First Solar lit native fishing banca in Palawan, Philippines
A total success! The solar lit banca at night.
Night fishing will never be the same.
Our own home here on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, out of necessity from constant electrical brownouts, has been solar powered for years now. I think it was a natural transition to place them on a banca for night fishing.
We live near the sea and as such, we have owned several native bancas or pump boats for our recreational use. We met a local fisherman who needed a boat to catch tuna this year, so we decided to outfit our 44 foot banca for fishing and use all solar power and LED lights to give him and his crew a livelihood.
Bancas are basically canoes with outriggers. The fishermen use them for catching tuna and other fish. For night fishing they use noisy and polluting diesel generators. The lights only last about 3 hours until the generators run out of diesel. The solar lights on our banca last 13 hours!! The crew has been burning the lights from 6pm to 6 am!!
A good catch of yellow fin tuna.
The first ever solar lit native fishing boat
The solar LED lights last 13 hours!
Every night while parked at Mangingisda pier in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, the banca has a bigger and bigger audience of fishermen who come to see the marvel. Many have given our boat captain a lecture on wasting light, until they find out it is powered by the sun.
It is only a little more expensive to outfit a banca to solar, as compared buying a diesel generator, plus the added expense of buying the fuel for each trip, along with the oil and maintenance of such. We are told that the fishermen spend up to 10,000 Pesos for a 3 day run at sea to power their lights. Once installed, our solar lights cost nothing. No dirty fuel, oils, noxious emissions and sound pollution!
The diesel powered lights run at 220V and many fishermen have been electrocuted by them. It is quite a safety hazard. The fumes from the diesel motor are bad for the fishermen to breath and not great for the environment! The 12 volt solar lit system on this boat will not do that.
Diesel operated lights only run for 3 hours and then they have to stop fishing and refuel! Our solar lights last for 13 hours!!
Celebrating the success of the banca
Lampshades made of flower pots
Getting creative with the lamp shades
Our assistant on building the solar light system, is our very own all around helper, Jhun Solis. He noticed that my plastic flower pots last for years in the hot sun here. So he used plastic flower pots as the light shades!! He covered them in epoxy paint to give them more protection from the sun. It was a low cost solution and they look great!
The solar lit banca at sunset
No noise or fumes from solar powered lights!
A healthier solution for local fishermen
The fishermen on our boat will not be exposed to noxious diesel fumes nor will the environment be polluted. We are so pleased to have found a way for our crew to earn a living and stay healthy without breathing the diesel gasses!!
There are 2000 fishing boats or more in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Every night, more and more of them come to the port to see the wonder of solar lights! Most fishermen here have not even gone to high school; to them, this is a miracle.
The lights allow for night swimming
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A growing audience!
Palawan's first solar lit banca
A fishing success! Tuna!
Now for a real celebration.
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