Koh Jik is a peaceful fisherman’s village located off the east coast of Thailand, a home to 400 inhabitants known for their strong community spirit. Rarely visited by tourists, the island offers a scene and experience unlike any other. The island has no connection to Thailand’s main grid, -- a truly off-grid community -- but is electrified by their own micro-grid powered by renewable energy.
The community has been fully reliant on their micro-grid system to provide electricity access for the past 14 years. The system is getting old and critical system components, such as the batteries, are coming to their end of life. Without action, the community is gradually losing reliable 24/7 access to electricity and is increasing the use of unsustainable diesel to meet their daily energy needs.
The ReCharge project is implemented by 2nd year students as part of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) master’s programme, aiming to restore and improve the system on Koh Jik by replacing existing failing lead acid batteries with lithium-ion packs, implementing an automatic control system and network connected digital meters. In addition to providing clean, renewable and reliable energy to the community and working towards UN sustainable development goals 7, 9 and 13, the project also aims to showcase a new generation of micro-grid using lithium-ion batteries, solar PV and diesel with high renewable energy share. Moreover, it will demonstrate that energy access enabled by micro-grids can be self-sustained after grant or private financing is repaid through development of tailor-made tariff structure for low income island communities. The ReCharge project is a one-year project starting from June 2018.
Stay tuned for further progress and for the second blogpost that will outline technical details found on the island"
For more information, visit us at www.kohjikrecharge.com
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Written by Siva Sembian