2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014

The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies hosted its annual national symposium to provide masters and doctoral students across South African institutions with the opportunity to present their research.

The 5th symposium took place from 13 to 14 July 2015 in the Knowledge Centre building of the Faculty of Engineering. This symposium incorporated the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG) symposium on the 14th July, which focused on solar thermal energy topics. The wind, ocean, bio-energy and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology platforms were the focus of the second day of the symposium.

Download the 2015 REPS programme here
Monday 13 July 2015
G Mutezo: Waste-to-energy Technologies: Bottlenecks Impeding Adoption in South African Local Municipalities

N Nwokolo: The Design of a Waste Heat System Capable of Harnessing Energy from the Surface of a Cyclone Dust Collector attached to a Downdraft Biomass Gasifier

P Maumela: Integrated Jerusalem Artichoke Biorefinery for the Production of Bioethanol and High Value Products

G Diederichs: Techno-Economic Assessment of Processes that Produce Jet Fuel from Plant-Derived Sources

G Erfort: Numerical Optimisation of Small Scale Wind Turbine through the use of Surrogate Modeling

G Oosthuizen Design of an Ironless Double-Rotor Radial Flux Permanent Magnet Machine

P van Wyk: Simplified Analysis Technique for Double Layer Non-overlap Multiphase Slip Permanent Magnet Couplings in Wind Energy Applications

N Zietsman: Optimal Design Methodology of a three phase Rotary Transformer for a Doubly Fed Induction Generator Application

C Chukwuka: An Economic Assessment of the Concentrated Solar Power with National Energy Regulator of South African Feed-in Tariff Scheme

E Fouche: Structured Participatory Decision Processes to Promote Energy Sustainability at a City Level: A Systematic Review

R Padi: Economic Impacts of Mechanisation and In-House Renewable Energy Generation and Integration in African CPO Mills

N Korsten: An Investigation into the Financial Impact of Embedded Generation at Household Level on Local Governments in South Africa: The Case of Stellenbosch Municipality

I Meyer: Characterisation of the Agulhas Current as a Resource for Marine Energy Extraction

L Braby: Observed Eddy Dissipation in the Agulhas Current

J Fairhurst: Design and Modelling of a Single SWEC Chamber
Tuesday 14 July 2015
O de Meyer: Thermal Resistance Model for CSP Central Receivers Plant

J Rudman: Sun, Sand and Solar Power: An Overview of the Environmental Impact of Concentrating Solar Power in the Northern Cape, South Africa

H Beukes: Feasibility of Solar Thermal Process Heat for the Sugarcane Industry in South Africa

Dr K Allen: Packet Bed Thermal Energy Storage: Concepts and Costs

J Lock: Determining the Pose Accuracy of a Drone in a CSP Plant Setting

C van der Merwe: Annular Solar Receiving Tube

L Heller: Development of a Dual-pressure Air Receiver for the SUNDISC Cycle: Initial finding on the HPAR Concept

B Ssebabi: System Layout and Performance Prediction for a Solar-hybrid Micro-gas Turbine

C Homann: Simulating the Effect of Solarisation on the Performance of a Gas Turbine

J Larmuth: A Top Down Approach to Heliostat Cost Reduction

S Bode: Heliostat Field and Pod Placement

W Landman: Using Single Variable Decomposition to Obtain Multi-dimensional Gaussian Flux Distributions for Optical Modelling of Heliostats Images

Dr S Hess: Stationary Booster Reflectors for Solar Thermal Process Heat Generation

The 2014 papers presented by the students in the renewable energy stream are listed below.

