CRSES has a team of competent engineers and project managers who can assist clients with on- and off-grid renewable energy solutions. The dynamic group includes engineering expertise in the following disciplines: Mechanical, Mechatronic, Electrical, Process and Civil. The Centre is also well positioned to assemble expertise from the broader University community and private industry to participate in multidisciplinary projects. The past projects are listed under each year below:

SOUTH AFRICAN-GERMAN ENERGY PROGRAMME - Installation and Monitoring of DNI Solar Stations and Updating of the South African DNI Solar Map

Client:German International Cooperation (GIZ)

Scope: This project proposes the installation of six high accuracy DNI stations with data that will be placed in the public domain. The purpose of the project is to:

  • place six sets of high accuracy solar measured data in the public domain. High accuracy solar data forms the basis of a range of activities relating and eventually resulting into solar developments.
  • update the current SolarGIS DNI map after one year of measurements of the proposed six stations as well as other data that is in the public domain obtainable from Universities and other organisations.
  • to summarise all the work that was done on this project in a detailed report. The report will explain the results and methodologies followed in updating the solar map. The report will also summarise all measured data.

Status: Completed


Client: eThekwini Municipality

Scope: By conducting the Green Power Tariff Feasibility Study, CRSES assisted the Energy Office at eThekwini Municipality to:

  • Understand international and national experience in implementing green tariffs
  • Design a Green Tariff structure that would be appropriate for implementation in eThekwini Municipality
  • Understand likely levels of market demand for the tariff

Status: Completed


Client: CSIR

Scope: The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) conducted a digitizing project on GIS platform. The digitizing entails collecting or obtaining the spatial location and project summary details of approximately 650 EIA applicants specific to large scale renewable energy projects. The project was extended to capture, verify and spatially represent additional information provided by developers in response to the release of Version 1 of the RE EIA Application Map as well as back capture renewable energy applications since December 2012, for a period of six months from the signing of a contract.

Status: Completed

NATIONAL STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT(SEA) identification for the rollout of Wind and Solar PV Energy in South Africa

Client: CSIR

Scope: The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy conducted GIS based sensitivity mapping as part of the National Wind and Solar PV SEA projects. The objective of the SEAs are for Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to be identified and submitted for Cabinet approval for the rollout of wind in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, and solar PV energy in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Free State provinces. The REDZs will allow for wind and solar PV energy projects and the associated grid infrastructure to be developed in these areas without requiring additional environmental authorization, subject to certain conditions or guidelines.
In identifying the REDZs the SEAs will give consideration to a number of aspects including the resource potential as well as environmental and social sensitivities of certain study areas.

Status: Completed


Client: Lourensford Wine Estate

Scope: CRSES was appointed as technical advisor to complete a prefeasibility study leading up to the development of a tender specification document that will be used in a formal tender process to procure a turnkey 1 MW, or less, PV project. Services rendered included:

  • Consolidation of historical electrical energy usage data (time series format). Data was obtained and analysed.
  • On-site investigation into available/existing infrastructure related to the development of 1 MW PV. Identify various PV project areas with recommendations.
  • Asses the available solar resource for the greater estate as well as smaller project areas (rooftops, vacant land areas etc.).
  • Investigate and catalogue secondary renewable resources on the estate deemed important to future development.
  • Develop technical specification and tender process related to a large scale (500 kW) roof integrated PV system for a turnkey installation. The technical specifications formed part of the tender documentation and was used in a tender process for procurement purposes. Bid submissions are currently under review.
  • Compile an analysis of the tenders received in a report.

CRSES formed part of the tender evaluation committee when adjudicating the tenders.

Status: Completed


Client: Winetech

Scope: To develop an Energy Management Guideline that can be used as part of, or incorporated into, the IPW practices of wineries/cellars. The resulting guideline will be applicable to any size cellar but the focus will be on smaller cellars that cannot necessarily afford a full energy audit or energy efficiency consultations. This guideline will firstly aid in the decision making process and will also highlight the potential savings on energy efficiency measures to aid in the justification of assigning resources to this crucial part of a cellar's operations.

Status: Completed


Client: KZN Government

Scope: The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government approached the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) to conduct research on the Green Economy in KwaZulu-Natal. The project was divided into three sub-projects:

  • 1. KwaZulu-Natal Renewable Energy Development Potential GIS Study:
  • The project investigated typical EIA criteria applied to renewable energy projects and collated these on a provincial scale for the KwaZulu-Natal province extent. All the mapable criteria were presented on a web based GIS platform that informs potential developers on locating potential renewable energy projects. Data layers are not downloadable and the web based utility is not a substitute for conducting EIAs or SEAs or any similar vehicle.
  • 2. KwaZulu-Natal Sustainable Energy Investment Policy (SEIP):
  • Provide guidelines on the potential for renewable energy in the SADC/Africa markets, and in so doing articulate what manufacturing requirements are needed. This included an examination of what incentives/stimulus packages are needed
  • 3. KwaZulu-Natal Waste Energy Policy (WEP):
  • Established potential programmes and mechanisms to enhance industrial symbiosis activities. Developed a research project to analyse various components of the waste system.

