Monday, October 15, 2012

Bario Asal Micro Hydro.. 4 years on and still going strong

It have been 4 years now when we first revived the Failed 17 million Ringgit Bario micro hydro project that was abandoned for more than a dacade when it met its premature demise in 1997. In 2007 the community of Bario Asal and Arul Layun came together and decided to do something and they did it. With our technical support and grants from UNDP SGP, Seacology Foundation and much later Sarawak Development Office, this abandoned micro hydro system came back into life in 2009. The system have been providing electricity 24/7 to Bario Asal and Arul Layun long house ever since with minor disruption during dry season.

The community Operators (engineer kampung) have been doing a great job to maintain and operate this system and hopefully for many more years to come. This project have shown that:
1) community can do it if given the chance and proper guidance 
2) The project cannot be that expansive - 17 million??, cost to revive system this is only RM 400,000 
3) Trust the local knowledge - we used buffaloes to transport most of the equipment to the Dam. who said we need to build 5 star roads??

For me i owed and learned a lot from the Kelabit community of Bario Asal and Arul Layun. i have seen pure determination and innovativeness of the community to overcome challenges that encountered in their lives. This lessons that I learnt have been used in many other Micro Hydro project after Bario. I just hope our government learn for thier mistakes and not repeating the costly mistake they made in 1997 and learn from Bario Asal- Arul Layun how to do community driven project.

My initial discussion with the Project Committee in 2007 explaining about the proposed plan to revive the abandoned micro hydro system

Re-enginnering the distribution system. we did not use the high voltage transformers because of maintenance issues.  high voltage is very dangerous and needs full time special trained  technician to handle which we don't have in Bario.

Our proud operators (Engineer Kampung) that we trained to operate and maintain the system

Peter Paran Mattu showing the pressure gage indicating the kinetic power contained in those pipes

we also integrate a hammer mill that can be connected directly to the turbine. this mill can produce high quality Bario Rice Flour to make my favorite Bario bread..yummy!

I am posing with my Team from Sabah, Toumin Sipail from Kg Terian (left) one of my first kampung engineer Kg Terian operating thier Micro Hydro since 2005 and Vyner Biujin (centre) a young Mechanical Engineer from Penampang.

My favorite moments.. Jugah dancing to the music after we first turned the system on. 

I tribute this project to the my adopted Father, the late Ketua Kampung Balang Radu. he is our driving force behind this project. His first words to me when we started this project "i want to see the lights on before i die..". iam glad that his wish came true. he passed on few months after we commisioned the micro hydro system. Tama, may you rest in peace. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

News article on Babalitan Micro Hydro

Kg.Babalitan Community Micro Hydro Launched!

Finally the community micro hydro in Kg Babalitan have been launched offcially on 10th October. This latest addition to the community micro hydro projects that we have successfully implemented is now lighting up 400 odd villagers of this Murut Tagol community. This is the fifth micro hydro in this remote Pensiangan district od Sabah bordering Kalimantan Timur in Indonesia. This project is funded by Ranhill Powertron Sdn Bhd. through thier CSR program. Officiating the ceremeony were Nabawan State Assemblymen Datuk Bobbey Suan together with Ranhill CEO Pn Norlian, Sabah Energy Cooperation CEO Datu' Harun and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd. General Manager Ir Abd Razak.

Datuk Bobbey Suan unveiling the signboard of the project

Iam giving briefing to Datuk Bobbey Suan and Datu's Harun of Sabah Energy Cooperation about the micro hydro system

Pn Norlian, Ranhill Powertron CEO in a symbolic handing over of the Micro Hydro system to Kg Babalitan headman En Isawan Soroi during the simple ceremony at the long house witnessed by Datuk Bobbey (centre), Ir Abd Razak (second right) and Datu' Harun (right)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mt Kinabalu Solar hydro Hybrid system.. Renewable Energy on the Summit of Borneo

Have just concluded a week long work at Labanrata Mt Kinabalu located 11,000 ft above sea level. this seems to be the highest Renewable Energy projects in Malaysia. we successfully installed PV Panels and upgraded the intake of the Pico Hydro power system that we installed in March which was damaged during recent floods. was great to work with my team, Haji, Ken and James with John from Mt Torq.

installed GI metal pipes to fasten the poly pipes from the intake to the forebay tanks so that it looks neat and free from air locks.
This is the 2 units of 400gal poly-tank that acts as a forebay and reservoir. we need some reservoir to collect water so that the system can work for few hours during dry season.

installing one of the two intake scoops. very difficult to work on steep and slippery surfaces.. not to mention the icy cold waters of the stream. we have to do lots of improvised approach to tackle the site conditions

the Pico Hydro unit ready to be installed. we included a solenoid valve that will be activated by a float switch at the forebay tank. the solenoid will shut off when tank is empty and opens again when tanks is full. so the system will work automatically during dry season.

in the previous phase, we installed 3 units of evacuated tube solar water heaters. this 3 units is enough to meet the hot water demand for Pendant hut which has maximum capacity of 60pax.

