Sustainable energy Technology and Research (SeTAR) Centre


SeTAR Centre is engaged in the design and testing of improved combustion devices. The stoves are tested for thermal and emissions properties, based on the SeTAR heterogeneous testing protocol. The protocol requires continuous measurement of fuel mass consumption, trace gas emissions (CO, CO2, SO2, H2S) and temperatures over three power levels (high, medium and low), using two pot sizes, 5L and 2L. The tests address energy poverty and indoor air pollution among the lower socioeconomic spectrum of South African society, with the aim being to provide stoves that have lower emissions, better fuel efficiency and that are safe to use.

Organization Type Academia

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Dr. Harold Annegarn
Secondary Contact
Mr. James Robinson

Address SeTAR Centre, University of Johannesburg (BTG)
P.o Box 524, Auckland Park
Johannesburg, Gauteng
South Africa
Phone +27 11 5594277
Calling/Fax Instructions

Our Focus

Primary Initiatives, Target Populations, and Scope of Work:

Current initiatives include the optimisation of the conventional wood and coal burning brazier (imbaula) that is used by most off-grid South African communities. Our target population is the lower socioeconomic spectrum of South African cities.

Fuels/Technologies: Biomass
Ethanol Gel
Sectors of Experience: Energy
Renewable Energy
Air quality management
Countries of Operation: South Africa

Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas

Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves:

People are slow to change behavioural patterns that have been acquired over a long time. However, this is progressively overcome with more education campaigns as to the benefits of new stoves and cleaner fuels.

Market development for improved cooking technologies:

Uptake on new improved cooking technologies and methodologies in South Africa is still rather low. Thus it is important for stove developers and disseminators to work closely with social marketers in order to link the products with the relevant markets.

Technology standardization for cooking, heating and ventilation:

SeTAR Centre is currently involved in the development of paraffin stoves standards. This process is driven by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring:

Our principal investigator at SeTAR Centre has wide experience and interest in air quality monitoring studies. Similar studies will be carried out in conjunction with affiliate agencies.

Relevant Publications or Studies

Kimemia, D., H. Annegarn, T. Makonese, V. Molapo & J. Robinson (2010), Characterisation of domestic biomass combustion technologies used in Setswetla, Alexandra Township, Gauteng. Paper presented at the Domestic Use of Energy (DUE) conference, March 2010, Cape Town.
Robinson, J., P. Crispin, T. Makonese & H. Annegarn (2010), Heterogeneous stove testing protocols for emissions and thermal performance. Paper presented at the DUE conference, March 2010, Cape Town.
Kimemia, D., H. Annegarn, V. Molapo & T. Makonese. Perceptions of biomass users in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. Paper presented at People Energy Network (PEN) conference, October 2010, Gaborone.
Makonese, T., D. Kimemia, V. Molapo, J. Robinson & H. Annegarn (2010), Domestic combustion of solid fuels: The need for heterogeneous testing protocols for thermal and emissions performance. Paper presented at PEN conference, October 2010, Gaborone.

Our Contribution to the Partnership

The SeTAR Centre laboratory is available to carry out stove tests throughout the year. Stove developers in our region can therefore be referred to us. Creating awareness in the community as to which improved stoves are available for different fuels and better ignition methods. Carrying out stove testing workshop for capacity building. Engaging with relevant role players to ensure improved stoves reach the target markets.