CENTRE FOR RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY STUDIES

SERVICES

The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University facilitates and stimulates research and capacity development activities, relating to a vibrant and viable renewable and sustainable energy sector, in the Southern African region.

The Centre plays a coordinating role for a variety of contract research projects where specialists from various disciplines participate to investigate renewable energy resources, conversion technologies, education and applications, with an emphasis in the following fields:

  • Solar (photovoltaics [PV] and thermal systems)
  • Wind
  • Hydro
  • Ocean (current, wave and tidal energy)
  • Bio (biofuels, biogas and biomass based energy)

The Centre also investigates renewable energy related topics, including:

  • energy efficiency,
  • renewable energy finance,
  • network studies,
  • energy storage.

CRSES has dedicated renewable energy engineers and researchers and can call on the expertise of the University as well as topical experts from the broader renewable energy community, both locally and abroad, to provide specialized and customizable services. These services include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Feasibility Studies

The Centre conducts techno-economic evaluations on renewable energy related projects to test their viability. This is done in 3 phases as follows:

  • Preliminary design — Define project specifications and source relevant site data to identify suitable technology and sizing for the site.
  • Modelling — Software is used to make performance predictions of renewable energy systems to estimate the realistic energy production potential of the technology and to determine the impact on the site's energy demand.
  • Financial Analysis — Determine the financial viability of the project and provide financial indicators such as the payback period, IRR, NPV and levelized cost of energy.

Previous Clients:
V&A Waterfront, ZZ2 Farms, Lourensford Wine Estate, Stellenbosch University, Drakenstein Municipality, Cape Brewing Company (CBC), Klein Karoo International Tannery (KKI), Allan Gray, Calamus, Pepkor, BiGen Africa, Woodland Hills, Solar Collective, World Wide Fund for Nature-SA (WWF-SA), Nampak, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, East London Development Zone (ELIDZ), KwaZulu-Natal department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Eskom, among others.


2. Renewable Energy Tender Evaluations

The Centre provides third party independent assistance with the technical evaluation of tenders pertinent to renewable energy. The Centre assists the client in understanding the technology and provides expert guidance to ensure that the bidders are suitable for the needs of the client.

Previous Clients:
V&A Waterfront, CBC, (KKI), Lourensford Wine Estate, Singita Lodges, Allan Gray, CBC, Stellenbosch University, ELIDZ among others.


3. Advisory services

The Centre provides third party independent assistance with the technical evaluation of tenders pertinent to renewable energy. The Centre assists the client in understanding the technology and provides expert guidance to ensure that the bidders are suitable for the needs of the client.

Previous Clients:
East London IDZ, KwaZulu Natal EDTEA, Thekwini Municipality, Drakenstein Municipality, WWF-SA, Allee Bleue Wine Estate, among others.


4. Technology reviews

The Centre performs state of the art research on renewable energy related technologies and their applications.

Previous Clients:
First Technology - Cadmium Tellurite (CdTe) modules
WWF—SA — Renewable energy powered desalination plants
Innovate UK — Wave Energy Technology
USTDA — Energy Storage


5. Concept Evaluation

The Centre assists renewable energy entrepreneurs with preliminary feedback on technology ideas and prototypes.

Previous Projects:

  • Energy storage
  • Hydro energy
  • Wave energy
  • Wind energy
  • Integrated solar energy
  • Direct PV DC element heating
  • PV — Thermal combined systems

6. Equipment Testing and Laboratory Services

The Centre conducts laboratory testing of renewable energy equipment to evaluate performance characteristics. These tests are conducted in line with the relevant National and International Standards. The tests focus on research and development assistance and the Centre, prefers not to be accredited to issue certificates. Facilities at Stellenbosch University include:

  • Solar roof testing facility for low temperature solar thermal technologies
  • Solar roof testing facility for high temperature solar thermal technologies
  • Towing tank testing facility
  • Wind tunnel testing facility
  • Wave flume testing facility
  • Solar PV testing facility
  • Biogas and Biofuels testing facilities

7. Renewable Energy Modelling Software Training

The Centre provides specialised training to industry and academia for using the following software:

  • Power Factory (DigSilent)
  • Homer Pro
  • PVsyst
  • PolySun
  • TSol

8. Resource Assessment

The Centre sources meteorological data to assess the renewable energy potential of specific geographical areas. This includes GIS mapping and assessing data from on-site meteorological measurements.

Previous Clients:
City of Cape Town, USAID, Department of Environmental Affairs, CSIR Eskom.


9. Renewable Energy Grid Integration Studies

The Centre conducts studies to assess the impact of integrating renewable energy into local and national grids to identify limitations in capacities, areas requiring improvement and limits to renewable energy integration.

Previous Clients:
Namibia Electricity Control Board, Eskom, Western Cape Government, Green Cape, WWF - SA.


10. Renewable Energy Market Reviews

The Centre conducts studies to assess the potential financial impact of renewable energy technologies and how this might affect the market. These studies include the impact that rooftop photovoltaic installations might have on the utility business model.

Previous Clients:
GreenCape, WWF-SA, GIZ, TIPS