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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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We're moving to our new abode! An existing building is being revamped and spruced up, the eco-friendly way, in anticipation of us relocating in September. We look forward to welcoming you to our new Suntoy home at 27A Baldwin Street, Village Deep, Gauteng, South Africa (next door Amalgamated Insulations).

Our postal address has also changed: P O Box 38770, Booysens, Gauteng 2016, South Africa
Please note our phone number remains the same: +27 087 754 4060

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Tagged in: New Address Suntoy
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Posted by on in Theatre in a Jar

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Summer holidays have arrived in the Southern Hemisphere. There's plenty of warm rays and golden beams of sunshine to bottle in a Consol Solar Jar. It's time to hang out with family and friends in the midst of laughter and relaxation.

Suntoy wishes you a sunny festive season and a prosperous new year. Let there be light! Happy holidays!

Please note: Suntoy is closed from 13 December 2013 until 13 January 2014 for our annual summer vacation. 
 
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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 Outreach

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Southern Africa's rhino are in grave peril. The total number of rhino poached and killed in South Africa in 2012 was 618, up from 448 in 2011. At this alarming rate, by 2025 there will be no rhino left on earth. Crime syndicates are fearless. The rhino horns are ground into powder for traditional medicines in East Asia. Experts say this powder actually has no medicinal purpose though that has not stopped the demand. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same substance that comprises human hair and fingernails. $65,000 a kilo...! 

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Suntoy is collaborating with specialist anti-poaching units and field ranger patrols. Rhino Solar Tracking Collars are in development. GPS tracking collars monitor position, speed and behavior over preset intervals. When battery power on these devises is depleted, the radio antennae stop sending information on the location of the rhino and poachers pounce. Charging these GPS tracking devices from solar energy prevents loss of battery power. Malleable solar panels have been sewn into leather collars. Prototypes are currently being tested on one rhino and two cows.
 

 

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Tagged in: Rhino solar 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 Consol Solar Jar

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Eco-friendly is a lifestyle worth pursuing. In his book Off The Grid, Nick Rosen writes: "The era of 40 acres and a mule has been replaced by the era of half an acre, a laptop and a solar panel.”

Leshiba Wilderness is an eco game and nature reserve in the Soutpansberg Mountains. It is off-the-grid, without any connection to an electrical transmission grid. Nature plays an important part here and the sun is the primary power source. Leshiba is a perfect location for our Consol Solar Jars to light up starry nights and morph into lanterns on walking trails, just enough so that wildlife aren’t disturbed.

Kathryn Straughan, general manager of Leshiba Wilderness, wrote us: “We have used our Consol Solar Jars every day for nine months and we love them! We started off with two and ordered 50 for our lodge, camps and shop. They are in each room as bedside lamps, along our pathways and hanging in trees. Living off-grid, we have to conserve power. The solar jars are fantastic especially if the main solar power runs out and we need quick access to light. In the middle of the night, I get up for sick kids, taking the puppy out, checking on the horses or to see which animal is munching my garden. The solar jar is brilliant for this!”
 
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Perfect Gifts in Cape Town, supplied a Samsung delegation with corporate gifts - our Consol Solar Jars were the perfect choice. "Florence Lightingale," aka Audrey, emailed us:

"It has been quite a day – getting 130 Consol Solar Jars wrapped, bowed and labeled and to the delegate venue before 15h00! The jars (luckily) arrived at 10h30 this morning. We ran around like headless chickens, but it was all worth it. Thanks so much for getting the jars to us on time. I really do appreciate your ongoing help and encouragement. I was also delighted to learn that the company who contacted us for this specific job, found our name on the Consol Glass website!"

Job well done Mz Florence Lightingale!

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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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We're on a winning streak this month! Our Consol Solar Jar is making the hard working Suntoy team feel worthy of being in the spotlight. We were chosen as a finalist for the Gauteng region of the Eskom Energy Efficiency Lighting Design Competition. There were cheers in the factory and sunny smiles.

Now we've been chosen as winner of the best South African household product by Fair Lady magazine. We're as happy as sunshine! Thanks to all of you for buying our Consol Solar Jars.

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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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Posted by on in Suntoy Team

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In July, snowflakes fell on Selby covering our street with dusts of wonderment. Snow is an unusual occurrence for South Africa. We raced excitedly for the exit door to watch and feel the white flakes. Never mind clothing totally unsuitable for the brrrrr of minus one degree! This was an experience of a lifetime for some of us, seeing and touching snow for the first time.

Florina, Olga and Lisolwe were happy to experience what they had only ever seen on TV. Vukile grew up in rural Matatile, near the mountains of the Eastern Cape, where 'real' thick snow falls every year. He remembers many fun snow ball fights with his friends.

So, as we reminisce about our surprisingly fun day, the snow has melted leaving much needed damp for our usually dry and dusty Jozi. Our faithful African sun is peaking through the clearing clouds. Hello sunshine!

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Tagged in: snow solar Suntoy
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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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