Thursday 17 July 2014
The 2nd Annual STERG SolarPACES Symposium
Friday 18 July 2014

N Kwarikunda: Effect of spectral changes on device and performance parameters of a mc-Si solar cell under spot illumination

J Crozier: Spectrally Defined Electroluminescence Imaging of Photovoltaic Module

RD Schultz: The influence of optical materials on the performance of Concentrated Triple junction cells used in HCPV modules

S Pool: Optimisation of a mini HAWT to increase energy yield during short duration wind variations

O Ogidi: Predictive Maintenance of Permanent Magnet (PM) Wind Generator

Dr S Hameer: A Review of Large Scale Energy Storage

M Tshivhase: The study of xylose fermenting yeasts isolated in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

L Mande: Evaluation of six Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoters during growth on xylose

TL Khomo: Spatial assessment of optimum growing areas for selected biofuel feedstocks in South Africa

J Crimes: Multi-objective Optimisation of Pretreatment of Sugarcane Bagasse for Bioethanol Production

M Mutenure: Optimisation of biomass to bioethanol supply chain

M Short: Multi-objective MINLP optimisation of bio-ethanol from sugarcane bagasse combining rigorous and shortcut models in a novel process synthesis framework

N Ghods: Modelling & Optimization of Fermentation of sugarcane for Bioethanol Production

G Diederichs: Techno-Economic Assessment of Processes that produce Jet Fuel from Plant-Derived Sources

M Hamann: Sugarcane biorefinery for the production of biofuels and chemicals

RK Padi: Potential and Economic Impact of Renewable Energy in Improving African Rural Food Processing

Papers presented at the EPC held 12 - 14 August 2013

Monday 12 August 2013


Ms. Mande, Livhuwani: Evaluations of six Saccharomuyces cerevisiae promot-ers during growth on xylose.

Mr. Nkadimeng, Lefa: Intensification of methane production at SABMiller New-lands Brewery (SABNB) anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP)

Ms. Mulaudzi, Sophie: Evaluation of the solar irradiance in the selected lo-cation in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province of South Africa using different theoretical models.

Mr. Landman, Willem: Influence of Cant- ing Mechanism and Facet Profile on Heliostat Field Performance

Ms. Mathevula, Langutani: Thermo-chromic nano-coatings for solar radia-tions heat regulation in small satellites

Mr. Apollo, Seth: Simultaneous biogas production and

Ms. Piyo, Nontembiso: Liquefaction of sunflower husks for biochar production

Mr. Bode, Sebastian-James: A novel approach to reduce ray tracing simula-tion times by reducing statistical noise

Mr. ZONGO, Sidiki: Gratzel dye solar cells with bixa orellana natural dye extract

Tuesday 13 August 2013


Ms. Crozier, Jacqui: Photovoltaic mod-ule chariacterisation using Electrolumi-nescence

Mr. Allen, Kenneth: Thermal storage in packed beds: pressure drop and heat transfer characteristics

Mr. Kotzé, Johannes: High temperature thermal energy stor- age and heat transfer using eutectic metals in con-centrating solar power

Ms. Thabezhe, Nokwethemba: Ther-modynamic stability of VO2 in contact with thin metal films

Ms. Thoresen, Mariska: An investiga-tion into the synergistic action of exo-type and endo- type cellulases on the hydrolysis of complex substrates

Mr. Deetlefs, Ivan: Building of a free piston Stirling demon- strator engine

Mrs. Nuru, Zebib Yenus: Pt-Al2O3 ce-ramic nano-compos-ites for high tem-perature solar absorbers applications

Mr. Mhlongo, Sizwe: Impact of inhibi-tors associated with ligno-cellulose hydrolysateson the expression level and activity of recom-binant cellulolytic enzymes

Mr. Thema, Force Tefo: Chemical syn-thesis of graphene for dye solar cells electrodes

Mr. Owen, Michael: A hybrid dephlegma- tor for incorporation into an air-cooled steam condenser.

Mr. Meyer, Rohan: Design, optimisa-tion and construction of a solar re-flecter dish.

Mr. Prinsloo, Gerro: Design & construc- tion of a self-tracking solar concentra-tor for power generation in rural Africa

Wednesday 14 Augustus 2013


Mr.Sekoai, Patrick Thabang: Potential of using Organic Fraction of Solid Mu-nicipal Waste (OFSMW) for biohydro-gen production in South Africa.

