University of Twente Student Theses


Design of educational material about solar energy and a solar home system for rural Cambodia

Moekotte, Y. (2008) Design of educational material about solar energy and a solar home system for rural Cambodia.

Abstract:Introduction This report covers the process of the design of educational material about solar energy and solar home systems. This was a bachelor graduation project of the University Twente performed for Kamworks, a Cambodian company in photovoltaics. This summary covers the problem from which this project originated, an analysis the factors that influence this project and the final design of the educational material. The problem Electricity through an electricity grid is in Cambodia only available in and around the major cities. In the rural area’s people use mainly car batteries to meet their electricity demand. Kamworks tries to improve the energy situation of Cambodians living in the rural areas by putting the solar home system on the market. This is a small system that can supply a Cambodian family of electricity through solar energy. But Kamworks experienced that the rural Cambodians don’t understand solar energy. Therefore they initiated this project to develop educational material about solar home systems. Analysis In order to design for a totally different culture an analysis of the Cambodian culture was performed. Several results from this analysis were important for the further process. First of all there is a high illiteracy rate in Cambodia, what puts a limit on the use of text in the materials. Second, social status is very important for Cambodians and can also become higher by owning luxury products, which a solar home system can be considered. Third, there is the restrain that Cambodians are not used to think and buy for the long term, what is necessary to see the benefits of a solar home system. Currently Cambodians living in the rural areas use several energy sources for their household. According to an analysis of the energy situation in Cambodia the main concurrent of the solar home system is the car battery. For Cambodians this seems to be the cheapest option, but on the long term a solar home system is cheaper and requires far less maintenance. Although Cambodia is an almost perfect country to use solar energy, this technology is not widely used through the country. In interviews almost no one knows what it is or has ever seen it. This combined with the high illiteracy rate requires a very basic explanation of solar energy for rural Cambodians. Important is to attract people into the shops so the shopkeeper can introduce this technology to the people. The most important characteristics of acceptance of innovations in Cambodia are price, quality and fulfillment of obvious needs. These must be positively represented on the educational material. This is validated by expert interviews who mention the same characteristics together with the a good explanation of the good use of household appliances when using a solar home system. Design The final design based the requirements that originated from the analysis is a information display that is placed in the Kamunasal shop. The display has an intergrated television screen that shows an animation of how a solar home systems works and a promotional video. On both sides of the television screen are three posters that cover all the main subjects on solar energy and a solar home system; usage, working, cheap, no charging, easy and quality. This all together is designed in the same style as the solar shop.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:21 art forms
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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