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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 Consol Solar Jar

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Charlie Holland, a British sailor, and his 87-year-old vessel with a 1962-Kelvin engine, the Schwalbe, have sailed every ocean over the last decade. Accompanying them on a recent voyage was a Consol Solar Jar. Charlie emailed to tell how this solar light assisted him during a voyage at sea.

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“Our Consol Solar Jar hung off a hook in the galley. In the daytime the solar light charged on the wheelhouse roof, inside a life-ring we used for curing fish. During particularly lively weather, we heard it crash to the deck. Another time, it dropped in the bilge and bounced off the steel frame that supports the engine. The Consol Solar Jar is extremely robust and after each drop, it still worked perfectly. It was especially useful at night in the wheelhouse, as the beam from the LEDs didn’t interfere with our night vision. This solar light quickly became our go-to light source for accessing all areas of the boat. Even in daytime, the forepeak needs light when looking for spare line and with its hanging handle it leaves two hands free to do the searching. The Consol Solar Jar should be available in every marine supply shop, worldwide. Every boat should have at least one!”

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Dynamic retail in-store lighting solutions attract customers and showcase merchandise. Choosing the right lighting solution is the perfect way to reflect brand identity especially when choosing a product distributed by the brand itself.

Consol Xprs in Stellenbosch did just that. Eduard Visser, the project co-ordinator, along with his decorating team chose to suspend 24 Consol Solar Jars from wooden roof rafters at one end of the store.

The Consol Solar Jars are an important interior design tool creating a unique in-store ambience from arrival to checkout. They give customers a reason to look up, discover, buy and return to purchase more.

Another innovative way to use the Consol Solar Jar.

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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 Consol Solar Jar

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Khutse Game Reserve adjoins the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the north of Botswana. With rolling grasslands, riverbeds, dunes and pans where wildlife congregate in abundant sunshine, it is the ideal spot for a solar powered holiday.

David Way visited Khutse accompanied by three Consol Solar Jars. By night, the only light sources were from the solar lights, the campfire and stars. An 85W solar panel kept the portable fridge running, the beer ice cold and the meat frozen. It was an ideal African safari.

“We charged the Consol Solar Jars by day and used them to light the campsite by night. During game drives, we unscrewed the lids and left them on the car dashboard to charge as we drove. The Consol Solar Jars added to the ambience with subtle yet effective lighting making a wonderful experience even more enjoyable.” – David Way

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Posted by on in Theatre in a Jar

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Pretty cool! A big fan of radio 947, Camilla encouraged her hubby, Harald, to spend an eve running around their home collecting Consol Solar Jars scattered in their garden. Intent on showing her love for the new 947 logo, she directed Mr Sunshine to create 947 out of solar lights... and voila! It's amazing what one can do with a little imagination.

We entered the pic in the #ShowUsYour947 competition. Hold thumbs!

 

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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 Theatre in a Jar

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Spring has sprung in the Southern hemisphere. Being the sun-worshipers we are, our team at Suntoy is sending you sunny smiles as an iridescent carpet of blooms blossom. Summer is approaching in South Africa and we anticipate tons of solar energy coming our way. 



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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Our Theatre-in-a-Jar excels at scouting for interesting places to illuminate with solar light. Dressed with multicoloured feathers, Consol Solar Jars took centre stage in the Intimate Theatre at the SA State Theatre in Pretoria.

Suntoy was proud to collaborate with Moments Entertainment in celebrating twenty years of brave, courageous and valiant South African women in our young democracy. Inspired by the novel, SoPhia, written by Shafinaaz Hassim, the play, entitled SoPhiaTwenty20, was adapted for stage by an all-female cast directed by Firdoze Bulbulia. Setting the scene with a warm solar glow enhanced the atmosphere of the overall production.

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Consol Solar Jar lids, housing the LEDs and solar panels, are handmade and assembled by women. Previously unemployed and unskilled, this team of nimble artisans hails from Alexandria Township. The women learn all there is to know about solar photovoltaic power generation and use soldering irons like pros! The Chief Factory Supervisor rose to the position from the ground up. Cheers to celebrating South African women - those on the theatrical stage and those in the factory that produces the theatre-in-a-jar.

