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be changed by the user. The breakage rate we have calculated is 100% of the ballasts every 5 years, and a tube replacement every 2.5 years. The rest of the material does not need to be replaced, unless there is a natural disaster, like in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch destroyed around 21000 homes1


without actually reaching Nicaragua. The average is one natural disaster every 10 years; other examples are Hurricane Fifi, September 1974 or Hurricane Joan, October 1988, as we have already mentioned the system must be assured for 15 years. As we have already mentioned, the quality of the equipment is very important, but we must also mention the importance of the quality of the systems installation.

From the beginning, we focused on the standardization of electric works, i.e. to fully charge the battery before commissioning the system, to use clips every 30 cm to avoid catenary on the cables, to avoid the wires crossing and to study the location of the generator to avoid shadows. All these issues together with a sheet which reflects the technical characteristics of each installation should facilitate the Operation and maintenance and help to enlarge the life time of all the components. It is pointed out the installation period is very short, six month for the hole project, due to bidding demands; therefore, we must work at a rate of 12 installations per day, 6 days a week. Also the equipment transport to the communities should be done in a short period, due to the main river is first dry, and after it is not transit able due to the swelling from the rains. For this purpose, a group was formed with 12 very experienced installers (4 of which speak Miskito), an administrative manager (who also speaks Miskito) and a cook; who all had a strong will, as not just anyone can cope with 6 months on a hard bed, eating frijoles with rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


The success or failure of this project is based on several factors however, we would like to clarify the following point: the special nature of this project should be the objective used to design all the rural electrification projects. The sustainability of these systems is the key to the real motivation for this kind of projects, which is none other than the improvement of the living conditions of

the users of the photovoltaic system and not the increase in the statistics of the population with access to electricity. These are some of the most important factors for the success of the project:  Design of the system for users’ needs. After installing the first 700 systems, whether the system appears to be more or less adjusted to the area, in accordancewith the size of the houses and users’ needs.

 Correct operation of the system. All the elements have been fitted to ensure this; however, it is a good idea to evaluate it as a factor of importance.

 Breakage rates of the equipment in accordance with the calculations.

 Absence of theft of the systems.  Rate of non-payments below 10 % (the first day they went to collect the money the whole village was waiting for them with machetes to avoid payment... problems in the information and adjustment in the first village, in the others we have not had any problems at the moment).

 Adjusting the payments of the tariff to the calculations made, this will enable the office to stay in operation without losses, which is very important for the creation of a self-sustainable market.

 Adjusting the payments to the seasonal income of the users (crops).

 Financial return for the participating companies.

References: 1. “El huracán Mitch en Nicaragua.” Dr. Antonio Arroz Alvarez,Marta Aranda de Wong Valle,Carlos Morales Castillo

on hunting/fishing trip to replace that noisy diesel generator! Solarpod can be completed with high performance solar panels and contains the latest in battery and invertor technology. It can power most appliances found in the home, shed, boat and workplace. It works out of the box. This power station can be packed away within minutes.


The challenge of being off-grid (temporarily) but you are in need for (green) portable electricity.

Problem Solved

Solarpod offers a solution to have access to electricity in off grid locations or where there is an unreliable grid. By combining an inverter and a green Lithium Iron Phosphate battery in a compact package, it makes this power house easy to relocate and is powerful (up to 400W), as it can power up to a small house!

Noteworthy We have spend 2 years of R&D on the Solarpod, we have had a stint at Dragons Den and are the first to bring a portable solar generator to the market as the future of solar is in off grid solutions.


There is a wide array of generators available however they are all huge sized (expensive) power houses. What is novel about Solarpod is the portability, the green aspect (the green battery/ responsible production) and the quality/design. It will help off grid solar go more main stream by appealing to next generation with the brand and design.

Thousand Suns Solarpod

Solarpod by Thousand Suns is a portable solar generator and the ideal way to achieve energy self sufficiency. Solarpod by thousandsuns is designed to be able to provide energy self sufficiency in areas where there is either an unreliable or a non-existent grid network. For instance; at your summer beach house in Cornwall or in regular power cut stricken Japan. It is also ideal for the usage on boats, or for

When Introduced Solarpod was globally marketed from December 2010 to the global solar industries/networks. The first Solarpod’s were being sold from January 2011 on to retail customers from our company’s website and through our network.

Customer Benefits

Solarpod users benefit from Solarpod in many ways. Our Indian users use Solarpod for back up of blood transportation, our Scandinavian users use them for their sheds and bungalows, our UK customers use them for power supply in outside events, education in solar energy for children, for on their yachts and boats all in conjunction with their solar panels.

Issue VIII 2011 I 33

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