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Community Engagement: Renewable Electricity for Kampung Orang Asli Pucur

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The residents of Kampung Orang Asli Pucur, Kahang are now able to use free 24-hour electricity from an isolated electrical solar system developed by researchers from the Department of Electrical Power Engineering, UTM (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) Johor Bahru; Dr. Jasrul Jamani Jamian, Dr. Zulkarnain Ahmad Noorden and Ms. Norfatihah Mohd Zaid. The electrical solar project was a continuation initiative from a project supported by Institusi Inovasi Strategik Johor (IISJ), UTM namely “Development of Simple Guidelines for the Maintenance Solar Electrical Systems”, started from July 2016 for a period of 12 months and lead by Dr. Zulkarnain. The IISJ-UTM project is generally a technical education about isolated solar electrical systems for rural communities. At the beginning of the project, the researchers have been informed by Mdm. Azlinda Jamian, Development Officer of the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), Kluang regarding electricity supply problems of the residents in several villages in Kahang such as Kampung Sungai Peroh and Kampung Pucur. Through several site visits and discussions with the officer, it was found that residents in Kg. Pucur relied solely on a diesel generator for the electricity supply with the total diesel cost of approximately RM 2000. This led to the limitation of electricity consumption in the village for only 11 hours daily, starting from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. From the utility company perspective, supplying the village from the grid is nearly impossible since it involves a very high cost because of its remote location, about 30 km off-terrain from Kahang and with limited population of about 20 families. Hence, electricity from solar source – renewable and free – is the only promising and economical solution for the village.

With such a motivation, the researchers decided to implement a pilot project in the village – led by Dr. Jasrul – called “Development of Eco-Treatment Center (100% electricity from solar source)” with the approval of JAKOA Kluang. In addition to supplying the treatment centre with 24-hour electricity solely by electrical solar system, the pilot project is expected to be the starting point for the residents as their early preparation towards continuous electricity supply for the whole village in the future. With proposal presentation and site visit, Bank Islam Berhad has agreed to become a major sponsor for the pilot project, Eco-Treatment Center. On May 14, 2017, the installation of 4 kWp solar systems and infrastructures upgrade at the treatment center was successfully completed. Electrical appliances such as refrigerators, ceiling fans, lights with 5-star energy efficiency rating were also installed in the Eco-Treatment Center with the sponsorship of the Bank Islam Berhad and Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Other contribution was also obtained from Politeknik Mersing, Johor where they have contributed their expertise in electrical wiring in the treatment center. Hopefully, with the development of the simple guidelines and Eco-Treatment Center developed by the researchers, electricity supply problems could be resolved to ensure the living quality of the villagers.

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Group photo of VIPs and FKE staff during the launch of the Eco-Treatment Center at Kampung Orang Asli Pucur,  Kahang on 25 May 2017.

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Group photo of staff from FKE UTM and Politeknik Mersing during the officiate of the ECO-Treatment Center at Kampung Orang Asli Pucur,  Kahang.

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The launching ceremony of “Garis Panduan Mudah Penyelenggaraan Sistem Tenaga Elektrik Solar Terasing” by Dean of FKE UTM, Prof. Dr. Johari Halim Shah.

 

by Dr. Zulkarnain Ahmad Noorden, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

 

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2017 Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia
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