Solar Thermal


Solar thermal energy is a mature proven technology. The annual production is over 20 million m2 per year and surface installed is increasing rapidly (100 million m2 in china, over 25 million in Europe representing 14 000 MWth).


Solar thermal systems typically have a life time between fifteen to twenty five years. They are therefore an enduring investment and help a building keep its value. Solar systems will keep the en-ergy costs at a controlled level, independently of the price of the energy in the future.


Alongside economic aspects, installing solar systems is a positive image, symbol of environmental responsibilities. For client’s related facilities, the system is an example of action proving the involvement of the company to reduce global emissions.


South Africa is situated in one of the most favourable positions for Solar Water Heating on Earth with a solar radiation on a horizontal surface between 1800 and 2600 kWh/m2.

In 2003, the department of mineral and energy publicised the “White paper on re-newable energy”, in order to promote the development of renewable in South Africa. Extract :

“Solar Thermal: The minimum Direct Normal Radiation (...) to justify a combined solar thermal power plant is 1800 kWh/m2 per year (…). A 100 MW solar thermal plant requires roughly 3 km2 (1800 kWh/m2 per year). If 1% (1 940 km2) of the identified area is available for solar thermal power generation: South Africa has an in-stalled potential of 64.6 GW which is about 36 217 GWh/year or 3 Mtoe/year (…).

Solar Water Heating: Domestic solar water heating is currently about 1.3% of the solar energy market. (…) There is (…) considerable scope to increase the application of solar water heating, which would contribute favourably to electricity demand-side management and deferral of new generation capacity. An increasing market for solar water heating would result in a growth in the relevant manufacturing industry and increased employment opportunities.”

Title: Optimum inclination and year sum irradiation in South Africa

Source: Huld T., Šúri M., Dunlop E., Albuisson M, Wald L (2005). Integration of HelioClim-1 data-base into PVGIS to estimate solar electricity potential in Africa. Proceedings from 20th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 6-10 June 2005, Barcelona, Spain,

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