Mr. Ozemoya, Augustine: Factors in-fluenc- ing the conversion efficiency of a PV module.

Mr. Adams, Abdulghaaliq: Low tem-perature deposition of silicon nitride thin films by hot-wire CVD.

Mr. Silinga, Cebo: Scenarios for a South African peaking CSP system in the short term.

Ms. Sibanda, Ntsako: Evaluating yeast hybridization to improve hydrolytic enzyme secretion for second genera-tion bio-fuel production.

Ms. Nefdt, Taryn: The evaluation of macro-algae as a feedstock for bio-energy produc- tion within the South African context.

Mr. Muller, Christopher: The bio-energy po- tential of the South African sugarcane industry and its ex- pected influence on sustainable development.

Mr. Smith, Michael Trevor: Exploring a systems approach for the economic assessment of small-scale anaerobic biodigesters for rural areas.

Ms. Kayofa, Lelo: Feasibility and busi-ness plan for manufacturing a 3 kw electrical solar Stirling engine and dish, for a stand-alone power supply unit.

Mr. Schultz, Ross: Concentrator photo- voltaic module Design

Mr. Malan, Daniel: Integral solar water heating using heat pipes and phase change material (pcm) thermal storage

Ms. Brandt, Bianca: Yeast hardening for cellulosic ethanol production.

Dr. Kotsedi, Lebogang: Metal to metal-oxide transformation using ultra-fast laser on thin films for electro- magnetic spetrum selection


Mr. Tshehla, Maloba: A literature analysis of barriers and policy opportu-nities for the growth of renewable energy technologies at the

Mr. Swiegers, Cobus: Inlet and outlet shape-optimization of natural circulation building ventilation system

Mr. Thomas, Nathan: Development of a range of heat pipe heat recovery heat exchangers for the drying industry

Mr. Kopano, Mokhalodi: Development of a universal bidirection- al galvanic isolated switch module for power converter applications

Mrs. Simo, Aline: VO2 nanostructures based chemiresis-tors for low power energy consumption hydro- gen sensing

Mr. Jeggels, Dawood: Theoretical and experimental

Mr. Solomon, Ramzi: Scaling Machines for Renewable Energy IPP Applications

Mr. Loubser, Karl: Geothermal heat recovery and utilisa- tion using heat pipes

Ms. Van Der Bank, Marjone: A Legal analysis on the regulation of renewable resources to promote ener-gy efficiency in sustainable building


Mr. Du Preez, Jacques: Theoretical modelling and experimental verifica-tion of a passive downdraught eve-porative cooling tower.

Ms. Philander, Ghouwaa: Thermo-chromic doped vanadium dioxide coat-ings for smart windows

Mr. Tadadjeu Sokeng, Ifriky: Nano-satellites as energy efficiency facilita-tors in Africa

Ms. Fourie, Marna: Design of a subcrit-ical and transcritical car- bon dioxide refrigera- tion system

Mr. Manabile, Segaula Isaac: Produc-tion of na- nofibers for techno- logical application by electrospinning of poly-mer-graphene solution.

Mr. Barnard, Francois: Hybrid position sensorless control of a RSM in the en-tire speed range.

Mr. Stander, Johan: Split permanent magnet wind turbine generator topol-ogy comparison using optimisation

Mr. Craig, Rob: Thermodynamically driven gravity assisted water pump based on novelty dipping bird

Mr. Ndlangaman- Dla, Cebo: Synthesis of hematite nanorods for the study of its optical properties for the possible use in hydrogen production.

Ms. Meyer, Imke: Resource Assess-ment of the Agulhas Current to deter-mine Feasibility for Marine Energy Ex-traction.

Mr. Lilla, Daleel: Comparison of Differ-ential Evolution and Genetic Algo- rithm in the design of permanent mag-net Generators.

Ms. Herbst, Lynette: The effect of cli-mate change on wind resources in South Africa.


Mr. Van Der Walt, James: Micro-utilities using battery based distribu-tion for rural electrification in South Africa

Mr. Poole, Sean: The development of a segmented variable pitch small-scale horizontal axis wind turbine with active pitch control.

