Impact of solar towers on birds investigated

It is possible to reduce the impact that concentrating solar power (CSP) towers might have on bird populations by managing the infrastructure well, especially during downtime when it is not generating power. So says HP van Heerden, after completing research at South Africa’s only concentrating solar power tower.

Read more about it here

Research Fellow positions at ANU

ANU (Australian National University) presently has four post-doctoral positions advertised in the Solar Thermal Group, see the link below.  The positions suit people with materials, mechanical, metallurgical or process engineering background, and spans CSP topics relating to thermal storage technologies, advanced materials, and system modelling, as well as decarbonisation of steelmaking.  Applications close 28 September 2020.

Mirror panels soiling study

PREMA: Energy efficient, primary production of manganese ferroalloys through the application of novel energy systems in the drying and pre-heating of furnace feed materials
Published on: Thursday, 6 August, 2020

The Highveld region of South Africa experiences cold-dry winter conditions. Therefore, even moderate winds have the potential to entrain dust particles into the lower reaches of the atmosphere, especially in the more arid and industrialised regions of the Highveld.

Read more here.

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation – Invitation to apply

The Royal Academy of Engineering opened applications for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2021 on 23 June 2020. The prize aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.


Applications are invited from individuals or small teams, living and working in sub-Saharan Africa. Entrepreneurs from all engineering disciplines, with an innovation that can provide scalable solutions to local challenges, are invited to enter.


Shortlisted applicants will receive a package of tailored support to help them achieve commercial success from their innovation. Please be aware that while applicants need not be proficient in English, all training will be conducted in English.


Applications close on 14 September 2020:

STERG PhD candidate interviewed

STERG PhD student, Steve Clark, was recently interviewed on Total’s Brulpadda find. Read about it here.

Engineering open day 2020

In February Stellenbosch University hosted the annual Engineering Department open day. Prospective students and their families visited the faculty to learn about the various degree options. All the research groups from the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Department present some of their work to showcase the various careers and research fields graduates can enter.

Each year STERG teams up with CRSES to provide information of the renewable energy studies available at the department.

Every year STERG brings out the parabolic dish to braai some snacks. This never fails to attract interested and hungry parties. There’s nothing better than learning about clean energy over a braai.

Thanks to all the post-grad students for helping out and informing prospective students about their options in the renewable energy field at the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Department.

11th Renewable Energy Postgraduate Symposium: Call for Abstracts

North-West University
21 September 2020

The Centre of Excellence in Carbon-based Fuels together with the SARChI Research Chair in Coal Research and the SARChI Research Chair in Biofuels are co-hosting the annual national renewable energy postgraduate symposiums (REPS) to provide masters’ and doctoral students the opportunity to present their research. In 2020 the focus of the symposium will be on wind, bio-energy, solar thermal, PV and CSP, renewable energy finance and renewable energy policy as well as clean coal and emissions abatement technologies. The programme will be communicated in due course.

All academics and students with an interest in renewable and sustainable energy are welcome to attend. Limitedsponsorships will be made available to students from outside the North West Province who require assistance
with travel and accommodation provided that they present a paper in one of the focus areas. All students receiving NRF bursaries are especially encouraged to submit an abstract.

Students that will present their work will be required to submit abstracts that will be published in a book of abstracts.

21 September 2020
Seminar Rooms G01, G02 and G03, Building N1
(Engineering Complex), North-West University –
Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom
Important Dates
Extended Abstracts Date: 30 June 2020
Notification of authors: 10 July 2020
Full Papers Due: 24 August 2020
Final Papers Due: 21 Sept. 2020

Students who are interested to participate are requested to e-mail their abstracts and contact information to
Prof Sanette Marx by 25 May 2020 at or contact her on 018 299 1995.

GIZ: Intern – Country Office GIZ South Africa, Lesotho (Duration: 6 months)

The intern’s core task will be to support the Portfolio Manager in organisational, administrative and technical aspects to guarantee the successful management and strengthening of the projects’ portfolio at GIZ South Africa and Lesotho.

In this way, the intern will have the opportunity to gain an overview on several relevant and interesting processes that characterize GIZ’s offices and projects’ work worldwide. The closing date for applications is 20 March 2020.

See link to view advert.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be informed!
Applications without a motivation letter will not be considered!

SolarPACES 2020: First Announcement and Call for Papers

SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) is pleased to announce the SolarPACES 2020 conference to be held from September 29 – October 2, 2020, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SolarPACES is the premier international network advancing research, development, and commercial deployment of concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and related technologies.

This year, our annual SolarPACES conference once again offers an excellent scientific and technical conference program, and provides an opportunity for industry, research, political and financing stakeholders and experts around the world to gather and share insights into recent R&D activities and new developments in CSP technology, with an additional focus on marketing and commercialization. The 2020 edition will offer a special focus on current US R&D activities and market perspectives in the CSP sector (see Chair´s welcome message).

Attendees will also have the opportunity to join the Technical Tours to visit Solana, the CSP plant in Arizona, and also to visit a globally renowned CSP research center: the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) at Sandia National Laboratories. Further details are available here; please follow up for updates. The famous Albuquerque balloon festival starts immediately after the conference, offering another exciting experience for conference attendees. However, this festival does attract many visitors, resulting in rising prices for nearby hotels and motels, so we recommend making your accommodation reservations as early as possible (see accommodation information).

SolarPACES 2020 Call for Papers
If you wish to present a paper, an extended abstract
should be submitted electronically providing clear information that allows us to determine the significance and quality of your work. Review criteria include originality, scientific and technical quality of the results, and relevance to the conference topics. The abstract template which serves as a guideline is available here. Please note that for this upcoming conference we encourage, as always, submission of full papers for accepted contributions for publication in the planned online proceedings with AIP, but don´t require this. The organizing committee may request a justification for non-submission of full papers, to include, for example, preliminary results that are currently being prepared for a journal publication or reviews of previously published work that haven’t been presented previously to this CSP community.

Conference Topics

  • Advanced materials, manufacturing, and components
  • Commercial Projects
  • Emerging and Disruptive Concepts
  • Measurement Systems, Devices, and Procedures
  • CSP Integration, Markets, and Policy
  • Power Cycles
  • Solar Industrial Process Heat and Thermal Desalination
  • Operations, Maintenance, and Component Reliability
  • Analysis and Simulation of CSP and Hybridized Systems
  • Solar Fuels and Chemical Commodities
  • Solar Resource Assessment
  • Thermal Energy Storage Materials, Media, and Systems
  • Solar Collector Systems
  • Receivers and Heat Transfer Media and Transport: Linear Systems
  • Receivers and Heat Transfer Media and Transport: Point Focus Systems

Please note the following important dates for SolarPACES 2020:

Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: June 15, 2020
Registration opens: July 15, 2020
Full Papers Due: August 10, 2020