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Pheasant Folly Primary School

Pheasant Folly Primary School

Personal message

This application is for a PowerTurtle to be completed at an off-grid school in an informal settlement in South Africa. This project started in 2016 but due to a lack of funding the project was put on hold. This request if for funding  to sponsor the electrical components and mounting structure to complete the Palm Ridge project. Any outstanding work will be borrowed to the school by a 3rd party. So every cent gathered means cheaper power for the school. 

In 2015 the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) was approached with a new way of providing solar electricity to off-grid schools. Other solar projects previously attempted saw their solar panels stolen or vandalized within weeks. An estimated 2500 off-grid schools in Gauteng require support - typically located in informal settlements across Gauteng.  Crime and vandalism have played major roles in the disuse of solar PV power in South Africa. This next generation SolarTurtle- called the PowerTurtle - provides a secure solar PV solution for Pheasant Folly Primary.

PowerTurtle is an ultra secure solar PV solution for high crime areas. With a unique fold-away design mounted onto a hardy steel container the PowerTurtle will withstand the harsh African realities. Crime and vandalism is huge threat when dealing with expensive equipment such has solar PV. Since solar PV panels is poised to deliver clean energy for a guaranteed 25 years it is critical that these expensive assets be protected if they are ever to reach this ripe old age. The PowerTurtle will light up admin block, the staff computers, printers, and other key functions needed to operate a school effectively.

With no grid connection, Pheasant Folly Primary School is powered by expensive generators which are not sustainable within the school’s financial budgets. This is clearly not an ideal situation for the school or the environment, so a solution was desperately needed to facilitate affordable energy access and continued learning.

The PowerTurtle will ensure a saving on the electricity bill. Currently the remote school must rely on noisy and expensive generators which costs them $100-$200 per month. This is not a sustainable solution as fuel prices will continue to climb. 

Figure 1: Solar panels are (were) safely stored inside the container

Benefits are:

·       Renewable energy for school – electricity for lights, computers, projectors, and other electronic devices. (Measured by units (kWh) of electricity used)

·       Silent – School is currently running petrol generators that are both noisy and dirty. This disrupts classes

·       Robust and secure – solar power systems will no longer be vandalised.  

·       Health and safety – No need for paraffin lamps releasing harmful smoke and no fire hazard


Tipping Point (R30 000) : We have enough to access USA funding. We will use this funding to start a US charity which we can use to fund African Turtle project

Dream funding Goal: (R300 000): If we reach this level we can fund the whole project without waiting for US funding which is not guaranteed 

Dream Funding Budget


Description  Total  Amount Engineering design work R30,200 $2,323.08 Mechanical work  R86,000 $6,615.38 Administration Fee R5,000 $384.62 East Power GF8000-8KW Off Grid Inverter/Charger192Vdc220Vac Floating Charger R36,660 $2,820.00 AC/DC Breaker Board (Incl Fuses, Disconnects, SPD's & Circuit Breakers) R5,280 $406.15 Solar Panels: Trina/Canadian Solar/equiv. Tier-One 320Wp (25 year Performance Warranty) R54,912 $4,224.00 Solar Panel Connectors & Cable R2,750 $211.54 Batteries: Monbat 12MVR180 AGM Sealed Solar 180A 12V [Expected Life: 6yrs – 8yrs] R59,900 $4,607.69 Installation Sundries (cable, connectors, protection, trunking..) R4,375 $336.54 Transport & Delivery R5,000 $384.62 Total R290,077.00 $22313.62



  • Oct 10, 2017 - R 353.48
  • "Make it happen!" - A van der Horst

  • Oct 05, 2017 - R 154.23
  • "Halfway there" - Bart van der Meer

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Donations to date

R 507.71

Fundraising target

R 300 000.00

SolarTurtle South Africa

SolarTurtle South Africa Logo

The SolarTurtle is an ultra secure solar solution in a box. Shipping containers are converted into small, mobile solar power micro-utilities. A micro-utility is a small business that generates and sells electricity on a grass-roots level. Our SolarTurtles are designed specifically for off-grid communities where conventional solar PV solutions will not work.