Budding Solar Entrepreneurs

By |2020-03-12T06:58:29+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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.
Regards,
Christopher

Rhino Solar Collars

By |2020-03-12T07:13:18+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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.

 

Let there be More Light!

By |2020-03-25T14:59:09+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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

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

SMT Assembly Machine

By |2020-03-25T15:00:30+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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.

Infographic Poster

By |2020-03-25T15:01:12+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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.

 

Earth Hour Challenge

By |2020-03-25T15:01:38+00:00January 14th, 2020|

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

Fireflies

By |2020-03-25T15:02:26+00:00January 14th, 2020|

A firefly’s bioluminescence makes for nights of glowing outdoor adventures. Referring to these remarkable tiny creatures while describing our Consol Solar Jars gave us sunny smiles. “They have a ‘firefly-in-a-jar’ look and feel,” wrote Louise Hardy from New Zealand.

Her mom, who lives in South Africa, visited Louise in New Zealand and gifted her Consol Solar Jars for her birthday. “My three solar jars hang from our newly constructed pergola in our home garden. I love outdoor lights and these are fantastic and solar powered. I enjoy my nightly ritual of turning each on and seeing them from inside and out. All our friends think they are brilliant and ask where they can be purchased. I am very proud of mine!”

Our Consol Solar Jars are reaching far and wide… just like fireflies!

Message in a Bottle

By |2020-03-25T15:03:02+00:00January 14th, 2020|

In this age of quick texts and impersonal emails, make your 140 characters a handwritten note on recycled paper. A personal message makes for a cherished gift. Discovering a message in a glass bottle has been around for centuries and can be even more exciting if it’s a glass preserve jar with a solar light in the lid. There is no need to send the Consol Solar Jar floating across the ocean to bring delight to the receiver. Gifting ‘green’ results in a lower environmental impact and the Consol Solar Jar is an eco-friendly gift suitable for any celebration. Don’t let affection go unspoken… put a message in a bottle. It’s a Theatre in a Jar.

Art Exhibition

By |2020-03-25T15:03:39+00:00January 14th, 2020|

We were excited to discover that our Consol Solar Jars were featured in an art exhibition called The Other World at InToto Gallery. Including functional everyday objects in contemporary art exhibitions harnesses creative thought especially when addressing environmental issues such as solar energy.

The exhibition was curated around the idea that art can transport you to another realm. It was filled with sensory experiences into other times, spaces and spheres. Dry autumn leaves covered the gallery floor crunching as visitors explored. There was a visual feast of fine artworks displayed. Unusual objects were placed inside Consol Solar Jars that hung from the ceiling rafters and elicited wonderment. There was a sense of being in otherworldly places – some horrific, some euphoric – most not known to us.

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Curator: Megan Kidd
Creative: Otto de Jager

200,000th Consol Solar Jar!

By |2020-03-25T15:23:07+00:00January 14th, 2020|

Serial number 200,000 in a Consol Solar Jar lid rolled off the factory floor! Here’s a special blog post authored by Mr Sunshine, aka Harald Schulz, our intrepid Technical and Managing Director. Celebrate this important milestone with us.

Hello Team Suntoy and all our valued customers. A total of 30 people at Suntoy are directly involved in the manufacture of the Consol Solar Jar (CSJ). Big thanks and well done to all of you on producing 200,000. To Consol Glass, thank you for giving us this opportunity. Time to reflect and entertain with interesting statistics.

Units Produced:
The first CSJ rolled off the line on 21 September, 2011. That month we made 804 units. The quantity then steadily increased to 6,157 per month by May 2012, one year ago. This month we expect to ship a total of 27,000 units.

Interesting Facts on Weight:
1,000 rolls of 5kg or 5 tons of steel wire have been used. That’s a total of 165km of wire in total! We have produced and shipped a total weight of over 150 tons of product.

Light and Energy Output:
If Soccer City filled to capacity – that’s 94,736 people in total – and each person held two Consol Solar Jars, 10,000 jars would illuminate the field. These CSJs would produce 24kW of renewable power, approximately equivalent to the light output of 3,000 standard Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) light bulbs.

For Propeller Heads:
The energy held in batteries and recharged every day by the sun is theoretically 288kWh. The average South African uses 4.5kWh per day. Purely mathematically, the 200,000 CSJs we’ve produced could supply 64 South Africans with their complete electricity demand. In terms of energy production, 200,000 CSJs would comfortably be able to power 24 households.

By comparison Ethiopia ranks amongst the lowest electricity users in the world per capita. In Ethiopia the average person uses 0.12kwh of electricity per day. Our 200,000 CSJs produced could therefore supply 2,400 Ethiopians with electric power.

Congratulations Team Suntoy!

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