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Posted by on in Outreach

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Partner Products can bring innovative products to market effectively. The Solar Jar  is solidly established in consumers eyes and is well positioned to assist in bringing a newer, less known partner product to market.

The Solar Jar ™ is now offered bundled with a partner product, the Repurpose Schoolbag. It's a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit. Made from upcycled plastic shopping bags, the Repurpose Schoolbag has a pocket that integrates the lid of the Solar Jar .

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During the day, while scholars walk to school with the schoolbag strapped to their backs, the solar panel charges in the sun. At night, the lid is screwed onto the Consol glass jar and transforms into a solar powered reading light to study by. The schoolbag gives the solar panel an alternative mode of charging instead of remaining on a window cill by day.

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Suntoys priority is to supply solar lights to children living off-grid in informal settlements. Our team now has an additional outlet with Repurpose Schoolbags to increase our reach. It's a collaboration to achieve shared goals. 

Rethaka, the company that produces the schoolbags, connects with Giving Partners, such as Consol, to fund the making, distribution and coupling with Solar Jar .  "Reimagining how solar energy can become easily accessible to those who need it the most, is what was at the heart of the integration of the solar light with our schoolbags,” said Thato Kgatlhanya of Rethaka.

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 As partners, we were all excited when Bill Gates mentioned the solar pocketed schoolbags on Twitter.

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Posted by on in Outreach

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Here's a dose of good news - positive, uplifting and inspirational. This story offers hope.

The Making a Difference (MAD) awards ceremony celebrated a year of commitment to crime prevention in our province, Gauteng. The audience of domestic workers, dressed in beautiful traditional outfits, filled the Rosebank Union Church with a vibrant energy. Each one of them is committed to being a shining light in their communities. They refuse to wallow in the disillusionment of our crime statistics, choosing rather to fight wrongdoing in South Africa, one small gesture at a time.

The police thanked them for being valuable contributors. "No success is a small success. Every success is a big one. There are so many good news stories worthy of a wow," said Penny Steyn, MAD Domestic Watch and SAPS Customer Service Trainer.

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Suntoy and Consol donated Consol Solar Jars that were gifted to lucky-draw recipients. Harald was invited to give a talk and demonstrate how the Consol Solar Jar works. Our Suntoy team is proud to be associated with MAD and the good work they do. Thank you for welcoming us into your MAD family. We look forward to shining light on dark places with you.

Watch Harald talk at the MAD event:

 

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Posted by on in Education

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Inviting curiosity around the topic of renewable energy is the most fun way to learn about solar power. Suntoy is aware that many schools in South Africa have limited educational resources. We therefore offer practical and playful explanations by producing our SunCar and SunFan kits.

Best suited for learners in elementary and high school, any learner can assemble their own solar powered toy by following the basic instructions included in the kit. Learners are motivated to explore, discover and create. Educators have a functional product to assist them in teaching theoretical lessons. These toys are solar tutors that answer, “How does this work?”

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Amanada Calitz, a teacher at Nooitgedacht Primary School near Johannesburg, emailed us: “The sunny people of Suntoy gave us a SunCar and a SunFan to build as a group at our Astronomy Club. We built the solar powered car and fan while speaking about the sun. It took some concentration from the learners but in the end they had a lot of fun. Thank you Suntoy for investing in us. Keep up the good work!”

Suntoy is dedicated to promoting the awareness and education of all green energy sources.

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Posted by on in Education

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Spotting solar powered cars travelling our South African roads made us wonder… were they spacecraft, cyborgs, interstellar travellers or UFOs? Could it be a Sci-fi movie set?

These phenomena were mini SunCars at the Sasol Solar Challenge. Assembled from kits designed by Suntoy, SunCars teach how photovoltaic modules are used to power vehicles. Imagine if the sun could power all cars, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.

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“Sasol placed a huge order for our SunCars. Shoni spent several days cutting the wheels on the laser cutter and packaging the kits,David Way explained.

Congratulations to all the teams that took part!
Thanks to Riaan Venter, the DIY Guru, (@DIYmetRiaan) for the onsite photos.

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Posted by on in Outreach

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The Young Achievers Empowerment Project, a Namibian youth organisation, has launched a project entitled Promoting Renewable Energy in Informal Settlements which aims to encourage the use of solar lights by youth that live off-grid in Namibia.

With a small commencement grant, they chose the Consol Solar Jar as their preferred choice of solar light. “Many young people do not have electricity at home and it is not safe to use candles at night because of shack fires. We hope to help less privileged children who cannot study at night because of lack of electricity,” said Johannes Mulunga.

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The pilot phase reached approximately 80 school pupils between Grades one and seven from informal settlements in Khomas, Oshana, Oshikoto, Erongo and Kavango. Phase two of the project invites the general public to purchase a Consol Solar Jar for N$160 (Namibian currency), which will be gifted to a school pupil.

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“We call on the public to help those in need to prosper in their schoolwork. Buying this solar light for a child will allow them to be as competitive as a child from an advantaged family,” said Johannes. “Our project is going so well and the response has been overwhelming. An article about our story even appeared in the local Namibian newspaper,” emailed Michael Mulunga.

