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Don't let Eskom load shedding leave you in the dark!

Just arrived: 650W and 850W PSW 12V USP inverters, 1.1kW and 2.2kW 12V PSW inverters and 1.45kW 24V PSW inverters in stock at Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) HQ - George. We also have stock of 102Ah 12V and 225Ah 6V hi-cycle solar batteries to accompany these quality inverters to make durable backup systems that may keep some of your necessities or comforts powered up during load-shedding.


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About the iShack Project

Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) is primarily involved in the supply of all solar technologies to help facilitate in creating a sustainable renewable energy environment to the The iShack Project managed by The Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab (Pty) Ltd, a division of the Sustainability Institute.

The iShack Project uses off-grid energy produced by DC micro-grid technologies developed by Specialized Solar Systems to supply end-users with DC electricity that is also used by energy efficient DC appliances,  also supplied by Specialized Solar Systems.

This process is sustained through a pay-for-energy-usage business model.

The installed DC micro-grid systems are soft-managed by a web-based management platform, SSS-EPOWER  that was developed by Specialized Solar Systems for large-scale remotely manageable de-centalized solar energy supply.

The solar technologies supplied by Specialized Solar Systems for the iShack Project include:

  • Smart solar energy producing DC micro-grids with remote managed hardware - SS20DC75 Managed
  • Efficient DC appliances powered by the DC micro-grid systems
  • Online Off-Grid Energy Management Utility with remote switching, payment facilitation, vendor management, solar system and end-user management services - SSS-EPOWER
  • Product/service support


The iShack Project: A Sustainable, Scalable, Solar Electricity Social Enterprise

The Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab (Pty) Ltd, (SIIL), a division of the Sustainability Institute, has developed the iShack Social Enterprise to deliver smart, sustainable and scalable energy utilities to poor, underserviced communities in the global south.

The iShack Project is a large-scale energy utility that provides a pay-for-use solar electricity service to residents of an informal settlement, called Enkanini, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The off-grid utility uses the technology of SSS to provide household electricity to power lights, television and other small media appliances.
The iShack roll-out started in October 2013 and by April 2015 the electricity service had been delivered to over 800 households. Over 1500 families will receive the service by the end of the initial roll-out in early 2016.
A key objective of the enterprise is to demonstrate the modular scalability of each household installation so that the electricity supply can grow incrementally as the technology evolves and as costs come down. In this vein, the iShack Project has started to pilot solar fridge upgrades and is developing a financial model to make such upgrades affordable and accessible.

The business model
SIIL received funding for infrastructure and start-up capital from the Green Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. However the business model is designed to ensure that the energy service is financially sustainable without having to draw on ongoing grants and donations.  Thus the long term running costs are paid for largely by the end-users, subsidised by the local municipality (via a Free Basic Electricity subsidy). The project has already proven that end-users will pay for an energy service that they value. The iShack Project is a ‘social’ business and does not extract profits.

Maximising local economic development and capacity building are core components of the business model. Selected residents from the target community are recruited as ‘iShack Agents’ to market, install and maintain the Solar Home Systems. The Agents undergo a comprehensive training program and are supported indefinitely to deliver a consistently high quality service to their clients. Sophisticated quality management systems, adapted to the local context, have been developed, and are continually refined to ensure that the service runs efficiently and that the end-user experience is very satisfactory.

SIIL will support the replication of the iShack model elsewhere in the global south by working with funders and local implementing partners (local government, NGOs, or private social-impact companies) to design, plan and implement off-grid utilities on a similar basis to the flagship iShack enterprise.

Follow the progress of the project on:'


(content source: Facebook- iShack Project).


Innovative idea powers South African shanty towns (content source: YouTube)


Pop-up houses improve South African slums: Andreas Keller at TEDxWWF. After witnessing the appalling quality of life for people in the slum areas of South Africa, Andreas Keller -- co-creator of iShack- questioned how he could help. His solution involved harnessing solar power to help build a brighter future for those living in energy poverty. Andreas shares his touching story of how his idea is fostering a renewed hope in creating a more sustainable future for slums (content source: YouTube)

(next article:  Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) Involvement in The iShack Project: The Hardware)


More Article pages about the ishack project


SSS providing powerful 70 kWH off-grid solar energy systems in South Sudan

With Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) extensive African network the company was recently tasked with provision and installations of powerful 70kWH off-grid solar energy systems for a popular cellular communications provider at 4 different locations in South Sudan, Africa. The solar powered off-grid energy systems are been installed at the following locations in South Sudan:

  • Aweil - a city in South Sudan in Bahr el ghazal Region.
  • Wau - a city in northwestern South Sudan, on the western bank of the Jur River, in Wau County.
  • Rumbek is the capital of Lakes State, central South Sudan, and the former capital of the country.
  • Torit is a City in the Eastern Equatoria State of South Sudan and is also the state capital. south_sudan_solar_

The powerful CSP off-grid solar systems have the capacity to produce 70kWH each of energy per day therefore supplying adequate energy from the sun for the daily electrical operations at the 4 plants. These alternative energy producing solar systems also feature comprehensive remote monitoring and elaborate system control.


UNEP - SSS Features as a Full Case Study

Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) is very proud with the achievements of it's off-grid DC micro-grid solar, services and application been featured as a full business case study for eco-innovation by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Business Case for Eco-innovation (souce) demonstrates the compelling case for eco-innovation to a business audience. It includes information on growing market trends and real examples from small to large companies worldwide that have embedded sustainability throughout their operations and value chain.

The publication illustrates the considerable business benefits achieved by companies that have applied eco-innovation. These benefits include: increased market access, value creation and business growth (eco-innovative companies showcase average annual growth rate of 15% even when respective markets are flat). The publication builds on five key business drivers for eco-innovation:

Read more about these drivers, the company examples and relevant trends - download a copy of The Business Case For Eco-innovation

The Business Case For Eco-innovation, funded by the European Commission, is a key milestone in the co-operation between UNEP and the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission to disseminate eco-innovative practices in emerging and developing economies.