An off-grid solar system for rural village implementation in East Malaysia

1 Jan 2013

The design-and-build stages on the Long Beruang Solar Project from design phase to final implementation are reported in this thesis, with its sustainability discussed and reviewed.

Long Beruang is a rural Penan village located in inland Sarawak, East Malaysia. The Long Beruang Solar Project is a 54 kWp solar power system which is implemented and monitored by the Public Works Department of Sarawak under the Stimulus Rural Electrification Projects. It is a community-based project, where villagers were fully involved in the building of power house, assembly of system components and the routine maintenance after project implementation. Actual load profiles of the village were recorded to examine the power usage pattern: the first load profile was collected in December 2010 (eight months after the project implementation); on the other hand, the second load profile was collected in March 2012 (twenty-three months after the project implementation). It is found that in the period of fifteen months, the daily energy consumption has increased by 257% and peak load growth has increased by 223%.

The environmental and economic impact of this project is scrutinized in terms of CO2 emissions and annual electricity payable, in comparison to two other presumed scenarios in which the village is either generated by Diesel-Generator or by grid. This thesis also contributed to the insufficient solar radiation data available for the state of Sarawak. With this intention, this thesis proposed suitable empirical models to estimate monthly-averaged daily terrestrial solar radiation for the two towns in Sarawak: Kuching and Miri. The Angstrom-Prescott model performed best for Kuching whereas for Miri, Cloudiness model is recommended. For Long Beruang, an Angstrom-Prescott model is proposed for the current stage of this research. Additional sampling, however, maybe required to produce a model with much higher accuracy for future work.

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