May 18, 2024

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Brightening the Way: Solar Innovation Illuminates Fishing Jetties

Navigating the night waters has long been a challenge for fishermen at the Jetty Area of Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Layau, Kota Tinggi, Johor. The absence of lighting made their nocturnal activities hazardous, and the distant location of the jetty from community dwellings heightened the risk of theft. However, a beacon of hope has emerged through the dedicated efforts of a team of researchers from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

In a bid to alleviate the plight of local fishermen, the researchers embarked on an initiative to develop an off-grid solar system at two key jetties within the village. This innovative system, consisting of three spotlights and three LED ceiling lamps, aims to illuminate the previously darkened jetties.

Embracing energy-saving measures, each spotlight is equipped with timers and motion sensors, ensuring efficient usage by activating only in the presence of movement. The project unfolded in phases, commencing with thorough site visits to understand the fishermen’s routines and needs. Collaborative efforts involving Institut Latihan Perindustrian (ILP) Mersing, ILP Pasir Gudang, Kolej Komuniti Beaufort, and Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) Jitra were pivotal in designing, developing, and installing the off-grid PV system during the subsequent phases.

Installation of off-grid solar system at two jetties with collaborators from other institutes.

Recognizing the importance of community involvement, the project culminated in a knowledge transfer program (KTP), empowering locals with the skills to manage and maintain the solar system independently. Through education on solar PV operation, maintenance, and safety protocols, the community gained invaluable insights into maximizing the system’s longevity and efficiency.

Knowledge transfer program with the local community


Generously sponsored by IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board/SIGHT funding, the project has now come to fruition. The once dimly-lit jetties now stand illuminated, heralding a new era of safety and convenience for the residents of Kampung Sungai Layau. Their joy and satisfaction with the transformation are palpable, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards sustainable energy solutions.


Prepared by : Madihah Md Rasid, Siti Maherah Hussin, Zulkarnain Ahmad Noorden, Jasrul Jamani Jamian

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