In 2019, Forth Lighting implemented a decentralised Solar Home & Street Lighting Project. It is located at Mubarak Village, Karachi and services 106 households with a population of 160 people.
This project was established with the support of an NGO based in Karachi, Pakistan.
The project consists of installation of decentralised Solar homes which include a Solar Panel, Battery, Charge Controller, DC Wiring and a Switch Box, which can easily run 4 LED (7W) bulbs, 1 Fan & 2 Cell Phone charging ports per household for 24 hours. Street Lights were also installed for General Lighting in the Village. Moreover, a Mosque and School which were situated within the village, were also illuminated with the use of Solar Lights.
The main objective of the Project was to provide basic lighting facility to the community in their household and streets.
The image clearly shows how the the Solar System runs in each household.
Solar Home Systems
Solar Home Systems (SHSs) are decentralised and particularly suitable for remote, inaccessible areas, which are not connected to the grid. Based on its easy application and maintenance, SHSs are the most successful alternate facility for electrifying the rural areas. They also present an attractive alternative to conventional electricity as there are no monthly bills, no fuel cost, require very little repair and maintenance, and are easy to install.
Forth Lighting offers two types of systems:
- Centralised system, which cater to communities collectively. A ‘solar house’ is established and contains panels on the roof, with converters, inverters and batteries inside the ‘house’. Approximately 8-10 houses are supplied via underground cabling two LED lights and a solar street light for the area is fed from here. The system can be maintained by one person from the village who is trained to do so.
- Individual systems, which cater to individual houses with own panel, battery and lights supplied by Forth Lighting. Maintenance becomes each person’s responsibility.
Solar Street Lights
Solar Street Lights improve the mobility and security of the community. Forth Lighting has installed many street lights which have a battery power of 8 -10 hours. The lights come on automatically at sunset and can either be manually switched off or automatically once the battery has reached its capacity. Each solar street light is supported by a metal pole which is embedded in a concrete foundation.
These lights cover an area of 20 ft. diameter and give decent illumination at ground level. 10W & 40W Solar Lights were used for general street lighting.
Solar Water Pumps
Solar Water Pumps are an alternative to diesel generators. The prohibitive cost of diesel and the noise component has encouraged many farmers to opt for solar power as the fuel source is free.
A typical solar powered pumping system consists of a solar panel array that powers an electric motor, which in turn powers a bore or surface pump. The water is often pumped from the ground or stream into a storage tank that provides a gravity feed, so energy storage is not needed for these systems. PV powered pumping systems are a cost-effective alternative to agricultural wind turbines for remote area water supply. Effective water provision is from a depth of 150ft and supplied to an overhead tank at a height of 30 ft. maximum.
Solar water pumping arrays are fixed mounted or sometimes placed on passive trackers (which use no motors) to increase pumping time and volume. AC and DC motors with centrifugal or displacement pumps are used.