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“SohiaTwenty20 was performed to a packed theatre, teeming with great music, powerful narrative and bread to share. I am grateful to the cluster of creative genius and beauty that I have seen, to the audiences who are so enthusiastically supporting this heartswell endeavor and to good energies that persist. Thank you, team Suntoy for the generous loan of the Consol Solar Jars. People were wowed. They kept asking why we weren’t selling them!”Shafinaaz Hassim

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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High above Tolip Street, a City Power employee repairs an overhead power-line cable after the theft of copper cables left Melville in darkness. On closer inspection, we realise that the technician is using a Consol Solar Jar to light up the entangled cable mess left behind by the thieves.

Another photo shows more City Power employees, outside Room With a View Guesthouse, replacing stolen copper cables with new aluminium cables which carry little recycling value and hopefully won’t be stolen.

“This job was made very difficult because they only had one torch amongst a team of six City Power technicians,” says Jacques Wallis, manager of Room With a View. He had been using Consol Solar Jars in his guest rooms, reception areas and on his walkways for over a year and promptly offered the City Power team these solar lights. The neighbourhood was elated to have their power restored at midnight - with thanks to City Power, Jacques and the Consol Solar Jar!

Who would have thought City Power, a close relative of Eskom, would find such an appropriate use for our Consol Solar Jars? Makes one think, doesn't it?

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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 Consol Solar Jar

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A simple idea is spreading light worldwide. By day, it stores solar energy. At night, it shines solar light. The Consol Solar Jar is more than just an innovative and eco-friendly light source. It’s a theatre in a jar and a gift worth giving! Check out this movie that shows its multitude of uses.

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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At the heart of Switzerland's largest organic festival, Bio Marché, is a market for organic and fair trade products. With 40,000 visitors in 2,5 days, Bio Marché was the perfect stage to introduce our Consol Solar Jar to the Swiss.

Being the only South African made product included in the festival, our Consol Solar Jar elicited much intrigue. Sonnenglas, the European distributor of the Consol Solar Jar, collaborated with Bio Marché by placing our solar lights in the catering area. Many visitors discovered it there while eating dinner and then went to the Sonnenglas booth to purchase one. 

Summer in Zofingen offers evenings with late sunsets and by 9pm, when the market closed, the sun was still shining. In order to adequately demonstrate the abundant light of the Consol Solar Jar, the Sonnenglas booth had a darkbox that simulated nighttime. Customers could lift a curtain to see how the Consol Solar Jar shines.

We’re enjoying spreading our bottled South African sunshine across Europe!

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Jozi's streets became the playground for an eve of orienteering with Metrogaine, a fun adventure race incorporating exercise, socialising and outdoor exploration.

Participants raced against the clock using a topographical map to navigate between control points while walking or jogging speedily, checking clue sheets, identifying checkpoints, recording proof of discovery, dodging cars and staying warm on a chilly eve. Major multi-tasking was required which elicited loads of laughter!

Winners successfully completed the orienteering course in the shortest time. Alex and Alex (twins by name but not by birth) won for completing the 90-minute course with 1020 points, covering 20km. They were each gifted a Consol Solar Jar, donated by Suntoy, and anointed kings of the eve. Congratulations guys and also to Lisa for organising the event.

We’re planning an orienteering eve by solar light soon, so keep your eyes peeled for further info.

 

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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The 2014 Soccer World Cup has arrived! South Africans are excited to recreate the joyous celebrations that hit our turf in 2010. The opening ceremony and kick-off game offered all sports lovers, and even those that aren’t so keen on footie, a chance to cheer in front of television screens. The cheers for Brazil were louder when fans realised that Eskom had not spoilt our fun by load shedding during the match. That’s the spirit, Eskom!

Yet, rolling black-outs and power outages still threaten to leave us in the dark. Dearest Eskom, please check out the savvy FIFA smartphone application that informs when and where the next soccer game will be. Over the next month, try NOT to synchronise with it.

Let’s help Eskom cope with their load. Switch off all unnecessary electricity sappers during game time and use Consol Solar Jars to conserve energy and light the way to the final. Then, we can still cheer at every goal scored. Live. Not at highlights replayed the next day.

