NEI Commissions Solar Water Heaters for EVTCs

Thirty Vocational Education Trainers from six centres, including trainers from the Eenhana Vocational Training Centre (EVTC) received theoretical and practical training on solar water heating under the Soltrain II project which was conducted at Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) and Okakarara Vocational Training Centre.

The aim is to increase the knowledge and practical skills of the trainers at all vocational schools in the country. The EVTCs solar water heaters will benefit the centre with a total of 500 litres of hot water on a daily basis. A representative of the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) and focal person, Helvi Ileka, says the NEI will also provide a training course on Solar Thermal Technology in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE) from Austria. “We are really impressed by the Vocational Education Trainers technical knowledge during the installation of the demonstration systems. If we have a critical mass of qualified personnel for rolling out this solar water heaters in this country, for instance in mass housing projects or demand side management, these instructors will fully inspect and enforce standards in the whole country,” she adds. However, Ileka also explains that the demonstration systems is being made available to all National Training Authority (NTA)’s vocational training centres as part of the Soltrain’s strategy to strengthen institutional structures by establishing satellite centres of competence for solar thermal training programmes during the Soltrain project and beyond.

The centre of competence will act as focal points for the solar thermal technology information, training, and support for the industry and policy as well as for applied research in Namibia. “We will carry out comprehensive training programmes that will be approved by the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) ranging from practical hands-on training to application oriented training of the already skilled installers on different types of solar thermal application as envisaged in the Soltrain II project documents,” Ileka adds. So far six solar demonstrations systems have been procured and installed at all the six vocational training centres in Namibia namely, EVTC, Okakarara VTC, Windhoek VTC, Rundu VTC, Valombola VTC and Zambezi VTC. The National Youth Service in Grootfontein also received a thermosyphon system and it will be used to expose useful technology to its trainees. According to Ileka, the respective Vocational and Education Trainers carried out all the installation as part of their practical training and will later transfer the knowledge gained to their trainees in the regions.

“Look at Eenhana Vocational Training Centre, it’s only the Instructors and trainees installing their pump solar water heater after they received training at the Polytechnic of Namibia in May. The systems are equipped with monitoring instruments that can monitor performance of the system installed,” she says. This demonstration system was co-funded by the Soltrain project, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) and being implemented by the Namibia Energy Institute in conjunction with the Institute of Sustainable Technologies (AEE – INTEC) from Austria.

Source : New Era