Ms. DOBSON, Rose- Mary: The devel-opment of recombinant fungal enzyme cocktails for the hydrolysis of cellulosic waste products.

Mr. Stander, Johan: Pressure rigidised wind turbine blades - a novelty.

Mr. Kusakana, Kanzumba: Techno-economic analysis of an off-grid micro-hydrokinetic river system for remote rural electrification.

Mrs. Mayedwa, Noluthando: Devel-opment of platino-iridium/ ruthenium telluride nanoalloy electrode systems for high per- formance ammonia fuel cell.

Mr. Hobbs, Kyle: Thermally driven natural circulation water pump

Mr. Kusakana, Kanzumba: Design and performance analysis of renewable energy powered electric TUK-TUK bat-tery charging stations inSouth Africa

Mr. Stander, Johan: Mechanical design of a dual permanent magnet rotor gen-erator

Mr. Gerber, Stiaan: Evaluation and design aspects of magneti- cally geared electrical machines.

Mrs. Thwaits, Tiffany: Bats (Chirop-tera) and wind energy - can bat activity patterns make them vulner- able to wind turbine impacts?

Mr. Kuyula, Christian: Design of a high efficiency converter for fuel cell appli-cations.

Mr. Fraser, Justin: Surface Tension Driven Water pumping

Mr. Kusakana, Kanzumba: Perfor-mance mode- ling of a hybrid diesel generator-Battery hybrid system

Papers presented at the Third Annual CRSES Student Conference held 22 and 23 November 2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Johannes Potgieter: Evaluation and Application of a Slip-Synchronous Permanent Magnet Wind Generator

Kerryn Newey: Optimising Performance of small HAWT's through improved rotor/alternator matching

Bavesh Kooverji: Pneumatic power measurement of an oscillating water converter model

Peni Yekoladio: Thermodynamic analysis and performance optimisation of organic Rankine Cycles for the conversion of low-to-moderate grade geothermal heat

Thapelo Mokomele: Ethanol production from Xylose and Glucose in a membrane bioreactor with Zymomonas

Lloyd Ngo: Exergetic analysis and optimisation of a Parabolic Dish collector or low power application

Willem le Roux: Solar tracking for a parabolic dish used in a solar thermal Brayton cycle

Ross Schultz: The design of a High Concentrator Photovoltaic Module (HCPV).

Friday 23 November 2012

Holger Kretzschmar: Development of a Flat-Plate calorimeter for a small-scale heliostat field

Gregg Walker: A method of increasing collector aperture in linear Fresnel solar concentrators at high zenith angles

Andre Louw: A DEM-CFD approach to predict the pressure drop through an air-rock bed thermal energy storage system

Sebastiaan Bode: The design and testing of a small scale solar flux measurement system for central receiver plants.

Johan Kotze: Evaluation of a latent heat thermal energy storage system using AlSi12 as a phase change material

Willem Landman: Sensitivity analysis of a curved heliostat facet profile

Gerhard Hartwig: Grey water reclamation using solar thermal power

Primrose Njingana: Growth and characterisation of spray pyrolytic doped zinc and aluminium oxides spectral selective thin films.

Brendon MacLeod: Proposed test procedure for the laboratory characterisation of grid-connected micro-inverters

Lucian Bezuidenhout: On the characterisation of solar cells using light beam induced current measurements

Jacqui Crozier: High resolution spatial electroluminescence (EL) imaging of photovoltaic (PV) modules

Mario Benecke: The design and analysis of a vertical receiver LCPV system

Papers presented at the Second Annual CRSES Student Conference held 17 and 18 November 2011:

Thursday 17 November 2011

Jessica Hosking: Generating guidance on public preferences for the location of wind turbine farms in the Eastern Cape

Chantelle Clohessy: Evaluation of Noise Levels of Micro-Wind Turbines using a Randomised Experiment

