy Co-operation Programme (RECP).
- European Union Energy Initiative
- University of Dar es Salaam
- Technical University of Munich (TUM)
- Makerere University
The purpose of the MSc is to provide high quality postgraduate education in the field of renewable energy so that participants develop proficiency in renewable energy project design, implementation, operation and maintenance, as well as in crucial phases of policy generation. There is also scope for focussed research on renewable energy-related topics.
The re-launched masters degree builds on the Mechanical Engineering Department’s other efforts towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, its participation in the Solar Thermal Training and Development Initiative (SOLTRAIN). Through the initiative, the department will be able to capitalise on the programme’s regional knowledge network, as well as have the use of the SOLTRAIN solar thermal demonstration trailer as well as access to various solar thermal demonstration sites. This will contribute immensely to solar thermal-related learning and research.
The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Energy and Power Development was the guest of Honour where more than 120 participants attended the launch earlier this year.SOLTRAIN Lesotho, 30 July 2018
In order to create income and ensure future sustainability, the Bethal Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), with funding and support from SOLTRAIN, has established a solar thermal company in Mohale’s Hoek and has extended its existing workshop.2018-07-30 14:53:05
The workshop is equipped with the necessary tools for the local assembly of solar thermal systems and the welding of stands.
After a diligent procurement exercise, Adendorff Machinery Mart in Bloemfontein was selected as the preferred supplier of the tools and equipment needed for the new venture due to its wide range of stock and proximity to BBCDC.