Industrial Solar GmbH was invited by the SOLTRAIN (Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative) program to deliver an advanced training session on Linear Fresnel Collectors. The SOLTRAIN, a regional program funded by the Austrian Development Agency and OFID, works to build capacity and demonstrate solar thermal systems in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
SOLTRAIN trains local change-makers in renewable energy
SOLTRAIN (https://soltrain.org/) started in 2009 as a cooperation among Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe – the SADC countries. These nations face challenges such as severe energy deficit, diversifying the energy mix, and reducing reliance on coal. The lack of power and sustainable heat supply also significantly threatens economic growth.
In the region, over 80% of the electricity is still generated from coal. However, the SADC member countries have excellent solar irradiation, so much so that the International Energy Agency estimates that solar thermal systems could meet about 70-80% of the region’s demand for heating and cooling.
The SOLTRAIN program was founded to address the said challenges and be part of the solution to support and contribute to implementing energy policies for the target countries, provide training for know-how transfer, and support the implementation of pilot projects through technical support and funding. The aim is to prepare the local stakeholders and companies to uptake and multiply the use of solar thermal systems.
An improved renewable energy supply in the SADC member states will positively impact all aspects of sustainable development, from access to water, agricultural and industrial productivity, health care, education, and job creation, to fighting environmental pollution and climate change.
Industrial Solar empowers the South African energy professionals
Industrial Solar has a strong worldwide track record in implementing solar thermal systems – particularly its Linear Fresnel Collectors. Thus, it was invited to SOLTRAIN to teach about Linear Fresnel Collectors on the 4th and 5th of July at Stellenbosch, South Africa. The “Medium Temperature Solar Process Heat” training is aimed at energy professionals who work to implement renewable energy solutions in the SADC countries. It includes various subjects from the solar thermal markets, technologies, challenges, and opportunities. Within the scope of the comprehensive advanced training, the Industrial Solar team covered collector design and performance, system design, and dimensioning for the technical part. The training also showed built examples of Fresnel Collectors and shared experiences from the installations. It also provided the attendants with tools to analyze system cost and economics.
Participating in such an event is valuable to Industrial Solar because it increases international collaborations, nurtures knowledge transfer, and contributes to unlocking the local potential for executing solar thermal solutions. The Industrial Solar team is proud to have trained more than 40 professional attendees about their flagship technology, Fresnel Collectors, at the SOLTRAIN. The positive feedback from this event shows that Industrial Solar can expect further inquiries from the SADC region. This training inspires the company to develop further activities in other countries that want to benefit from solar energy expertise and knowledge transfer.