Connect with us


Phuket Business: Solar system pilots

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: An innovative new solar power system will be making its world premier in the coming months, with Phuket to serve as a pilot market, and possibly a manufacturing base.

The Powerrrup – that’s right, 3 rs – is an ingenious yet simple ground-breaking, renewable energy system developed specifically with the island’s “green conscious” market in mind.

Its inventor, Ivan Peeters, spoke exclusively with the Phuket Gazette, unveiling details about the innovation for the first time ever.

The Belgian entrepreneur, reinforced by Singapore-based backers sharing a common vision to develop practical and affordable green energy solutions for the mass market, said that Phuket is particularly appealing due to its abundance of sunshine, coupled with a growing demand for alternative and affordable sources of energy.

“The Powerrrup system increases the energy yield of conventional solar power systems by 20 per cent,” Ivan said.

At the core of the innovation are photovoltaic solar panels. While solar panels themselves are nothing new, the mechanism in which the technology will be applied is.

Replacing conventional rooftop solar panel setups, the Powerrrup system features a lightweight and mobile panel-mount designed for the ground.

Unlike traditional, fixed-place systems, the Powerrrup provides optimized yield efficiency thanks to its mobile and flexible properties.

Ivan explained, “The problem with rooftop panels is that they are fixed at one particular angle and can’t follow the path of the sun throughout the day. People with a lot of money might consider investing in an automated tracking system, but this can be expensive and you end up using more energy than you can get returned, and thus defeat the purpose.”

“Typically, people install many panels on their roof to increase the energy yield. There are several issues with this approach. Not only are the panels not operating at full capacity throughout the day due to the angle of the sun, but the weight of many panels puts stress on the roof and the building structure, which may end up costing one more in the long run.

“Another problem is the risk of damage to the panels from storms, wind and rain. Moreover, there are complications with cleaning and maintenance….”

Easy to position and move around to suit various grades of terrain, the Powerrrup mount is made from recyclable polypropylene material and its basic design allows it to be set between 25 to 45-degree angle tilts.

While many people tend to presume that renewable energy such as solar power is not as cost effective as fossil fuels, Ivan, an accomplished engineer, suggested the contrary.

“When people invest in diesel generators for back-up or supplemental power systems, they also incur continuous costs as they need to keep buying fuel. With solar systems, there is only a one time start-up cost, and as long as the sun shines there are no more recurring costs – other than replacing the battery or converter after 10 years, and a new panel after about 20 years,” he said.

“What’s more, the Energy Return On Investment (EROI) factor for a solar panel is higher than a barrel of oil. For example, one solar panel has an EROI rating of 6 compared to 5 for a barrel of oil.

“In other words a solar panel can produce enough energy in its lifetime to create six of the same panels. Meanwhile a barrel of oil has enough energy to produce only five [barrels of oil]. As time goes on the EROI for oil is decreasing, while that of solar is increasing,” Ivan explained.

While most existing green businesses might be considered viable as a niche market for a minority, the Powerrrup system has been designed for a broader, mass market.

“The system is ideal for everyone who has a need or desire to become more self sufficient and to reduce expenses amid rising energy costs. Large and small-scale offices, firms, bars, etc, as well as homeowners, and even those living in apartments and condos with space on their balcony, can benefit from, and more importantly, afford the system,” he said.

Ivan noted that a complete, ready-to-use 250 watt system can be bought for as little as US$400, or about 12,600 baht.

Talking about plans in 2012 and beyond, Ivan said, “As part of the pilot phase, we’re looking to collaborate and have discussions with officials and other like-minded businesses and organizations in Phuket. But we aren’t necessarily looking for investors,” he said.

“We are developing several more innovative green products that we plan to launch in the coming years. Ultimately, we’d like to localize manufacturing of our products by establishing a factory in Phuket which could employ several hundred locals,” he said, noting that the bulk of materials used are currently sourced from China.

“If everything goes well, we plan for an official launch of Powerrrup by September and are also keeping an eye on the markets in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore,” he added.

— Steven Layne


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Koh Samui4 hours ago

Black Club Covid-19 outbreak on Koh Samui widens

Thailand5 hours ago

Possible earthquake in Nonthaburi this morning

Best of5 hours ago

Chiang Mai’s 8 most indulgent spa hotels

Sponsored8 hours ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Bangkok Bang Sue scam under investigation, 7 volunteers and counting to be questioned

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | ‘Crowding’ due to camera angles, train hospitals | July 29

Thailand6 hours ago

Spray guns ineffective and dangerous, says TFDA

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs7 hours ago

Methamphetamine pills hidden in instant noodle packets delivered for Covid patient

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Anonymous “Dr Sandy” says pray the Covid situation gets better

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Record high of 17,669 new cases; provincial totals

Phuket8 hours ago

Phuket governor eyes construction camps for stricter Covid measures

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 spas in Chiang Mai

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Health Minister says Bang Sue not crowded, blames “camera angles”

Cambodia11 hours ago

Cambodia plans lockdown with 8 provinces that border Thailand

Bangkok11 hours ago

Sleeper trains in Bangkok to become isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients

Thailand11 hours ago

GMT | New record infections, Pattaya ‘Move On’, drones or fireworks? | July 29

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8