Solar comes with a variety of benefits, and for this small village in Myanmar it is helping protect the villagers from an accident with a poisonous snake. The stand-alone off-grid solution has been provided by Panasonic, and highlights the possibilities of off-grid PV in a country where approximately 68% of the nation does not have reliable access to an electricity grid.
Panasonics Power Supply Station, which includes 12 Panasonic HIT modules and 24 storage batteries, has been installed in the village of Yin Ma Chaung in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It has a generation capacity of 2.82 kW and a storage capacity of 17.2 kWh, which may not sound like a huge amount, but is enough to supply electricity to street lights and to the 140 houses that make up the village.
Not an awful lot of electricity can be passed to each house, but there is enough to power electrical appliances and lights. The lighting up of street lamps is particularly important, as it means that the villages can move around at night; something they previously tried not to do, due to poisonous snakes in the area.
Panasonic has also installed a refrigerator in the village, where anti-venom drugs can be stored, thus providing extra protection against the snakes. The project is part of the Sustainable Alternative Livelihood Development Project, which is supported by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage of the Kingdom of Thailand.
It is an important solution in the area, and it highlights the proficiency of solar in supplying electricity to remote areas, which do not already have access to reliable electricity. In fact, Myanmar is supposedly the ASEAN country with the highest level of areas that are not connected to the grid, currently making up approximately 68% of the country.