Why raise money for electricity supply lines or diesel-powered generators when we have the sun?
Solar energy is green and clean and produces minimal harm to the environment.
STEF hopes that the Ban Ton Sae site can be powered completely by solar energy, maintaining the tranquility and naturalness of the elephants’ jungle home while providing electricity for essential needs such as water pumps and lighting. In Thailand, the sun is a wonderful source of energy. But as everyone knows, Thailand also has the rainy season for six months of the year although this must not deter us. Although heavy cloud cover will reduce the solar energy that reaches the ground, light still gets through the clouds and modern technology ensures that solar panels absorb both direct light and diffuse light. After all, we wouldn’t be able to see anything on a cloudy day if light wasn’t getting through!
Actually, rain is quite helpful with solar panels as it washes away dirt and debris such as bird droppings, leaves and pollen that otherwise would cover the panels and reduce efficiency.
So, we have decided to plan for a solar energy source at the new elephant centre. We are sure this will be so much better than the expensive and environmentally disturbing erection of power lines from the mains electricity grid which is several miles away. The panels will have virtually no impact on the natural wildlife and their use will help us to minimise our carbon footprint. Producing our own energy in-house will also reduce reliance on third parties, helping us to be sustainably self-sufficient. In any case, the grid can be rather unreliable in the monsoon rain with frequent power cuts!
With an average of over eight hours of strong sunshine every day between November and April, we think we have the potential to produce more than enough energy required for our needs.
This is a hugely exciting prospect and we have already started to survey the site to identify the best location for the panels – they must be on high ground to get the most sunlight during the day, and solar batteries will store the excess energy generated for use at night.
Of course all of this will cost a lot of money and we will be asking our wonderful supporters to help us meet the costs of adopting this sustainable, clean energy solution for our work – and for our elephants. If you can, please help and donate just £10 by clicking here.
We’ve been working hard to devise more plans for the elephants’ new home, but there is so much more to be done! Keep an eye out for exciting new developments that will be revealed over the coming months on the website’s News page!