Kazachstan Makat 2010
My wife aunt had here electricity connection removed. To get her connection back will cost a sum of money which was to much. In 2010 my wife asked me if I have an idea how to solve her aunt electricity problem. I had the following ideas:
- Diesel generator
- Wind generator
- Solar system
Diesel generator is used by people living remote. They make allot of nolise. You need to keep refueling the generator to have it working the whole day. Even fuel is cheap in Kazachstan this is not a option.
The are where her aunt lives has some wind but it is not a windy area. So wind engery is not a option.
Kazachstan has allot of sun. Almost all year. It can be clouded for a couple of days but even than there is enough light to produce energy.
A solar/wind generator system will be the best solution. But it is out of the budget.
I got 1500 euro budget to make a solar system. The system should supply enough power for the following
- Maximum 3 light should be on on the same time
- Should support a refrigerator
- Should support small devices which take maximum 50 watt, for example a small tv, charging a mobile phone
- The system should work at least 2 days with cloud cover, 3 days if only fridge is used.
- System should be used without any electronic knowledge.
In 2010 you can get solar panels in Kazachstan but they are to expensive. So at that time I decide to build them my self. Bought Solar cells on ebay and made 4 solar panels with glass cover and one with perplex cover.
The housing was build from wood and painted. The paint should have kept the moist out. But the paint was bad quality, was not 100% oil paint. Now I think aboutit I have no idea what it was. After the panels was build I got moisture problems. Becuase the area where the panels will be used is dry I made some ventilation holes to dry the solar cell enclosure.
I expect after years that there will be some corrosion on the cells and loss of prodcution. The panel with perplex cover is an experiment. I want to see how long it will last.
The charge controller I bought in Holland. The lead acid battery I bought in Kazachstan. Lead acid battery is to heavy to buy outside of Kazachstan. The transportation cost will be very high.
Efficiency is every thing with a solar system. For this reason I did not use a standaard refrigirator. I use a chest freeze as refrigirator. Chest freezer have a better isolation than a refrigirator and lose less cold air when opened. When you open a refrigirator the cold heavy air will flow out of the refrigirator and will be replaced with warm moist air. This will trigger the refrigirator cooling cycle which will use power. When you open a freeze there is no flow of cold air out of the freezer. Meaning the less power needed to keep the inside cold, less cooling cycle a day.
A freezer will cool way below freezing point. Food need to be kept at arround 4 so they will not spoil. I made a small electronic system which will trun on the freezer cooling cylcle when the temperature rizes above 6.5 degree and stop the engine when the temperature will drop below 4 degree. This system will result in a effcient use of power for cooling.
In 2013 I went back on vacation to kazachstan. during the 3 year the system worked without a problem. Sometimes when Makat village lost electricity this was the only house which had light on and working fridge. In 2013 the system was still working. But not used anymore. Somewhere beginning of the year they received electricity connection. the solar pannels coverd with glass where looking ok. They had some corosion problem. But it was expected. The perplex was not transparant anymor which was also expected. at the end it was an experiment to learn form how to make panels my self.
In holland as an experiment I made a new panel. The back and front make of glass. The space between the glass filled with a gass mixture to remove any moisture. This panel preform much better.
More solar system
When I made the solar system in 2010 there where some request of farmers also to have a system.
When I was in Kazachstan 2013 there where again farmers who where intersted in a solar system.
So there is a busines case for smal solar system. The main companies in Kazachstan who sell solar system sell the big sys tem for a big house with lights, fridge,computer,television airconditioning. To big and expensive for the little guy. So if anyone start a small solar system business it will go wel. MM Maybe I will start one.