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Rover gas turbine at 45,000 RPM

STERG researchers, Leon Zhang and Ruben Luiten, running a Rover in one of the engine test cells.

According to Leon

You can see the RPM climbs slowly until 20 000, then it rises up to 45 000 very quickly and stay stable. We managed to get 39.2kw and 147Nm for a short time, but due to the EGT is too high, we shut it down. For a 60 years old engine rated at 45kw, we are very happy to see these numbers. The beauty is all these operations are follow by a detailed procedure we designed, it is all repeatable and the test setup is reliable, which is good for future student to continue work on this engine.


CRSES and STERG members win prestigious SANEA and SANEDI awards

SANEA (South African National Energy Association) and SANEDI (South African National Energy Development Institute) awards for 2014 have been handed out during a gala evening on 21 August.


Directer of the Centre of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Prof Wikus van Niekerk (left in photo), received the 2014 SANEA Energy Award for contributing to renewable energy in South Africa, particularly solar energy. Prof van Niekerk is well known for actively participating in national planning activities as well being involved in several national and international associations, societies and collaborative research.

Associate director of CRSES, Prof Alan Brent (middle), together with his former PhD student and Nebank’s sustainability and carbon footprinting specialist, Dr Marco Lotz, received the SANEA Energy Education Award for their Carbon Footprinting guide which was published earlier in this year.

Electronic engineer and developer of a heliostat field control system, Karel Malan (right), won the SANEDI/RECORD RERE Young Researcher Award. The success of this research contributed to funding awarded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) towards TIA-Helio100, an 18 month technology development project.

Congratulations from the rest of the STERG members – your work contribute to Stellenbosch University’s position as leader in renewable energy.
The full article is availble on the SU website.

Kotzé identified as M&G’s 200 Young South Africans for Thermal Energy Storage research

Johan Kotzé has won SA NEDI’s Young Researcher Award in 2013 for his     contribution to Concentrated Solar Power and has also been identified by the  Mail & Guardian’s supplement, 200 Young South Africans 2014, as one of the “young stars who are shaping South Africa’s future.”

Kotzé’s research is specifically focussed on the use of metallic phase change materials for thermal energy storage and the use of metallic heat transfer fluids.
Congratulations from the rest of the STERG members.

Read the full article on the M&G Young South Africans website.


STERG is well represented at SolarPACES again. We were involved in the pre-conference workshops, This crowd picture is our slide which coincidentally was displayed as backdrop to the Tuesday morning plenary discussion. Watch out for Vikesh Rajpaul (Eskom) on the final day of the conference!

Masters & Doctoral Bursaries for 2015 from CRSES

The Centre of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies are offering bursaries to Masters and PhD students in the field of renewable energy.  Only South African citizens or students with permanent residence permits are eligible to apply.

The value of the bursaries are:
Masters:  R 100 000
PhD:        R 150 000

Closing date:  15 September 2014

More information and application forms are available on the CRSES website.

Renew Energy Logo RGB WvN



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2014 STERG SolarPACES Symposium concluded



STERG Leadership and special guests.

The 2nd Annual STERG SolarPACES Symposium which was held at Stellenbosch University was a great success and various researchers, interested students and members of industry and public attended sessions presented on work related to concentrating solar power (CSP) as well as solar process heat.

STERG would also like to thank our sponsors and those who contributed to the success of the symposium by attending.

For more details and access to the work that was presented, click here.

SASEC 2015 announced


Click here or logo to go to the website

The Third Southern African Solar Energy Conference (SASEC2015)

  • 31 July 2014 Abstract submission
  • 5 August 2014 Notification of abstract acceptance
  • 15 September 2014 Submission of full papers
  • 15 November 2014 Notification of acceptance of full papers
  • 15 December 2014 Revised paper
  • 15 January 2015 Notification of acceptance of revised paper
  • 15 February 2015 Early payment and upload of final paper
  • 15 March 2015 Final date for payment and upload of final paper

NRF RSE Scholarships announced



Announcement of Call

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Masters and Doctoral Scholarships for 2015

In an effort to develop human capacity and support the transition towards a sustainable energy system, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is providing postgraduate research scholarships that aim at increasing science, engineering and technology (SET) skills in South Africa.

Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the National Research Foundation (NRF):

Focus areas should be in line with the following broad research themes:

  • Cleaner fossil fuel development, including clean coal technologies;
  • Renewable energy (bioenergy including bio-fuels, solar energy, wind energy, etc.);
  • Energy impact on the environment;
  • Energy for socio-economic development;
  • Energy system planning and modelling; and
  • Energy policy research.

Evaluation of applications

Applications will be assessed by outside panellists in a peer review meeting. Depending on whether applicants are masters or doctoral students, applications will be assessed based on (but not limited to) the following criteria:

  • Academic merit and potential
  • Commitment and self-organisation
  • Significance of the research
  • Understanding the specifics of chosen area of specialisation
  • Technical and scientific quality of proposed research
  • Possible impact of the research / national priority
  • Understanding of chosen area of specialisation

Application dates

Call opens : 26 June 2014

Call closes : 15 August 2014

Designated Authorities (DAs) have until 22 August 2014 to validate applications. Institutions must please set their own internal closing dates for DAs to validate applications by this date.

Please direct queries to:

Ms Tsibiso Mohlomi-Mongale: Professional Officer – Applied Research, Innovation and Collaboration (ARIC). Telephone: 012 481-4315. E-mail:

Ms Zikhona Lose: Professional Officer – Grants Management and Systems Administration (GMSA) Telephone: 012 481-4365. E-mail:

Ms Nolubabalo Moepi: Liaison Officer – Grants Management and Systems Administration (GMSA). Telephone: 012 481-4311. Email:


RSES Postgraduate Programme Information Manual for 2015


SAURAN test launch announcement

The Southern African Universities Radiometric Network (SAURAN)

GSET (UKZN) and CRSES (SU) have announced a test* launch of the SAURAN website. The following link and image will take you there. There is also a link on the left of this page.



The Southern African Universities Radiometric Network (SAURAN) is an initiative of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University and the Group for Solar Energy Thermodynamics (GSET) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

* Please be gentle during this initial period.