Gaby out of the blocks at a gallop!

July 9, 2010
Although one is tempted to wonder where the first half of 2010 has gone, mid-winter has passed and the days are slowly getting longer.  The Soccer World Cup 2010 is almost done and dusted and we've surprised the world media and the visiting tourists with the great experience they've had and made our critics eat their words.

July 4th was 2 years since Doug passed away.  Helene and the family are slowly adjusting to a different rhythm of life without a husband and father.

And the first DBREV scholar has been busily beavering away at her research!

Wendy Annecke (Gaby's DBREV main mentor) and I met briefly at Forries a week or so back and I was pleasantly surprised to find that she has not only settled in to post-grad life, but has been producing research papers, two of which she hopes to present at two international IEEE Renewable Energy conferences coming up soon:

The first is the 45th International Universities' Power Engineering Conference (UPEC 2010) in Cardiff, Wales 31st August - 3rd September 2010.  This is a long-established conference, which is very popular with young researchers, PhD students and engineers from the power industry.  It allows participants to exchange experiences and discuss the most up-to-date topics in power engineering.

The second is PowerCon in Hangzhou, China on October 24-28, 2010.  Gaby hopes to be able to arrange some field trips to local RE installations while she is there.  if you have suggestions or contacts for her, please let us know.

Both papers are review papers with an emphasis on energy storage and the importance of batteries within RE systems. There are many similarities between the two papers, but each paper has a separate emphasis, the UPEC paper on modelling battery storage within a hybrid RE system context and the PowerCon paper with an emphasis on battery controllers within the same context.

We hope to be able to have her present at least one of the papers and then give us some feed back on the trips later in the year. 

Keep up the good work Gaby.  You can keep track of her progress and catch some of her thoughts on RE at a blog she has started at : http://www.gabyelectrification.blogspot.com/  - drop in from time to time and leave some thoughts and encouragement for her in the comments.  Will be great to see some discussion and debate there which will help her focus her research.
 

DBREV Scholarship applicant looking for some work experience

December 14, 2009
Oison Tummon was a close contender for the DBREV scholarship.  He approached me recently asking for assistance in securing some work experience until August 2010.  I suggested he draft an "ad" to be placed here.  If you think you can assist him, please contact him directly - his details you will find below.
rgds,
Dave
 

To all in the Renewable Energies Sector

I have recently found my passion and vocation in life;  I am desperately keen to develop sustainable energy in South Africa.  I am passionat...


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Press Coverage of award.

November 11, 2009
I'll post details of publications that publish details of the award as I become aware of them.

REEEP posted details on their blog.
Energize e-News included an article in their latest newsletter (14 December 2009).

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Congratulations to our first DBREV scholar, Gaby Coppez.

November 8, 2009
The selection panel did not have any easy time of it, despite having developed a scoring system which included not only academic track record but alignment to DBREV goals, appreciation of the technical and social aspects of RE, and level of commitment, among other factors.

The points separating the final candidates were not that disparate, but in the end Gaby Coppez's involvement in community work and affinity for teaching clinched it.  The Board of Trustees would like to extend warm congrat...
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SA's thin-film solar tech at commercial stage

October 13, 2009
The Mail and Guardian have a short report indicating some progress with TFST's Paarl plant.

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How some energy-savvy South Africans have already taken the grid-free leap

October 3, 2009
Alix Clark spotted this article on Engineering News.

If we get many more 40% yoy price hikes from Eskom and the price of PV, inverters and battery banks start coming down, I'm going to start looking seriously at the option of moving off the grid!  ~R300k remains a bit steep for the Average Joe.

Great to see some work being done in this area.

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Final Candidate list

October 3, 2009
Members of the selection panel are now poring over 27 submissions from a very diverse group of people - all of them showing a degree of passion for Renewable Energy.  As expected there were some 11th hour submissions.  The Board did agree that we be a little flexible with the deadline, but I think we're done now as it is not fair on either the panel (who have a lot reading to do) or those who made the effort to submit on time.  We should have at least a shortlist by 16 October 2009 and be abl...
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The trickle becomes a flood.

September 29, 2009
Today alone, one day before the closing date for applications for the DBREV scholarship for 2010/2011, at least 10 applications have come in.  I expect more tomorrow.

So far, the following people have submitted.  I don't envy the panel!

  1. Ranen Naidoo
  2. Alicia Perumal
  3. Margie Biggs
  4. Cobus Kotze
  5. Johan Kok
  6. Mikail Ansari
  7. Malatji Pholoso
  8. Christina Trautmann
  9. Jacqui Crozier
  10. Gordon Kernick
  11. Shiba Adhikari
  12. Nicole Nsegbe
  13. Kudzai Simbanegavi
  14. Constanti...
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Applications trickling in.

September 21, 2009
With just under 10 days to go before applications for the 2010/2011 scholarship have to be in, we have had a number of enquiries and a few submissions already.  

I have record of the following people having submitted applications (in order of submission):
 
1. Ranen Naidoo
2. Alicia Perumal
3. Margie Biggs
4. Cobus Kotze
5. Johan Kok

If you have emailed me your  application and your name does not appear on this list, please contact me urgently.

regards,
Dave Gale
082 467 2400

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Update on Funding.

September 21, 2009
I've been asked why we are not recognising SANERI as a sponsor on the web page.  The simple answer is that we have as yet had nothing formal from them, but they have assured me that as soon as their funds are released by the Department of Science and Technology, they will able to formalise their offer.  When that happens, I will be delighted to make changes to the Sponsors page.

I had a very positive meeting with Andrew Blades last week. He has kindly offered to arrange and host a fund raising...
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