How Do You Light Up A Park Without Laying A Single Cable?
To say that Malaysia is marching firmly towards its net zero emissions goals would be an overstatement. However, UEM Sunrise, which is one of our country’s largest property developers, is most definitely doing their part to help Malaysia achieve its ambitions.
On 28 July 2023, we successfully installed, tested and commissioned an entirely off-grid, solar power source for UEM Sunrise’s Aspira Linear Park. The park is located in Gerbang Nusajaya within Johor’s Iskandar Region.
Off-Grid Solar Street Lighting Installation
Almost exactly a year prior, we had successfully supplied, delivered and installed 31 nos of integrated off-grid solar street lighting for Linear Park. The park includes amenities such as a basketball court, a playground and a carpark area. This is the first park in the entire Iskandar Puteri region entirely lit up by solar lighting, and without a single underground cable being laid. Without the need for extensive excavation and cable termination work, the installation process was sped up significantly. What would have normally taken 3-4 weeks was completed in just over one week. Additionally, without the need to apply for authorisation and power supply from TNB, the park was fully lit and immediately usable by residents the very next day.
Off-Grid Solar-Powered Power Source for LED Signage
However, without any cables or power supply to the park, UEM Sunrise quickly realised that they were unable to energise the park’s LED signage. The convenient option would have been to tap the nearest TNB feeder pillar which was around 300m away. However, it is testament to UEM Sunrise’s commitment to sustainability that they commissioned us to design an entirely off-grid solar power source for their signage instead.
This solar system comprises of four deep-cycle batteries, an inverter, a MPPT charger and two 550W solar panels. This unique system was proudly designed in-house by our engineers for UEM Sunrise in accordance with the power requirements of their LED signage.
In order to help UEM Sunrise justify its decision to commission an off-grid solar system, we had to play our part to ensure that costs were minimised as much as possible without compromising performance quality. We therefore had to ensure that every element of the solar system was carefully spec-ed and that there was absolutely no wastage. Therefore, rather than designing a system that could light up the signage for 12 hours each night, we realised that it would be sufficient for the signage to only be lit from 8pm to 12am, and thereafter from 5.30am to 7am when people were likely to use the park. In doing so, we managed to reduce costs by more than half. Furthermore, we were even able to build in a reasonable level of backup supply in the event of bad weather.
We are also pleased to note that both the solar system and solar lighting have been fully-functioning since installation with zero maintenance needed to date.
Solar technology has developed rapidly over the last decade and solar panel prices have fallen just as quickly. Today, solar systems have become much more affordable but most residential and commercial solar systems are hybrid systems. These hybrid systems are still connected to the main grid as battery storage is still far too expensive. The Malaysian government has promoted the proliferation of such hybrid systems by working closely with TNB. They have enabled homes and businesses to sell back any excess solar energy generated during the day to offset their electricity consumption from the main grid at night (through NEM and NOVA schemes). However, off-grid solar systems would make a far greater contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and is still the long-term goal once battery prices fall and such systems become more financially viable on a large scale.
We are very proud to have played our part in the creation of Johor’s first entirely off-grid solar-powered park. We look forward to doing more in our capacity as solar and electrical engineers to help Malaysia make its net zero emissions goals a reality!
Please feel free to reach out for a free quote if you would like to explore installing solar systems or lighting – no strings attached!