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The SolarTurtle, is a renewable energy product which relies on battery based distribution for rural electrification.
The product functions as a solar energy distribution point or mobile power station. Packaged in a shipping container, the container unfolds during the day to charge numerous battery packs via solar power. These battery packs can be taken to where they are needed to provide a versatile source of electricity. In a domestic environment they can power smaller electrical appliances for 3 days or more.
Deployment time and costs are reduced by the fact that there is no cable connections required.
The technology can reduce the use of kerosene, which is a primary energy source in many rural communities, while increasing access to cheaper, cleaner, safer energy for longer periods.
If Solar Turtle could meet a market penetration of 100 villages by 2024 it could service 720 000 people and provide avoided emissions from kerosene of 7000 tonnes of CO2.
They are in the process of rolling out the prototype. Once this is done there will have a working recipe from which to construct future SolarTurtles.
Their most pressing task currently is to find good sites. In their first community project they want to team up with another community initiative to break the ice. With that said it has to be an off-grid community of around 500 households to run a good trial.
Ugesi Gold (Pty) Ltd is a South African based legal entity established in 2010 and is headed up by James van der Walt, a mechanical Engineer specializing in rural electrification.
SolarTurtle has also been registered as a trade mark.