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Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Solar Energy Technology Transfer Projects Prospering Communities

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia, Jan. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Recently, UTM's School of Electrical Engineering researchers have installed solar panels on fishing boats to replace the use of diesel mainly for environmental sustainability purpose. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is a research university that is well-known for its continuous solar technology initiatives for the benefit of the society and environment.

The installation of solar technology on fishing boat
The installation of solar technology on fishing boat

UTM Smart Eco-Photovoltaic Boat

The project called UTM Smart Eco-Photovoltaic Boat, is a solar Photovoltaic (PV) system development project mainly for uses on fishing boats for the fishing community in Kampung Mersing Kanan Johor, Malaysia.

The project is strengthened and realised by collaborations with other institute and government statutory bodies, Institut Latihan Perindustrian Kepala Batas and the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia.

The use of solar PV to replace portable diesel generator is common in developed countries, however the usage is still low in Malaysia. This encourages UTM to organize more knowledge transfer programme to the fishing community.

The technology used for early introduction to the fishing community started with a simple module and component that the new users can maintain. At the same time, UTM has developed a simple guideline book for boat owners to comprehend the basic concept of solar as well as step-by-step maintenance guide.

Diesel generators usage has become a necessity for anglers to power up electrical equipments such as lights, sonar, communication devices and more. However, the use of diesel generators brings adverse effects on the environment, aside from dependence on fossil fuels.

According to the Project Leader, Dr. Syed Norazizul Syed Nasir, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Electrical Engineering, the adaptation of PV solar energy by the fishing community is expected to provide more environment-friendly options to fishing boat owners while reducing diesel purchasing expenses.

From the project, initially, a boat has been selected to adapt the PV solar energy system and the installation work of the system was completed back in April 2021. The system is considered a success as the anglers are still using it until today.

Developed Guidelines for Anglers

In order to ensure boat owners can smoothly operate the newly installed solar energy solar system, a guideline book on the use and maintenance of the PV solar system for a fishing boat has been developed by UTM from research studies. The guideline includes a simple module that uses illustrations that are easy to understand by the boat owners.

Solar Energy System for Raft Houses

UTM is also on the ground helping the community, including through its solar electricity installation project at a raft house village known as Perkampungan Rumah Rakit Kampung Linting, Pulau Tanjung Surat, Johor.

In line with its prospering lives initiative, the project led by the UTM School of Electrical Engineering and partners from various institutions created a solar energy system to supply continuous electricity to the residents.

It is the third CSR project between Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad and UTM after the success of previous PV solar system projects around the country. Other institutions collaborated in this particular project are ILP Kepala Batas, ILP Pasir Gudang, Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Politeknik Port Dickson and Kolej Komuniti Segamat 2.

Previously, some residents made their own electric wiring connected with the electricity supply from land that is far and without a safe electrical protection system.

"With full sponsorship from Sadaqa House, Bank Islam and installation initiatives by UTM and partners, the solar electricity system provided has enabled the residents to use safea nd continuous supply of electricity for the load of lamps and fans in 13 raft houses," said the Project Leader, Ts. Dr. Zulkarnain Ahmad Noorden, Senior Lecturer at the School of Electrical Engineering.

Phases of solar technology implementation

There are three phases involved for the solar technology implementation, including the transfer of knowledge to the residents on solar system as early exposure, electrical wiring activities for all homes and installation of a complete solar electrical power system, including the installation of solar panels, inverters and solar batteries.

Energy limiters are also part of the implementation to control the daily consumption of electricity for each house, which indirectly promotes an energy-saving culture among residents.

The village has now become the only raft house village in Malaysia that uses solar renewable electricity supply.

About Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

UTM is a leading innovation-driven entrepreneurial research university in engineering, science, and technology in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and Pagoh, Malaysia. It is renowned for being at the forefront of engineering and technological knowledge and expertise. UTM operates based on the core values of Integrity, Synergy, Excellence, and Sustainability. These values guide UTM community practices, and they are embedded in the strategic thrusts that propel the University to greatness. For more information about UTM and School of Electrical Engineering, visit utm.my and engineering.utm.my

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