Extreme Off Gridding in Mongolia: A Lesson for Obama

Look at this ger from Mongolia. It’s about 18 feet in diameter and about 8 ½ feet high at its apex. And it has precisely one more solar panel than the White House. You probably have seen the latest news stories about how President Obama has so far politely declined to restore solar to the White House. The nomads living in gers in Mongolia may be able to teach the President a thing or two about solar energy.

Ger mounted solar panel

Ger mounted solar panel

Now I understand that this one panel my not produce a whole lot of energy. Let’s say it is a 100 watt home solar panel and if they bought this module through SolarTown, it may cost $450 or so and we may even give them a ger discount. The irradiance in Mongolia may be as high as in parts of the United States so we would expect that this 100 watt panel may produce roughly .04 kwH per day. And what do the nomads get for this .04 kwH a day? A 50 watt light bulb (better to use a CFL bulb) is going to consume about .05 kwH of electricity every hour. It may not seem like a lot to you and me—we wouldn’t be able to power up the A/C on those hot summer days on the steppe—but you know what, they are going to be able to turn on a light at night when they couldn’t before. That is huge.

We offer a whole host of solar energy products for those who go extreme off gridding—by choice or not. Solar allows you to take a little bit of civilization into the wilderness. We have been pleased to sell some of these solar energy products also internationally so that university teams would have a solar refrigerator in Africa or a solar portable charger to power a computer in Haiti. And some may simply want a solar oven to cook a decent meal without having to light a fire.

Pole mounted solar panel and ger

Pole mounted solar panel and ger

You know that half of the people in India are without power, according to a recent article from Greentechmedia? One solar panel for light for each of these families would be like opening a new world, a world of solar energy. Now I know that Obama has not taken to this idea very well—but here’s a new idea. Why not set up a ger on the White House grounds right next to Michelle’s organic garden? SolarTown will donate a solar panel to place on top of the ger. That way, the White House will have at least as many solar panels as the nomads living on the steppe of Mongolia.

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One Response to “Extreme Off Gridding in Mongolia: A Lesson for Obama”

  1. Hey cool read. I’m thinking about getting solar panels because I’ve only seen good points about them. It would seem to be a beneficial expense, yet if perhaps anyone has past experiences, please share your experience. I’d appreciate it a good deal. Cheers!