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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 Suntoy Team
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With thirty years experience in electronic and hydraulic engineering, Harald Schulz started Suntoy while tinkering in his home garage. Implicit in this startup formula is his passion for renewable energy. Over the last three years, Harald has thrived on the challenge of building a successful SMME despite its setbacks, long hours and financial risk. One that is now exporting solar lights worldwide.
 
The ultimate challenge for Harald, following his successful design and prototyping of the Consol Solar Jar, was not to mass produce a cheaper product in China. The better solution was to partner with Consol, invest in a product that is proudly South African and meet the needs for alternative energy resources and job creation.
 
For this entrepreneur, it’s not only about finding a scalable and profitable way to best design, manufacture and market a solar light. It's about passion. He braved Kilimanjaro on a mission to test solar products at high altitudes and extreme temperatures. For Harald, it ultimately encompasses promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle and a green economy.
 
Affectionately known as Mr Sunshine, Harald's enthusiasm for all things solar is contagious at the Suntoy factory where 40 people now work. Previously unskilled and unemployed, the factory staff are hired, trained and motivated to be solar enthusiasts. Every Suntoy employee believes that the solar powered products they assemble are enriching lives - their own and their communities. Their SunFans and SunCars are teaching youngsters to discover, value and think solar. Their Consol Solar Jars are bringing light to living off-grid without electricity.
 
Suntoy started small and is gradually growing. Harald is building a global distribution network that permits Suntoy to sustainably manufacture the Consol Solar Jar.
 
Harald knows current comfort is short lived. As the Suntoy Technical and Managing Director, he is hands on, accessible and aware that he has to continue opening new avenues. A one product wonder does not make for a sustainable business plan. So, Harald's back at his tinker table, his zone of fiddling and fascination. There's no rest for an impact entrepreneur strategically pondering the next step for Suntoy.
 
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Mr Sunshine aka Harald Schulz, Suntoy's Technical and Managing Director, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak, as the sun rose over the glacial ridge. At 5 895 amsl, the view was magnificent from the highest mountain in Africa.

Dressed in extreme cold weather gear, the Tribe Safari hikers had left camp Barafu, 4700 amsl, at 23h00. Harald sent messages with his smartphone: “Altitude made itself felt on the ascent. Breathing was a conscious decision. It is no easy trek. The Kili Shuffle pace is extremely slow as there is too little oxygen for a seven hour hike up the slope. My heart beat in my ears excitedly.”

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It was an icy cold and windy photo session at the famous sign at Stella Point. Harald posed with the Consol Solar Jar and its packaging box that he had sealed in plastic to keep dry. He then posed with our faithful and hard working SunPouch prototype. It had charged multiple smartphones on route. Our SunPouch insured that the hikers kept snapping photos and sending Whatsapp mobile messages for the entire trek up Kili. It had also lit Heralds’ tent.

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“We began the descent back to Umbwe camp. A tiring full days hike. The Consol Solar Jars are back to their full 10hour lighting potential because of the glorious sunshine yesterday. One jar was dropped and the glass broke, the only casualty. I’m exhausted and happy, sitting in my tent, listening to the rain and turning to sleep. The overall experience was incredible. My dream came true.”

'Ki-Lima Njaro' truly is a 'Mountain of Greatness.'

Sunny high five Mr Sunshine! The Suntoy team is proud of you!

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar
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'Fun in the African sun' is a motto Harald Schulz, Suntoy's Technical and Managing Director, embraces whole heartedly – especially while hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro with Tribe Safari. A playful barter system began when fellow hikers' smartphones needed top ups. Would Mr Sunshine, aka Harald, mind charging their smartphones with his SunPouch? No problem. Barter value: a steaming hot cup of Tanzanian plunger coffee!
 
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Harald managed to send long text messages, multiple photos and even videos. The extra solar power in his smartphone worked magically. Sealing the solar battery with insulation tape did the trick. "It is coming down in buckets. Temperature is around five degrees. The solar harvest from the SunPouch, considering the adverse weather conditions, charged a smartphone from empty to over 50%. Our SunPouch prototype has a battery that can bridge two days of no sun so it's performing well. It is powering my smartphone and providing enough light to comfortably navigate around my tent."
 
