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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar
Light your way to Earth Hour with our Consol Solar Jars. Turn one hour into every hour for the good of our planet and join Suntoy in using eco-friendly solar lighting.
South Africans join global communities in turning off non-essential lights to raise awareness of the need to take action on climate change. We're making a collective difference to our environment.
Choosing to read your book by solar light is a small action in changing your lifestyle while lowering your carbon footprint. Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you avoid, saves over a kilogram of harmful carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Using renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic (solar) cells, in our daily lives drops our carbon emissions. Reason enough to go solar!
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Posted by on in Education


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 Suntoy Team
In leveraging our small business success, Suntoy’s strategy for effective growth includes increasing our capacity to produce products more efficiently. We’ve acquired a MyData TP9 Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Assembly Machine. Commonly called a pick-and-place machine, the TP9 is robotic and automates electronic parts assembly by placing surface-mount devices (SMDs), such as LEDs, onto printed circuit boards (PCBs). It offers high speed and high precision and is able to place approximately 8 000 pph (parts per hour).
Although second-hand and over 10-years-old, the TP9 has already assisted us on more than 10 000 printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies since its introduction to our Suntoy factory in January 2013. Two of our employees have been promoted to machine operators. Here’s to welcoming a sunny and sustainable measure to ensure our competency.
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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar


Export packaging for the Consol Solar Jar is revealed. Now, our jars can travel long distance in non-breakable comfort. Mr Sunshine conceived the perfect scenario to conduct a 'scientific' drop test. Principles in his methodology included his extra tall height coupled with the elevation of our staircase in the Suntoy factory.

Objective inquiry without bias was key. So, without further ado, here are our documented findings and resulting data:

  • An individual Consol Solar Jar box can drop from 1metre, four times, before the electronics come loose.
  • Mr Sunshine repeated the drop test to guard against any experimental error from 3m, 5m and 7m.
  • The jar only broke on the 7m drop.
There's nothing like empirical and measurable proof! Science rocks!
Hits: 3784

Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar


Consol Solar Jar light is now double as bright in a new glow called Glass White. It delights even more! Mr Sunshine, aka Harald Schulz, sheds some light on the difference between our old and new LEDs. The photos show the new diffused light and the old spot light.

New LEDs used after January 2013 are Surface Mounted Devices (SMDs) offering:
•  Diffused light: beam angle 105 degrees
•  Far better light spread, the light appears to be double as bright
•  Light colour: Glass White
•  Warmer light, brings out colour and makes glass glow
•  Machine assembled
•  Efficiency of assembly improved
•  Does not require skilled operators
LEDs used till December 2012 were 5mm Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) offering:
•  Spot light: beam angle 15 degrees
•  Most light shines on the bottom of the jar
•  Light colour: Warm White
•  Hand assembled
•  Requires skilled operators

b2ap3_thumbnail_CSJ_newLED_frosted.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_CSJ_oldLED_frosted.jpg
Photos show the new diffused light and the old spot light in frosted glass.

Hits: 3217

Posted by on in Outreach


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...! 

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.


Tagged in: Rhino solar Suntoy
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Posted by on in Education
Brothers, 15-year-old Christopher and 11-year-old Tristan, were inspired by the Consol Solar Jar to start their own small business. They are spreading sunshine across South Africa! Chris emailed us:
Dear Suntoy,
Three months ago, my dad and I discovered the Consol Solar Jar. My brother, Tristan, and me came up with the idea to start a business selling these solar lights. We bought 24 jars and we sold them to people in our neighborhood of Camps Bay. We realized that this is a unique product that sells well.
Over the holidays, we visited Hermanus. We sold 100 solar jars to restaurants. Creation Wine Estate invited me to a night market to sell the solar jars. I sold 50 in three hours!
 We then bought another 100 and sold them to buyers in Cape Town.
Tristan and I visited our Grannie in Durban. The Book Boutique bought all our remaining jars. I hope to continue selling more jars in KwaZulu Natal because it is an untapped market.
 We believe in the Consol Solar Jars with great passion and think they have great potential.
Thanks for publishing my story.
Hits: 3630

Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar


Consol Solar Jars are journeying across our African continent. Outdoor and indoor solar lighting is all the rage at Stormberg Elangeni Safari Lodge in Zambia.

“The Consol Solar Jars have been worth their weight in glass,” wrote Sylvia van Staden. “We leave them on bedside tables for our visitors. They use them as portable lanterns. No more flashlights or traditional torches in our camp! A visitor begged one off me and stuffed it full of socks to keep it from breaking in his luggage on his flight back to USA. A father and his two daughters stayed in our fly-camp while on safari and the jars were their only light. We rave about them!”


The room-attendants put the jars on the riverbank to charge by day.


Photographs by Chelsea McLachlan.

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar


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.”


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.


“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!






Hits: 3838

Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar
'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!
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."
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!"
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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