 

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Posted by on in Theatre in a Jar

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Here’s a bright idea! Transforming a flat logo into a large-scale three-dimensional (3D) sculpture of light! Made out of approximately 400 Consol Solar Jars, the Save Electricity logo was built by Mark Stead at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town for Earth Hour. This public artwork truly did save on electricity being eco-friendly and powered by solar energy only.

Conceptualisation must have been easier than execution, though just as much fun. Building the corporate logo carefully - very carefully - by arranging Consol Solar Jars strategically, creating the intended form. Almost like building a giant tower of blocks while playing a wobbly game of Jenga. Worthy of a wow!

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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 Consol Solar Jar

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Drawing with light during Earth Hour created a photographic artwork solely in the glow of solar light emitted by Consol Solar Jars. The backdrop was beautiful, set at Nizamiya Turkish Masjid (Turkish Mosque) in Midrand, near Johannesburg. Professional photographer, Peter Hassall, magically captured the word, Earth Hour, in solar light.

The word photograph derives from Greek:
phos = light
graphê = draw or write
phos + graphê = drawing with light = photograph 

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Nine people lined up in the camera frame. Each wrote a letter spelling Earth Hour backwards with a Consol Solar Jar in their hand so that it appeared right reading and pointed directly at the camera. The exposure was 15 seconds and they had to move the Consol Solar Jar in as wide an area as possible. If you look behind each letter, you will see the ghosted figure of a person holding their Consol Solar Jar.

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With all the interior lights switched off during Earth Hour, 12 Consol Solar Jars were placed upside down to shine up and light the archways, balancing the interior exposure with the exterior lighting of the clouds and turrets. The contact sheet shows four images:

Top left: all interior lights turned off. 
Top right: six jars turned on to light right-hand side.
Bottom left: additional six jars turned on to light left-hand side. 
Bottom right: final pic.

Suntoy promises to give our planet a brighter future, the eco-friendly way, by making every hour a solar-power-hour.

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Sodwana Bay is an unspoiled environmental jewel on the east coast of South Africa along the KwaZulu-Natal shoreline. It is the perfect setting to take the Consol Solar Jar for a scuba dive to discover the rich natural bio diversity on the Indian Ocean’s floor.

Stefan Neubig of Sonnenglas went on a mini-vacation to this beautiful spot. He put a 1kg weight inside a Consol Solar Jar (CSJ) so that it would sink easily. He added an absorbent sachet to prevent moisture within the jar because of the temperature difference on land and at sea (32 degrees on land vs. 26 degrees at 20m under the sea). No modifications were made to the Consol Solar Jar at all.

Stefan and his CSJ took a shallow dip in the pool at the diving school and reached a depth of 5m. Then the duo embarked on their deep-sea adventure. They reached a depth of 19.8m and our amazing solar light shone on the ocean bed. After both adventures, the CSJ returned to the surface without a drop of water inside its glass jar, working perfectly on dry land. Its electronics, including all the marine life, were unharmed. Waterproof proven!

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Harald Schulz, Suntoy Technical and Managing Director, explains: “What makes it watertight is that the inside of the Consol Solar Jar is sealed via a rubber ring from the outside. We employ a magnetic switch so there is no pathway for air or water to enter. The jar is thus water and airtight. Stefan’s photographs confirm that very nicely. It is not a technical marvel, as any jar filled with jam will do the same. It is an excellent demonstration of the build quality of the Consol Solar Jar.

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Beautifully captured, Stefan! These images are worthy of a huge wow!

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar
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Melkterts, koeksisters and Consol Solar Jars were the highlights of a get-together in Jozi recently. A group of friends gathered for an authentically South African eve of culinary delights. With a power outage that left their home in darkness, the hosts were rescued by a dozen Consol Solar Jars scattered amongst the yummy eats.
 
All the guests raved about the solar light source along with the warm atmosphere it created - despite having no electricity. Everyone wanted a Consol Solar Jar of their own!
 
Wether your preference is a braai of steak and pap or a dish of mogodu, with a little imagination any party planner can bring solar light to dinner. A versatile theatre in a jar is sure to inspire fresh ideas for table decor. The Consol Solar Jar is made in South Africa and we're truely proud of that.
 
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