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With the SunPouch strapped onto his backpack, charging while on-the-move, Harald hiked to an altitude of 4 700 amsl. "The walk was beautiful culminating at the lava towers. Altitude sickness and headaches have thankfully avoided me. It must be my cigarette smoking. I am sitting in my tent, in my snug down jacket, eating chocolate. Life is good!"
 
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Harald Schulz, plus steaming cuppa coffee, with his friend Lance de Willers of Tribe Safari. "There are many cups of coffee owed to me, thanks to our SunPouch!"
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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At the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro approximately 2 000 amsl, Harald Schulz, Suntoy's Technical and Managing Director, joined a group of Tribe Safari hikers on the Machame route. Arriving at Umbwe camp, 2900 amsl, Harald used his smartphone to send messages: “We hiked through the most beautiful Knysna type rainforest. Consol Solar Jars were strapped to the porters’ backpacks for charging on-the-move. Todays hike was under a canopy of huge yellowwoods so the solar batteries didn't receive full sunlight. Evenings are short as everyone goes to bed around 21h00 and solar battery power is conserved. The jars shone brightly in the mess tents.”
 
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At camp Barranco, 3 900 amsl, Harald sent messages and photos: “Today we left the beautiful rainforests behind. Landscape was like a magical hobbits hangout. At 3 500 amsl we stopped for lunch and I realized that I had never walked to this altitude before. I was elated! First glimpse of the grand old lady in all her glory. Weather was overcast and drizzling, proving that Consol Solar Jars are waterproof. They're now hanging in the mess tents. Dinner by solar light on Kilimanjaro!"
 
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Harald Schulz aka Mr Sunshine, Suntoy's Technical and Managing Director, joined Tribe Safari to hike the roof of Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. In awe of its majestic beauty, a dream on Harald’s bucket list became reality.

Besides wanting to challenge his own hiking abilities, the aim was to test Suntoy solar products at high altitudes and in extreme weather conditions. Twelve Consol Solar Jars, our SunPouch prototype, a smartphone, a solar backpack and insulation tape accompanied him on his adventure.

Harald first glimpsed Kilimanjaro from the airplane approaching Tanzania. The mountain peak rose above the clouds. Harald had an interesting first solar encounter. He spotted a passenger with a solar laptop. Mr Sunshine struck up a conversation with the gentleman and noted that the area of a laptop lid is far too small to solar power a laptop.

In Moshi, a nearby town, Mr Sunshine topped up his own power reserves with a cup of steaming Tanzanian coffee.

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That evening, the group of 26 enjoyed dinner by Consul Solar Jar light in the hotel. A fitting opening chapter to the #KiliSolarSummit.

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Posted by on in Education

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Mr Sunshine, aka Harald Schulz, facilitates a series of solar workshops in Alexandria. This Suntoy outreach program introduces young adults to renewable energy.

At the workshops, sponsored by Mama Earth, Harald teaches the basics of Photovoltaic (PV) applications (generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semi-conductors). The aim is for each participant to increase skills, pass on their knowledge to their community and start his/her own entrepreneurial small business using solar energy products. Classroom learnings became reality as participants powered a TV, stereo and light from solar energy.

Charles, director of Sakha Isizwe, is a participant, "Harald is understandable and has made me aware of the power of the sun. I now know what to look for in solar products. I'd mark him ten out of ten!"

For further information and to invite Mr Sunshine to facilitate a series of custom designed workshops at your organization, school or company, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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Meet Harald Schulz, aka Mr Sunshine. He doesn't have a boring office desk. He has a Tinker Table, a zone of fiddling and fascination! Piled high with bits 'n bobs, Harald insists they are all experiments. His colleagues are wary of placing any important documents amongst the electronic gadgets and gizmos on this Tinker Table. Whoops of joy erupt when electronic paraphernalia start beeping... along with Mr Sunshine's big sunny grin!

It's not only solar experiments that this Tinker Table welcomes. Harald repaired the electronics of his Renault Scenic dashboard too. News spread in our hood and since then neighboring motor repair guys are buzzing our buzzer! Harald's now repairing electronics on dashboards and instrument clusters of cars in Selby. What's next for our sunny, funny Mr Sunshine?

He now has a sign above his desk that marks the spot!

 

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