Assembling the panels and installing the Solar PV panels

connecting all the wirings and finishing touches for the installed Solar PV panels on the roof of Pendant Hut

The Main control panel that house the Charge controller and converter to charge the battery bank

The 3kw Inverter and Battery bank that powers the essential load of Pendant hut

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Babalitan Community Micro Hydro is in its final stage

Just came back from Kg Babalitan to supervise the installation of the Micro Hydro Power system for the Murut community in remote district of Pensiangan Sabah. We hope that we can commision the system by Mid September 2012. if everything goes well the 5Kw micro hydro will power up the village of 200 people. the Micro hydro also include a rice mill powered by the turbine.

This project will be the 5th in this district that have been implemented by TONIBUNG with cooperation with NGOs such as PACOS TRUST, JOAS and Aru Bumi Sabah. we hope that this cooperation will continue to bring more community development projects in this area.

Our local champions installing the pipes and valve assembly of the turbine

we are training at least 5 local champions from the community as operators. we just supervise the work, the operators will do most of the installation work. the same 5 oprators will also attend a week long training course at TONIBUNG learning centre ( Innovative Skill Training Centre - ISTC) in Penampang. we also provide exposure program to existing Micro hydro systems.

young and old are involved in the work.. 

wet cement on the concrete floor

assembling and aligning the syncronous generator

a Proud elder from Babalitan posing for the record. i can feel the excitement in the community.

side view of the electromechanical equipment

Reservoir and forebay tanks. multiple 400gal tanks will act as silting basin and reservoir during dry season

Amai Angkong, headman from Kg Silungai with his wide smile.. he is hoping that his village will be next to be electrified by micro hydro power. the community from Kg Silungai have been lending support to community in Kg Babalitan to build this system through Gotong Royong.. we have been getting very good support from the communities that we have implemented the micro hydro projects.

Mr Lawrence and Mr Lo from Ranhill visiting the project site. This project is funded by Ranhill through thier CSR program. we hope Ranhill can lend more support to more micro hydro project in the future.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Visit by Prof. Daniel Kammen to Buayan

Last month Nobel Prize laureate and Renewable Energy Guru Prof Daniel Kammen from UC Berkeley visited our community micro hydro project in Kg. Buayan. it was an enjoyable trip.. hiking through the Croker Range.. good time sipping tapioca wine and sigging through the night. Prof Dan gave lots of new ideas on how to further improve the community project.  

Group photo with villagers. Pro Dan (holding Cup)  says the Tapioca wine in Buayan not only taste good.. also have potential for Bio Fuel!!

Prof Dan with Johan from Kg Terian and Ginus our lead operator for Micro hydro in Kg. Buayan 

One for the road!.. some more Tapai with Gabe and Prof Dan.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary

Some images taken during the Pre-feasibility study. planning to go back in sometime in July to conduct the full feasibility study when river is at lowest level.

Si Puntung, one of the Sumatran Rhino at Rhino sanctuary

Micro Hydro potential sites that we will conduct the Feasibility study

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Trip to HEKSA HYDRO Bandung

Just returned from Bandung to witness the pre delivery test for the Kg. Babalitan micro hydro project together with our funder for this project, Ranhill Power. Ranhill was represented by General Manager En. Ahmad Jaafar, Senior officer Mr RMS Siva and 2 engineers. The team also visited HEKSA HYDRO factory in Bandung and of course some shopping at the factory outlets which Bandung is famous for. Will be returning soon to see three more pre-delivery test for MHP Marudu, MHP Long Lamai and MHP Rellang.

Representatives from Ranhill Power together with HEKSA Hydro Director Ir, Kusetiadi Roharjo (centre) from left. RMS Siva, En. Ahmad Jaafar

Turbine for MHP Long Lamai almost complete

Turbine for MHP Marudu under fabrication

Turbine for  MHP Babalitan undergoing pre delivery test