James Joubert: Designing the ShoreSWEC as a breakwater and wave energy converter

Jacqueline Crozier: Investigation of cell mismatch in the three crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules using Electroluminescence as a diagnosistic

Mario Benecke: Optical design of a low concentrator photovoltaic module

Jacques Gerber: Investigation of thermal management in a low concentrator photovoltaic module

Justin Beukes: An economic analysis of the production, distribution and use of concentrator photovoltaic technology in South Africa: a Case Study

Dawood Jeggels: Theoretical and Experimental Evaluation of a Low Temperature Lithium-Bromide/Water Absorption System

Marna Fourie: Theoretical simulation and experimental validation of a critical and transcritical CO2 refrigeration system using a dual capillary tube expansion device
Friday 18 November 2011

Lanrewaju Obayopo: Performance enhancement of PEM fuel cell through reactant gas channel and gas diffusion layer optimisation

Willem le Roux: Optimisation of the receiver and recuprator of the small-scale open and direct solar thermal Brayton cycle for Pretoria

Sven du Clou: Design of a solar-driven ejector cooling system

Matti Lubkoll: A pre-feasibility study of a Concentrating Solar Power System to offset electricity consumption at the Spier Estate

Johan Kotze: A combined latent thermal energy storage and steam generator concept using metallic phase change materials and metallic heat transfer fluids for concentrated solar power

Marnie Meintjes: Fermentation coupled with pervaporation : a Kinetic Study

Gerhard Nel: Metathesis of biodiesel with Grubbs catalysts

Hope Baloyi: Algae liquefaction

Jan-Erns Joubert: Fast pyrolysis of Eucalyptus Grandis

Lesego Malla: Greenhouse gas mitigation cost of energy form waste via biogas: A techno-economic analysis of co-digestion of three types of waste in Cape Town

Yuda Benjamin: The influence of variety type on dilute acid pre-treatment-hydrolysis responses of sugarcane bagasse

Papers presented at the First Annual CRSES Student Conference held 11 and 12 November 2010:

Thursday 11 November 2010

Frank Nsaful: Process modelling of sugar mill biomass to energy conversion processes and energy integration of pyrolysis

Yuda Benjamin: Characterisation of sugarcane cultivars for bioethanol production

Daphney Mutepe: Ethanol production from sweet sorghum

Polycarp Mabizela: Thermal characterisation of various biomass materials for co-gasification with coal

Sewis van Zyl: Bioethanol production: from wood to fuel

Stephen Danje: Fast pyrolysis of the South African corn residues for fuel production

Akinwale Aboyade: Investigating the yield and distribution of volatile products obtained from the co-pyrolysis of coal-biomass blends

Marna Fourie: Theoretical simulation and experimental validation of a critical and transcritical CO2 refrigeration system using a dual capillary tube expansion device

Sumetee Pahwa: Advancing the application of tools and concepts from industrial ecology and sustainability science towards corporate sustainability based on a study of Spier’s search for a sustainable, lower carbon future

Friday 12 November 2010

Willem le Roux: Minimisation and optimum distribution of entropy generation for maximum network output of the small-scale open and direct solar thermal brayton cycle

Karin Kritzinger: Exploring the possibility of the insurance industry as a solar water heater driver

Nicolas Thantsha: Characterisation of defects in multicrystalline silicon solar cell mesa diodes

Sven du Clou: Solar-driven thermal management research at UKZN

Michael Mouzouris: Heat transfer analysis for high solar concentration measurements using a flat plate calorimeter

Wilhelm Botha: Solar chimney augmented passive downdraught evaporative cooling system

Greig Menzies: An economic evaluation of a wind power electricity generating farm in South Africa

Lanrewaju Obayopo: Thermodynamic optimisation of proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

James Joubert: Wave resource assessment and site selection for the ShoreSWEC

Josh Reinecke: Effect of a diffuser on the power production of ocean current turbines

Izak du Toit: Theoretical simulation and experimental validation of a closed loop natural circulating cooling system for a tank containing internally heat generating material.

Stiaan Gerber: A finite element based optimisation tool for electrical machines