Solar air-conditioning training for energy professionals

Posted: 2019-01-04


Around 40 attendees from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe benefitted from a three-day training course on Solar Cooling and Air Conditioning at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, late last November. The course, aimed at solar energy professionals, had been organised by SOLTRAIN, the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative, with help from the Solar Academy of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The sessions covered global developments in solar cooling, as well as the design and technical details of solar cooling installations.

Attendees’ feedback “was overwhelmingly positive”, according to a news article by SOLTRAIN. “This training course has sparked the interest of those in the solar thermal community and stakeholders in the region to begin implementing the technology,” said Karin Surridge from the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), one of SOLTRAIN’s partner organisations.

The course was led by Daniel Mugnier and Christian Holter, two distinguished experts on global solar cooling markets. Daniel Mugnier headed New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems, an SHC task that ended a short time ago, but continues to chair the IEA SHC Programme. He described state-of-the-art small to middle-sized PV and solar thermal cooling systems, presented best practices and results from monitoring installations and introduced course participants to Pistache, a free software tool to pre-size solar heating and cooling systems. (link to

Christian Holter, Managing Director of S.O.L.I.D., an Austrian supplier of large turnkey systems, spoke about how to implement large-scale air-conditioning projects and integrate them with domestic hot water installations, while also presenting best practices and monitoring results, particularly for bigger units.

In the afternoon on the third day, the comprehensive course was rounded off with a presentation on how to secure funding and a discussion about market outlook and future opportunities.

Energy professionals from six countries attended the three-day training course

The SHC Solar Academy provides a means for sharing important results from the IEA SHC Programme with stakeholders in academia and business. Training and webinars are key to the IEA SHC’s approach for reaching a global audience to exchange information, support research and development, and implement solar heating and cooling projects. The next webinar has been planned for 12 March and will deal with the integration of large SHC systems into district heating and cooling networks. To learn more about what the Solar Academy has to offer, please go to:

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