Sun-TVs were installed in 37 Southern African communities in 2010 in the run up to the Soccer World Cup, enabling these communities to enjoy the soccer extravaganza in areas which were not grid connected. Four years on, these same TVs are still being used — but this time to watch the Brazil 2014 World Cup!
According to Gregor Küpper, Managing Director of SolarWorld Africa, which supplied and maintains the TVs: “We introduced the SolarWorld Sun-TV in communities where there is no electricity supply, to enable the community to watch the Soccer World Cup games and receive educational courses to enhance the youth’s knowledge of the world.”
The Sun-TV station comprises of a 42inch television set with DVD player and satellite receiver, powered by two 260Ah batteries and an inverter. These batteries are charged by 300 watt solar modules, and monitored by a charge controller – all built into the cabinet.
While the idea was born in Germany during the 2006 Soccer World Cup, SolarWorld has developed it specifically for the local South African conditions. South African installation service provider, Telecom Techniques Solar worked closely with the company designing the Sun-TV units which was not only able to withstand weather, but it also consisted of a theft- and vandalism-safe design.
Gregor Küpper explains: “We completed the test installation in 2007 at ‘Etwatwa’ near Johannesburg. After fine-tuning the design of the Sun-TV unit based on our experience, during 2009 and 2010, we rolled out all installations before the Soccer World Cup in South Africa commenced. It is fantastic to see how it is still being used in communities today.
“Not only are the Sun-TVs environmental friendly, they are also building social capital and bridging the technology divide between different worlds. This project seeks to provide communities with a form of access to media technology that provides a window into unknown worlds.”