Sunday, February 10, 2013

UJ launches Sustainable energy Technology and Research (SeTAR) Centre

The SeTAR Centre, a multi-disciplinary energy research facility that accommodate the technical activities of an air emission testing lab, was initiated by the UJ EnerKey programme, a German-South African Research Initiative, with the aim to use energy as a key element for the sustainable development of the urban region of the Gauteng Province.

“EnerKey tries to cover and cope with all major components of the urban energy system. A major emphasis lies on developing means for demand side management - that is to improve the efficiency of the use of energy in areas of high energy consumption, including the building sector – commercial, institutional, industrial, domestic and the transport and mobility sector. We want to develop retrofit options, find energy efficient building constructions and further develop an efficient traffic management system. We are also developing new technologies addressing the energy needs at the bottom of the economic pyramid ’ says Prof Harold Annegarn, Principal Investigator of the EnerKEY programme at the UJ’s SeTAR Centre.

The SeTAR Centre testing laboratory and workshop is housed within the UJ Department of Industrial Design. It includes a comprehensive SADC region stove collection constituting a small bio-fuel stove museum. The laboratory is a facility, where under the management of James Robinson, sustainable energy technologies, beginning with basic household stoves, are scientifically assessed, tested, re-designed, optimised, and prepared for commercialisation.

“The SeTAR Centre Testing Lab has established air emission testing protocols to be applied throughout the SADC region and is building a comprehensive database on bio-fuel stove emissions in the region.” says Prof Annegarn. “Through this the Centre plays an important role in the future of ‘carbon trading’ assessments within the SADC region.”

David Hancock, Program Manager of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zuzammenarbeit (GTZ), expressed how pleased his organisation was to be a research and funding partner of the EnerKEY programme.

The SeTAR Centre functions in partnership with the SADC Region Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation( ProBEC), affiliated with the South African based initiative by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). A number of research projects are already taking place in collaboration within UJ including the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies and the Department of Industrial Design.


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