Solar roof laboratory

  • 1,000 square meter solar roof laboratory with staff and workshop
  • Solar resource assessment and weather station with public website access
  • State of the art solar water heater test facility for student research and commercial projects
  • 25 kW McDonnel Douglas Sterling dish
  • Utilities and control facilities to perform contract R&D on CSP optical systems


Receiver test facility

  • 18 m flex use lattice tower
  • 40 square meter aperture heliostat field for intermediate flux (~50 suns)

Other research laboratories

STERG owns a number of facilities situated within the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

  • 1000 °C Kiln with automated quick charge/discharge capabilities
  • 5 cubic meter, 3 ton, 600 °C thermal storage test facility
  • Differential Scanning Calorimeter capable of sampling to 700 °C
  • Software: Fluent CFD, ArcGIS, TRNSYS, FLOWNEX etc.
  • Further access to Departmental heat transfer and flow laboratories including multiple wind tunnel


Stellenbosch University Renewable Energy Centre (SUNREC)

  • 2 Hectare facility at Mariendahl experimental farm, enabling dual use of land and cross-discipline research
  • Available for SU post graduate students, affiliates and for contract research and testing
  • Electrified for multiple experiments including feeding into the grid
  • Reticulated water supply
  • Fenced for basic security
  • Helio100 heliostat R&D pilot system with secure control and storage capable of expansion and adaption. The Helio100 project is closed.
  • Full Solys tracker and weather station
  • Newly installed 15 kW single axis tracking PV system
  • Under construction: Packed bed thermal storage pilot with gas combustor designed to be retro-fitted to an air receiver


MinwaterCSP test facility

A full-scale test facility was purposely designed and constructed at Stellenbosch University to demonstrate the performance of a large diameter axial flow fan under installed conditions and to test and develop the water reticulation system of a deluge condenser cell (see above photo). The facility has the following general specifications:

  1. 24 ft fan rotor diameter.
  2. The fan drive consists of a 10:1 parallel shaft reduction gearbox, in turn connected to a 132 kW (rated) electric motor (drive end) and variable speed drive (VSD) for controlling fan rotational speed up to a maximum of 150 rpm. The gearbox and motor are mounted on a slew bearing that enables measurement of the shaft torque.
  3. The deluge system is quipped with an 18.5 kw pump that enables circulation of water to feed a ¼ quarter segment of a full deluge system.

For more information please visit the following link