|dc.description.abstract||Many rural communities in South Africa do not have running water or electricity. The fetching
and heating of water is therefore a time consuming and expensive daily ritual. The use of
energy sources such as wood or coal are not readily available and cause environmental
Although solar water heaters are commonly available in South Africa, they are very seldom
used in rural areas. Whilst this can mostly be attributed to a high system cost, current
designs also do not cater for specific rural problems such as the transporting or purification
A prototype model, designed with such an approach in mind, has already been constructed
by TEMM International (Pty.) Ltd. The Solar Heat Barrow (SHB) was developed in the 1992
to 2003 period with the intention of combining a number of functions at low cost. Specific
a suitable design and materials for manufacture in large volume,
sufficiently durable taking into account the harsh conditions of use.
suitability for cases where no in-house piped water supply was available,
the use of appropriate technology and
the improvement of quality of life. The unit combines the absorption of solar radiation, the heating of a relatively small volume
of water, the transport of the water from the point of supply and the storage of the hot water
until it is used.
Untreated water sources such as surface waters (streams, rivers, lakes, etc.) or unprotected
open wells are the vehicles for waterborne bacterial diseases such as cholera and typhoid
fevers. In the case where water is collected from these sources, the SHB has a build-in
Purification Dispenser that purifies the water in the collector against waterborne bacterial
Certain research questions need to be answered. They will be answered by demonstrating
the SHB in two communities where no in-house piped water supply is available and by
establishing the socio-economic response of the users. The research questions are as
What are the responses of the users concerning the SHB, in comparison to those of a
control group, regarding its operation, durability, utility and satisfaction of needs?
What is the daily use of hot water and the reduction in energy use and cost?
To what extent will the target community purchase the SHB at the full or subsidised
Is there a business case that can be developed for the large scale production,
marketing. financing and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) development
of the SHB?
It was decided to choose a community in the Valley of Thousand Hills in KwaZulu Natal as
the demonstration site. The name of the community is Mabedlane. It is a remote rural area
20 km's north of Botha's Hill and is situated along the Umgeni River. The community is
dependent on the river for domestic water. Most families are headed by women. The area
has low levels of infrastructure, poor roads, a high unemployment rate and poor health
The first survey, which was conducted before the test period started, showed a very positive
response from potential users. From 112 questionnaires that were given to the people of
Mabedlane, all indicated that they were interested in a product that can transport and heat
water for domestic use. The socio-economic study has shown that the price per unit needs to
be adapted as 85% of the people who participated in the survey indicated that they would only pay less than R100 for the product. 15% indicated that they would pay between RlOO
From the second and third questionnaires it was clear that the users were satisfied with the
heating performances of the SHB. The community was very interested in purchasing a SHB.
They have realised that a SHB will improve their standard of living and regard it as a
necessity in their day to day activities.
It is apparent that people, who will benefit from a SHB most, are those who will not be able to
pay the full retail price. Therefore, new business strategies have to be researched when
implementing the SHB to the target market in South Africa. The idea of considering ways to
sponsorlfund the SHB must also be investigated.||