100% locally-produced solar water heater after technology assistance


The Department of Science and Technology’s Firm Technology Assistance Package (FTAP) assisted iSolar, a solar water heater manufacturer, to develop a flat plate collector – boasting 100% local content – and have it tested for certification by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

iSolar has now added capacity to the low cost manufacturing of Solar Water Heaters in the Western Cape, with its 100lt SABS-approved solar water heater with a flat plate collector and stainless inner tank.

As a supplier to state-owned companies, iSolar was selected to form part of government’s drive to improve the competitiveness of local original equipment manufacturers, and could benefit from the mechanism established for this purpose, the Technology Localisation Plan, of which the FTAP is one solution. The FTAP is implemented by the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) hosted by the CSIR.

“iSolar was established in 2006 and has primarily focused on the local manufacture of solar water heaters for the rollout programme linked to Eskom and the Department of Energy,” says Lorraine Shikwane, Project Manager at the TLIU. Shikwane says, solar water heater is one of the most effective ways of cutting a household’s carbon footprint by reducing reliance on dirty fossil fuel usage. By offsetting the use of electricity, gas or heating oil, using solar water heaters also provide financial savings by reducing the rising energy costs.

“Subsequent to the FTAP intervention, the SABS’ approval of the new system secured iSolar a contract to supply 463 solar water heaters for a housing project in Langa for the City of Cape Town. Power Construction, the main contractor, appointed iSolar to manufacture, supply and install the heaters.”

Through TLIU assistance iSolar is now in the position to can also manufacture high pressure SWH’s capacity being 100lt, 150lt and 200lt.


For further information, please contact:

Tendani Tsedu

Media Manager: CSIR

Cell: +27 82 945 1980


Lorraine Shikwane

Project Manager: TLIU

Cell: +27 72 643 7380


About the TLIU:

The Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is hosted and incubated at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The TLIU was formed by the DST to implement the deliverables of its Technology Localisation Plan. Services provided by the TLIU include:

• Benchmarking and technology capability evaluation services;

• Technology capability platforms, or shared technology facilities;

• Access to technical expertise;

• High-end technical skills development programmes;

• Design and tooling support; and

• Technology transfer benefits/Offset programmes.

About iSolar:

Itakane trading 138 (Pty) Ltd trading as iSolar is a renewable energy manufacturer, distributor and installer operating at Killarney Gardens in Cape Town. iSolar is the only BBBEE implementer registered with the Department of Environmental Affairs for the supply and installation of solar water heaters. iSolar focuses primarily on the local manufacturing of low pressure solar water heating systems as well as opportunities to install these systems en masse.