CRSES has spearheaded a number of exciting flagship projects.


Solar radiometric data for the public

Together with the Group for Solar Energy Thermodynamics (GSET) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, CRSES initiated the establishment of this regional network of solar monitoring stations with the aim of becoming the resource for sun strength data in Southern Africa. The Southern African Universities Radiometric Network (SAURAN) aims to make high-resolution, ground-based solar radiometric data available from stations located across the Southern African region, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Reunion Island.


Addressing a huge power deficit in the SADC region

CRSES is a proud partner of the Southern African Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN). This initiative focuses on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region. The aim of SOLTRAIN is to support target countries in changing from a largely fossil energy supply system to a sustainable supply structure based on renewable energy in general, and on solar thermal in particular. About 3 000 people have been trained in more than 100 training courses in the six partner countries since the beginning of the SOLTRAIN programme.


The smallest, most cost-effective plug and play solar solution in the world

The Helio100 could become the smallest, most cost-effective plug and play solar solution in the world. Using Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology, the facility consists of a field of tracking mirrors called heliostats and a small tower that captures concentrated sunlight capable of running a turbine at a 1,000 degrees Celsius. Developed by the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG) and CRSES at the University of Stellenbosch , the Helio100 is a breakthrough due to the cost-effective nature of the facility. The pilot project with over 100 heliostats of 2.2 square meters each generates 150 Kilowatts (kW) of power in total – enough to power approximately 10 households.