Published on April 3rd, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan


Solar Power Plant In A Box — Panasonic’s Power Supply Container

April 3rd, 2014 by  

Providing dependable electricity to remote areas of the world will increase the opportunity for improved life and education possibilities for many people. Panasonic has demonstrated commitment to this endeavor with a new development, an expandable, portable, self-contained photovoltaic system with batteries.


On March 25, Panasonic Corporation announced it had developed the “Power Supply Container,” a stand-alone photovoltaic power package for areas without electricity. The Power Supply Container includes Panasonic monocrystalline hybrid solar cell modules (“HIT” solar modules) and Panasonic deep cycle valve-regulated lead-acid batteries, as well as a newly developed Power Supply Control Unit that acts as the energy management system.

“Indonesia consists of roughly 13,000 islands, and so there is a lack of access to electricity particularly among the minor islands where development of power generation facilities and distribution networks is difficult. In Karimunjawa, electricity is available at night from diesel generators, but in the daytime there is no electricity, which results in an insufficient educational environment,” Panasonic writes.

“To solve this problem, Panasonic will provide a Power Supply Container to the National Elementary School Karimunjawa 01, in order to improve the facilities and educational environment through providing power for the school’s electrical equipment, such as lights and fans, as well as educational tools such as computers, projectors and televisions. Panasonic will introduce the Power Supply Container with an aim of starting operations in July 2014.”

panasonicWhat is exceedingly hopeful for the remote regions Panasonic intends to improve is the easy portability of this system. There is no need for onsite construction. An electrical contractor can quickly install the Power Supply Container. The containers are able to be easily moved and taken to other areas without electricity.

Panasonic shares more regarding this easily moved system:

The Power Supply Container is equipped with twelve Panasonic HIT® 240 solar modules which have a high conversion efficiency and can generate approximately 3 kW of electricity. It is also equipped with 24 lead-acid storage batteries (17.2 kWh as total) which can supply stored power. This project will supply power to the electrical equipment in the school and classrooms during school time, while the excess energy generated out of school hours will be supplied to the local community, helping to stabilize the local power supply.

Panasonic will continue to develop its Power Supply Container as a solution for areas without electricity or places facing frequent power blackouts in Indonesia and other Asian countries and emerging nations, with the aim of realizing a more enriched and comfortable lifestyle in more and more places around the world.

Read these related stories:

SolarCity To Provide Solar Lighting To Schools Without Electricity

Design A ShadeForPanasonic’s100K Solar Lanterns Project

Solar-Powered Floating Schools Allow Bangladeshi Kids To Learn During Monsoon Seasons

Samsung Providing Solar-Powered Internet Schools To South Africans

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is a Mother, an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • Todd McKissick

    I’m calling BS. From the image, my estimation is that the building shown is about 6′ x 8′ x 8′ tall.
    From the specs, they are using VBHN240SA06-B panels which are 62.2″ x 31.4″. They need 12 of these to generate “approximately” 3 kW (2682 W nom. peak) and probably something like 24 UPG D5872 12 V 73.6 Amp Hour Gel Cell Batteries. Respectively, these cost $509 and $167. That’s already a total of $10116.

    More importantly, an array of 4 (lengthwise) by 8 (crosswise) would stretch 20′ 10″ in each direction. Are we supposed to believe that they extend 6 feet out past each side of the building and even farther out the front and back?

    Are we supposed to believe that the price won’t be over $15k (when their special “newly developed Power Supply Control Unit that acts as the energy management system” is added to the building, charge controller, skids, safety systems, financing and shipping? My guess is more like $20k each.

    So, we have a $20,000 ultra-fragile-rooftop, 3 kW solar building that they want to sell to the most impoverished people on the planet. This sounds like a reincarnation of those scams where the most expensive stuff is “sold” to the poorest by way of getting some corporation to sponsor it “for the poor” or “for the children” so they can hide the cost.

    The poor don’t need charity. They need a way to earn their own living so they can educate their own self so they can make their own choices, just like everyone else deserves. Maybe the plan is to install factories locally so the people can build them for a living?

  • I like the idea. They may become very popular for western NGO’s in disaster relief operations and refugee camps. Although the Panasonic HIT panels are rather expensive.

    I wonder about expandibility. Can you easily add more panels? Add another inverter? Add more batteries? Couple a few together to power a village? After all, modularity and scalability is the great strength of solar pv.

    I hope repairs are simple and can be done by local labour. The pitfall that I am afraid of is that these boxes are donated to communities and work for a short period of time and then break down… And then they discover there is no local expertise to fix it, and expensive parts have to be flown in.

  • Matt

    Isn’t that a really big box for so few panels? I guess when shipped the panels fit inside the box.

  • jburt56

    Operation Gardenshed–Overcoming the High Cost of Roof Mount Solar.

  • Michael Berndtson

    I read posts like this and get excited about renewables chances. It’s transportable and simple. Not necessarily cutting edge, but will probably do the job. Especially in regions as discussed. Remote areas without much power infrastructure to begin with.

    Then I read stories by “serious thinkers” that look to tackle the worlds problems with big solutions. For instance, many pushing fossil fuels and nuclear power by using poverty alleviation in its marketing campaigns.

    Something like, “the world’s poor are poor because they don’t have energy and bootstrap access like the US does. So Big Bank X, Mega Corporation Y, Giant International Engineering & Construction Firm Z have teamed up with the Big Box Retail Family Foundation and World Bank to alleviate ThirdWorldStan from its troubles, with coalbed methane and nuclear power.”

    Probably to power mining and manufacturing with exploitable cheap labor more than electricity. Not to mention a tax dodge.

    • Matthew

      Now you are just using your God given brain to think through this crap.

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