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Installation of demonstration solar unit at the UNISA

Installation of demonstration solar unit at the UNISA Institute for Social and Health Services

Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) was asked to supply and install a demonstration unit at the Unisa Institute for Social and Health Services at their campus, south of Johannesburg. The initiative was initiated by PEER Africa, who in collaboration with the UNISA research team, headed up by Dr. David K Kimemia who is researching a comprehensive model for the supply of services and solutions to be deployed in Day Care centers.

SSS was selected to demonstrate alternative energy that could provide dignity and functionality that would enhance the life quality and conditions at these centers.


Two demonstration units were built on the tennis court at the facility. It was decided to install a Sub-centralized System (energy producing off-grid solar station) as the primary source of energy. This system is equipped with four solar panels, batteries, switchgear and monitoring equipment with wi-fi functionality active for remote monitoring and switching. Furthermore, communication was established between the system and linked to the SSS e-power utility-based online solar energy management platform for further functionality.

One of the units was equipped with two inside lights, one outside security light, a DC plug box, linked to an internal Distribution Unit with cell phone charge point. The second unit was equipped with a Distribution Unit, Two lights inside and one security light outside.

Furthermore, a DC television (equipped with USB port for the viewing of Movies, Photo’s etc.), DC Radio, DC Cooler fan Unit, and DC Fridge/Freezer was added to demonstrate the functionality of the System. Also on display is the ‘Refugee Unit’ designed and built underspecification to serve as a water container with kettle, built-in battery and controller and the ability to pump water to a shower head for cleaning of wounds etc. The unit also has a light and the ability to charge cell phones and the ability to connect small DC appliances such as a radio, additional lights etc.


The philosophy behind the planning for these units is to supply lights as essential, cell charging for communication, the radio for information and the television. The measure of functionality achieved will help bring these targeted institutions closer to their constitutional right to dignity.


The installation was well received by all the stakeholders and great excitement generated.


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