Status: Completed


Client: KZN Government

Scope: After the successful completion of the first KZN Government funded project, the contract has been extended to keep on conducting research on the Green Economy in KwaZulu-Natal. This project was again divided into two sub-projects:

  • 1. KwaZulu-Natal Renewable Energy Development Potential GIS Study
  • 2. KwaZulu-Natal Sustainable Energy Investment Policy (SEIP)

Our role includes:

  • 1. KwaZulu-Natal Renewable Energy Development Potential GIS Study
    • Utilising the RE GIS tool developed by CRSES, identify 3 key solar and 3 key wind sites and by a process of elimination with the aim to enable KZN DEDT to actively market these sites to municipalities and / or potential developers.
  • 2. KwaZulu-Natal Sustainable Energy Investment Policy (SEIP)
    • CRSES will carry out scoping studies on the identified buildings, resulting in the development of five (5) prefeasibility studies with the aim to develop technical specifications for these, draw up individualised tender specification documents and advise with tender evaluations (if the project goes to tender).
    • KZN DEDT will identify five (5) housing estates in KZN to be used as case studies. CRSES will visit these estates and obtain information on electricity consumption. CRSES will determine interventions for these estates, taking in consideration specific estate rules and regulation, with the output in the form of information sheets on RE for residents.
    • CRSES will draw up a KZN Renewable Energy Manufacturing Investment Strategy/Business Plan which will outline the manufacturing capacity/capability/skills in KZN, what components KZN should be focusing on, how we could gear up for export and what incentives should be introduced.

    Status: Completed


    Client: Gaia Carbon Sciences

    Scope: A survey using readily available information from international sources to identify technologies and processes used to convert biomass into energy and electricity. Gaia Carbon Sciences provided assistance and inputs. CRSES focused on technologies and processes using:
    a. Pyrolysis of biomass to energy and the generation of electricity with biochar as a by-product.
    b. Gasification of biomass and the generation of energy and electricity.
    c. The use of biomass and oilseeds for the manufacture of bio-diesel.
    CRSES focused on technologies and processes which are already commercialized or very close to commercialization. The proprietors and operators of these technologies and processes and in particular those with a possible interest in establishing ventures in Southern and Eastern Africa have also been identified.

    Status: Completed


    Client: Pepkor

    Scope: CRSES performed an on-site prefeasibility study on the installation of a large (>50 kWp) photovoltaic (PV) project and investigated the potential of solar process heat integration. The project was to offset current electrical energy usage and increase the client’s sustainability mandate. Parallel to this process, it was also investigated how to incorporate solar process heat into existing manufacturing processes. Currently the nearby Pepkor factory relies on electrical boilers making it attractive to investigate the use of solar process heat to limit the use of the energy intensive boilers. The services required by the client entailed consolidating all existing electrical data and determining the historical electrical energy usage, preferably in time-series format. Existing infrastructure primarily for rooftop PV development was investigated and included assessing available project space and determining the solar resource.

    Status: Completed


    Client: Singita Lebombo Lodge

    Scope: CRSES performed an independent review of tender documentation relating to a solar based energy system at their Lebombo lodge in the Kruger National Park. The client required an independent consultant with special expertise in the hybrid energy and renewable energy fields to assist in reviewing and assessing the two bids received, with the purpose of arriving at a "Preferred Bidder" with whom the client may confidently enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

    Status: Completed


    Client: BiGen

    Scope: The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality approached the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies to perform a prefeasibility study on the use of renewable energy to provide electricity for a new pumped water supply project. The water supply project will connect the Gariep dam to the client's water reticulation system in the central Free State, with the main electricity demand for pump stations located near the Gariep dam in the southern Free State. CRSES assessed the site at the specified location of the pump stations identified by the client for their potential to generate electricity from wind and solar energy. The aim of the study was to offset the electrical energy usage and demand of the pump stations from the Eskom supply and reduce future energy costs associated with the operation of the water supply system.

    Status: Completed


    Client: Aurecon

    Scope: The project was limited to a concept design, analysis and optimization of the central receiver collector system in a solar augmentation/boosting project. The primary design activities that were addressed are:

    • Conceptual design and optimization of 1 or more heliostat fields to fit into the parcel of land. The result is a conceptual heliostat field arrangement optimized for an objective function related to the economic performance of the system but primarily based on the optical analysis.
    • Determination of the peak annual receiver power for the concept.
    • Conceptual design and documentation of the tower height, receiver size and boiler requirements.
    • Basic cost analysis for capital ($/kW) and operation ($/kWh). There calculations will be based on the reference costs for heliostats (Sandia power tower roadmap 2011), a single TMY data set and a prescribed set of assumptions for the time value of money.

    Status: Completed