Interested parties who wish to purchase a Consol Solar Jar for this worthy cause can contact Johannes Mulunga at 081 385 3749 or Israel Ndilipunje at 081 436 0497.

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Posted by on in Education

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The Solar AstroWheel was conceptualised during a convo between a ‘flowery' artist and a ‘functional' engineer. Its story began by envisioning something wow-worthy yet educational. How do we teach about solar energy, the Solar System and the awesomeness of the Sun using the products we manufacture? Our name has the word ‘toy' in it for a reason - we love to play… and play we did.

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Inspired by the concept of a Ferris wheel, sketches evolved into 3D CAD drawings. Designing and building the AstroWheel was no easy task, even for savvy engineers Harald, David and Shoni. Rotating a wheel with 16 Consol Solar Jars attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, they are kept upright by gravity. With an engine powered solely by solar energy, this AstroWheel was one-of-a-kind. A sculpture in the round: free-standing with no wire cables or electricity points - just a charged solar panel and solar lights.

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Being a theatre-in-a-jar, we inserted aluminium plates with Solar System facts engraved on them. Keeping the Consol Solar Jars balanced and equally weighted was tricky as we carefully poured measured cap-fulls of coloured glass beads into the jars - red for Mars and ice blue for Neptune. High school science students were truly wowed!

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This year, at ScopeX Telescope and Astrology Expo, our dream became reality. The star party commenced with the lighting of red LEDs for optimal telescopic night vision. As the AstroWheel spun, observers were mesmerised.

Sometimes a team of engineers needs a ‘flowery’ artist in their midst to make the recipe work :).

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Congratulations to all the science project winners of ScopeX! Enjoy using your prize Consol Solar Jar!

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Posted by on in Education
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Are you a keen Planet Spotter with an eye for stargazing? Join our Suntoy team at the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Expo where we will be honouring the star at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun.
 
We are excitedly revealing our new Solar AstroWheel, a revolving sculpture of Consol Solar Jars with red LEDs for optimum telescopic night vision. Each solar light teaches interesting facts about the eight planets. At 18h00 it will light up for the star party. As Carl Sagan said, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." 
 
We look forward to sharing sunny smiles with you, so come say hello at our Suntoy stand under the aeroplane wing.
Date: Saturday, 13 September 2014
Time: 9h00 - 21h00
Venue: National Museum of Military History (22 Erlswold Way, near the Joburg Zoo)
 
 
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Posted by on in Outreach

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Giving the gift of light in honour of Nelson Mandela was worthy of every second in 67 minutes.

Informal urban settlements spring up off-grid across cities in South Africa. Without electrification, these city dwellers rely on hazardous fire-inducing household appliances. Shack fires result in smoke inhalation, severe burns and loss of life and property.

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To commemorate Mandela Day, Suntoy donated Consol Solar Jars to children and their care givers at Children of Fire, a place of healing. By manufacturing a safe, clean and rechargeable solar powered light, Suntoy aims to eradicate the causes of these horrendous burns and the long-term trauma that follows.

No candles, no matches, no fire, no dangerous and polluting kerosene or paraffin. Solar lights equal healthier environments. Burn free.

"It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now." - Nelson Mandela
At Suntoy, we acknowledge that we have solar power in our hands to make a valuable difference in our community.

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Posted by on in Education

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Suntoy is always excited to discover where our Consol Solar Jars journey after our team in Selby assembles them. Being the manufacturer, it’s interesting to find out who uses them and how they make every hour a solar-power-hour.

So, we were chuffed to spot a photo of the AfriOceans Warriors holding our Consol Solar Jars in the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) electronic newsletter. The photo was snapped during Earth Hour 2014 in Cape Town. The AfriOceans Warriors Environmental Education (AWESOME) Programme is a marine focused environmental education and shark conservation initiative for youth in South Africa. It makes us smile to know they love solar energy as much as we do!

Our Consol Solar Jar is also a warrior for South African oceans. It shone its solar light on the Indian Ocean bed in Sodwana Bay at a depth of 19.8m!

Photo by Lesley Rochat

 

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Posted by on in Education
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Steering our planet towards a greener sustainable future lies in the hands of our youth. 
 
Mr Sunshine, also known as Harald Schulz, has created SunFan and SunCar assembly kits as practical learning resources for teaching the concept of renewable energy. In the classroom, these solar powered toys bring to life alternative concepts for electricity. 
 
Parktown Senior School in Johannesburg invited Mr Sunshine to facilitate a workshop. Students in Grade 5 learnt to assemble their own hand-held SunFans. As the plastic blades spun in the sun, they excitedly cooled themselves. That's a fun science lesson!
 
Each SunFan is made with a recycled tin - the type found in a supermarket. So, in addition to solar power, students learn about recycling too.
 
Mr Sunshine has visited approximately 16 schools and enjoys encouraging potential solar enthusiasts. Fun in the sun is what education should be!
 
Want to learn about solar energy? Invite Mr Sunshine to your school! Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
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