First solar-powered EV charging station in South Africa

  The first solar photovoltaic (PV) powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station in South Africa was launched on 16 March 2015. The station, which is part of a 9 kW installation, is located on the premises of the South African-German chamber of commerce and industry (SAGCC), in Forest town Johannesburg. The system, which is considered […]

Save fuel and money with renewables in the midst of an energy crisis

  The national media has seen a flood of reports on the performance of the new renewable energy systems installed under the REIPPP, based on a press release issued by the CSIR. The release reports a savings in both fuel and costs, giving a net savings of R800-million in 2014. This article is a summary […]

Suspect solar panels stunt growth of community crèche

  The opening of a community crèche as reported in October 2014 (, was greeted with great expectations. The crèche is regarded as a major benefit the community and as a successful social upliftment programme. The performance of the main solar power system has been less than encouraging, and has affected the functioning of the […]

A pilot test of ethanol gel as a paraffin replacement for low-income homes

  Ethanol gel fuels have been studied for several years as a possible replacement for paraffin. It has a number of obvious advantages over paraffin: It should burn more cleanly; it should not flow far if spilled; and it should be far more readily extinguished than paraffin. Although a number of large-scale attempts have been […]

Biojetfuel: Biofuel with a future

  The recent announcement that a South African carrier together with a major manufacturer and biofuel companies are to develop biofuel for its fleet of jets may signal the start of an entire new biofuel industry in this country. Aviation biofuels have been used by commercial and military organisations for some time now and this […]

High temperature solar thermal fuel production

  Thermal processes for the production of fuels such as liquid hydrocarbons and hydrogen from hydrocarbon gas and carbon dioxide are well established processes, but all use fossil fuels as an energy source. The development of high temperature solar thermal systems offers an energy savings alternative to the use of fossil fuels, and opens opportunities […]

Kizildere II: Geothermal energy in Turkey

  Zorlu Energy, a large Turkish contractor, is an innovative and forward-thinking firm which is a part of the Zorlu Group of companies, a huge Turkey conglomerate. Zorlu Energy entered in the geothermal arena after they purchased the 15 MW Kizildere I Geothermal Power Plant in 2008. The Kizildere site is located in the Menderes […]

Using magnetic slot wedges in hydro generators

  The stator of a hydro generator is usually designed and constructed with open slots. Windings (bars or coils) are inserted into the stator core and then fixed with the non-magnetic slot wedges. Open slots result in slot harmonics which have an effect on some of the characteristics of the generator, such as total harmonic […]

Using smart storage to enhance rooftop solar performance

  Rooftop , or own generation, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, are being installed by many commercial and industrial users, including mines, with the aim of reducing energy costs and increasing security of supply. What many users don’t realise is that the load profile results in unused energy which may be utilised to gain further advantages […]