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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 Suntoy Team
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Yvonne Cossa was one of our first factory employees. She initially joined the Suntoy team as a product assembler. Yvonne had no previous knowledge of solar technology or photovoltaic applications yet she learnt quickly and was promoted to factory supervisor of which there are five.
 
Yvonne's drive, determination and tenacity shone along with her leadership skills. She is now Chief Supervisor in the factory with 43 assemblers. She manages production runs, controls quality and meets orders on time. She is currently studying part-time for a certificate in Operations Management at the University of Witwatersrand.
 
Yvonne is excelling at her 'queen bee' role in her sunny chiefdom!
 
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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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Transforming an innovative idea into a functional object requires a glow of magic. At Suntoy, magicians come in the form of electronic engineers. 

David Way is a young graduate with a B.Sc. Electrical Engineering from Wits University. He's joined Suntoy to head up our electronic engineering team focusing on new product development. Shoni Muthubi is David's right-hand-man. He is a trainee electronic technician currently studying for a diploma at Central Johannesburg College. 
 
They are assisted by Olga Rathaha. Olga had no knowledge of photovoltaic applications prior to joining Suntoy three years ago as a product assembler. Her determination to improve her skills lead her to study part-time while working. She now has certificates in Computer Hardware (ITA+) and Networking (N+). Suntoy encourages growth through training and education for all their staff.
 
The engineering team implements design ideas, develops embedded electronics, tests prototypes, offers technical support and general factory maintenance. Having now established this 'incubator', Suntoy is ready to make even more magic! Watch this space...
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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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Posted by on in Outreach

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A visit to South Africa's game reserves is incomplete without spotting the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros. Yet, with a surge in rhino poaching leading to possible extinction, South Africa could be left with just the Big Four. That's not a sunny outcome. 

Intent on protecting the rhino, we learnt of an initiative to fundraise for RhinoSA - lead by a group of savvy 12 year olds. Suntoy donated 50 Consol Solar Jars to these scholars and they sold them at their school. They made a donation to RhinoSA at their Enviro Assembly in front of the National Geographic film crew. There is a huge demand for the Consol Solar Jar at their school now, so Suntoy is donating more jars to these budding fundraisers.

Their teacher, Mr Hansen, emailed us: "I would like to thank the children for their participation and congratulate them on their contribution to save the South African rhino. I applaud their innovative thinking and practical approach. I would also like to express my gratitude to their parents, who have awakened in them a sense of responsibility for their environment and the animals and people in it."

Well done Gaby, Chanel, Alex, Nina, Kirsten, Courtney, Klara and Katrina! Suntoy looks forward to you selling more solar lights to save the rhino. What would South Africa be with only the Big Four? Let's make sure it stays the Big Five!

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Posted by on in Education
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Join us at the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy ExhibitionWe're honouring the star at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun. Have fun learning about this hot plasma that gives us Earthlings solar energy.
 
Saturday, 20 July 2013
9h00 - 21h00
Star Party Lighting Ceremony at 18h00
National Museum of Military History
Erlswold Way, Saxonwald (adjacent to Johannesburg Zoo)
 
  • Visit our exhibition stand and assemble a SunFan or SunCar.
  • Check out our Solar Cooker.
  • Meet the Suntoy team.
  •  Consol Solar Jars with RED LEDs will set the scene for optimum telescopic vision of sky charts.

 

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be know. ~Carl Sagan

 

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Posted by on in Education

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Fourteen-year-old Katie Fitzgerald was introduced to the Consol Solar Jar (CSJ) by her dad. The solar powered light instantly intrigued her. At school, Katie was learning about the relationship between light, colour and the visible spectrum. She began to explore ideas for incorporating the CSJ into her project submission for the Grade 7 Science Expo Competition. Katie discovered what effect colour filters have on solar light.

Katie placed sheets of coloured cellophane - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet - over the solar panels that are embedded in the lids of Consol Solar Jars. The cellophane acted as a colour filter. She placed the CSJs in the sun to charge for two hours. Katie then measured the burning time (in hours) of each light.

Results showed that different coloured filters had different effects on the burning time of a solar powered light. This is an interesting observation. Suntoy congratulates Katie on her findings. Check out Katie’s school project, The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels, and download her presentation: The Effect of Colour Filters on Solar Panels.

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Posted by on in Education

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Sierra Salvione studied Graphic Design at Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (Ai Chicago) and graduated in June of 2012. An assignment in her sustainable design class lead Sierra to research innovative eco-friendly products and she discovered the Consol Solar Jar while surfing the net. We emailed Sierra to find out more about her infographic poster showcasing our Consol Solar Jar.

“I chose the Consol Solar Jar because it’s practical and beautiful. The first thing that I remember coming across was the numerous design awards it had received in 2011. Once I saw the photos of the jar at work, I immediately started thinking of how many I would like in my backyard someday. I have a strong love for anything that lights up the night. These jars are a beautiful hybrid of vintage design meets modern technology. When designing the poster, I went with a vintage aesthetic and a technology infused layout. I feel absolutely honored to be featured on the Suntoy blog! I am thrilled that my poster design caught your attention in South Africa and that it led to this blog post. I am very grateful for this opportunity!”

Sunny congratulations for a design well done, Sierra!
Download a high resolution version of Sierra's poster in PDF format.

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Posted by on in Education

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Sindile is a student of Mr Sunshine's solar energy workshops in Alexandria. Her interest in renewable energy began at a young age growing up in rural Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.

Sindile remembers studying by candle light as there was no electricity in the area. Her dad bought a solar panel and charger to power their TV, lights and mobile phone. They would place the solar panel on their roof during the day and remove it at sunset to prevent it from being stolen. They offered their neighbours a mobile phone charging service for a small fee and so began a lucrative idea for gaining income.

In recent years, the government installed electrical lines and her family sold their solar panel and charger. Along with the excitement of electricity came electrical bills. When Sindile moved to the city and heard of Mr Sunshine's classes, she jumped at the chance to learn how to make the solar charging station herself. Sinhdile hopes to show her family that, although they can use electricity for the majority of their appliances, they can lower their electrical bill with solar energy in their homes.

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Posted by on in Education

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Suntoy encourages curiosity-driven play and adventurous learning with solar energy. The Military Museum in Johannesburg was the venue for the ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition. An interesting play space for young (and young-at-heart) wannabe scientists and astronomers.

On a sunny Jozi winter's day, learners sat on the grass focused on our bright yellow solar PV panels. Excitement erupted as SunFans spun and SunCars zoomed off. Fun in the African sun!

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