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‘SolarTuk’ coming in March
Mon, 23 September 2013
Daniel de Carteret
and Hor Kimsay
Solar-powered tuk-tuks could be rolling off the assembly lines in Phnom Penh as early as March next year, allowing local tuk-tuk drivers a cost-effective and greener alternative to using petrol, according to the company manufacturing the vehicle.
Star 8, the Australia-based alternative energy firm behind the ‘SolarTuk’, is building a factory with a local partner in Dangkor district on the western outskirts of the city.
The firms managing director Jacob Maimon expects to hire 200 to 300 local staff once production goes live.
I think, on a personal level, I am going to start trying to get solar systems set up for Khmers who may want / need them. I hate going up and down the road at the farm, knowing that, every night my family has power, while others are sitting in the dark.
I am currently in negotiations with a company to build a solar controller that will be reliable, yet much cheaper than your average controller offered by companies here. The controller would be manufactured in the USA. My first PWM controller here was $250 USD! This controller should easily come in under $100 USD, and will be customized for this project. It would still be a 20a to 30a controller, offering a 10a load circuit. It will be enclosed for the environment of Cambodia as well. So, it could even be mounted outside, if necessary.
EDIT: July 28, 2018 - Some MorningStar SL-10L-12v SunLight Solar Charge Controllers were donated to me a while back, specifically for this project. So, I will be going with them, rather than the previous controllers I was considering.
I am going to try to get a solar module (panel) manufacturer on board as well, Just Solar. If I can do that, the only significant cost then will be the batteries.
So far, my plan is to include the following in one package price:
PV Panel Parts
1 - 100 watts 12vdc PV Module
1 - 1.5" angle iron mount (could go with aluminum here if cheaper)
1 - Assorted hardware for mounting the panel
PV Panel to Controller Parts
3 - meters two conductor #10 wire
1 - Assorted hardware to secure the wire against the building
Battery to Controller Parts
1 - MorningStar SL-10L-12v SunLight Solar Charge Controller
1 - 10a 12vdc fuse / breaker
1.5 meters red #6 awg wire
1.5 meters black #6 awg wire
1 - Assorted hardware to mount the controller and secure wiring against the wall
Controller to Loads Parts
1 - 12vdc - 50ah Deep Cycle Battery
2 - Brass Battery Bus Bars (to attach loads)
1 - 10a 12vdc fuse / breaker
1.5 meters red #12 awg wire
1.5 meters black #12 awg wire
1 - Assorted hardware to mount the bus bars and attach the wiring against the wall
The second panel came in today. Now, the array will be at 270 watts, 24vdc, more than enough to keep my electronics running during power cuts. Actually, I could keep it running 24 / 7 off this system, with no problems.
The panel set aside for mounting after arriving at home.
The pole mount, prior to the second panel being added.
After the second panel was added.
New input voltage with 2 - 12vdc, 135 watts panels in series - 27.0vdc.