Dear Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Third Southern African Solar Energy Conference (SASEC2015), which brings together experts and academics from around the world. The conference proceedings contain 131 papers, with authors from 40 different countries. A total of 68% of the authors are not from South Africa.

We are honoured to have seven keynote speakers, who are Prof Avram Bar-Cohen (University of Maryland), Dr Claudia Buerhop-Lutz (ZAE Bayern, Germany), Prof Jane Davidson (University of Minnesota), Prof Dimos Poulikakos (ETH Zurich), Prof Sambasiva Rao Singiresu (University of Miami), Mark Thornbloom (Kelelo Engineering, USA) and Dr G Kumar Venayagamoorthy (Clemson University).

These distinguished keynote speakers, together with the large number of papers, ensure that the conference is an international conference dealing with the challenges of solar energy from many different perspectives. We all know that clean energy is a grand challenge, and particularly in South Africa over the past 20 years, the steady economic growth and increasing focus on industrialisation, together with a mass electrification programme to take power into deep rural areas, have resulted in a very steep increase in the demand for electricity. At present, this demand cannot be met and South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis.

Furthermore, with global energy demands on the increase, coupled with the depletion of our natural resources and the negative impact of fossil-based energy sources on the environment, the issues of clean, sustainable energy and the importance thereof in economic development and global well-being have become a pressing reality world-wide, and of course, particularly in South Africa.

We are thankful for the initiatives that were taken by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which has funded research in renewable energy in South Africa since 2009; first, for an initial period of five years and then, extended for another five years. This ensured a sustainable and stable research platform for several universities in South Africa, and a large number of the South African papers presented at this conference were the product of this initiative by the DST. I would therefore like to thank the DST on behalf of the South African universities for their support.

To ensure that the proceedings of this conference form a coherent body of original research in solar energy, all the papers were rigorously peer-reviewed by an international Technical Programme Committee, consisting of 183 members from 32 different countries. The review policy was that only original research papers recommended by an independent reviewer, who is a distinguished subject specialist in the field of the relevant paper, and the Editor were accepted. I wish to express my sincere thanks to the reviewers whose generous efforts made it possible to select only papers of a high standard for publication in the proceedings. All the papers in the proceedings will be uploaded onto the repository of the University of Pretoria ( and will be freely available for dissemination.

The papers in these proceedings will be read over a period of three days from 11 to 13 May 2015, and the conference venue is in Skukuza, in the Kruger National Park. The conference venue is in the middle of nature, untouched by industrialisation, urbanisation and many technologies that we are used to. May this unique wildlife environment be a reminder where we come from and inspire us to develop technologies using solar energy to ensure a clean energy supply but not to the detrimental cost of nature.

As conference chair of SASEC2015, I know that the success of the conference depends ultimately on the many people who have worked with us in the planning and organising of this conference. In particular, we thank the International Advisory Committee, Organising Committee, Technical Programme Committee, the reviewers who reviewed the papers, the company, The Inside Edge, which was responsible for all the logistical arrangements, our sponsors who helped to keep the cost down, the session chairs, the keynote speakers and all the delegates who will present papers. All these people contributed to the success of this conference and the quality of these proceedings.

It is my pleasure to welcome you now to SASEC2015 on behalf of the Organising Committee. I trust that this conference will reach the common objective of bringing together scientists, experts and engineers, and of inspiring us to uncover, share and glean more knowledge in order to tackle humankind’s energy problems with solar energy.

Prof JP Meyer Conference Chair: SASEC2015

Editor of SASEC2015 Proceedings: Prof JP Meyer Publisher: SASEC2015/University of Pretoria ISBN: 978-1-77592-109-7 Proceedings published date: 11 May 2015