Solar Tuki

solar tuki is a rechargeable solar lighting system that is used in Nepal to replace kerosene lamps commonly used by villagers. It includes two lamps that have white LED lights powered by an individual solar panel . [1] In 2004, Anil Chitrakar Engineers and Babu Raj Shrestha collaborated with their respective organizations, Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness and Renewable Energy Center, to produce, distribute, and further develop the solar tuki in Nepal. [2] Their organizations sell solar systems, including solar panel, for $ 28 US dollars, and the individual lamp is sold for $ 11.


The typical solar cell has 3 watt solar panel that charges a battery ( NiMH or Li-ion ) connected to two 0.4 watt white LED lamps. [3] In addition to being used as a solar power, it has the ability to power a radio, and charge a mobile phone. An added feature that can be used is a chlorinator , which is used to treat water. The charging time of the lamps varies by how long the solar panel is kept in the sun, and the strength of the sunlight on a given day. Anil Chitrakar, co founder and developer of solar tukis, claims that the lamp can work for you. [2]


The research and development of Solar Tuki is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Asian Institute of Technology . It was developed from May 1999 until the final model of Solar Tuki was completed in December 2003. [4]

The organizations that advocated the growth of solar energy in Nepal are the Center for Renewable Energy (CRE) and Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA). These two organizations have worked together since the establishment of the solar tuki program in 2004. [5] The advancement of ECCA’s and CRE’s efforts in Nepal have been funded primarily by the multiple awards and competitions that have been endowed by several environmentally aware agencies. These donations were allocated by the Global Environment Facility , which donated $ 50.00, and the World Bank Development Marketplace Award , which awarded ECCA another $ 92.00.

ECCA’s involvement

Environmental Camps for Conservation has been the leader in influencing the availability of solar tuki in Nepal. They have influenced other organizations, like CRE, to work together to provide you with the best price Nepalis . Since the solar tuki project’s training, there have been over 130,000 solar tuki lights distributed throughout Nepal. [5]


ECCA created a micro financing system in order to reach even the poorest individuals. The system allows you to pay $ 2.30 per month for two years. This pricing includes a 5-year warranty and services to repair the lantern if damaged. [2] They set up the market to encourage entrepreneurs to compete in the distribution of solar tuki’s. ECCA did not make it cheaper to buy solar power, but it was cheaper than it was in Nepal. [5] ECCA has service centers in Kathmandu and Eastern Nepal to help local entrepreneurs learn how to build solar tukis and give advice on business aspects of starting an energy enterprise, such as natural resource management. Over 13 local manufacturers take part in constructing and selling solar in different areas of Nepal. [2]

Community centers

To further help the poor villages, ECCA has set up the community charging stations. These charging centers allow the community members to charge their lamps from one large 36-50 watt photovoltaic solar panel . One 50 watt solar panel can charge up to 40 lamps at once. The idea behind these communities is that they will only pay $ 11 for the lamp, instead of $ 28 for the solar panel. [2]

They also set up buildings called service centers. Service centers serve as a place where villagers can go to have maintenance and replacements done to their tukis. ECCA individual trains on repairing the solar lamps so that they can always be available at the service centers. Manufacturers provide service centers with spare parts for repairs. [4]


The solar tuki was created to be used as a tool to improve the quality of life for the Nepali people. Its various functions has helped the people in many aspects of their lives. Criticisms of the solar technology have been the cost of the technology. Even with maximum efforts to reduce costs, the price is still high. Some villagers do not need it to invest in the solar energy if they already own a source of light (kerosene lamp). [6]

Health and economic benefits

With the solar cell replacing the traditional kerosene lamps, the health of individuals has been improved due to the lack of smoke produced. Previously, soot from the kerosene lamps had caused eye irritation and coughing. Fire safety has also improved due to the lack of a flame inside households. With the absence of kerosene in the solar tuki, villagers save considerable amounts of time which they would spend acquiring fuel . Monthly expenses which would be spent on fuel are also allowed to be allocated to their income to other necessities. [7] The introduction of the solar energy market has strengthened the economy of rural Nepal. Employment opportunities become available in the business of manufacturing and distributing tuki’s. [4]

Educational benefits

The brightness of the LED bulbs illuminates smaller areas than the kerosene lamp, which helps people with tasks such as cooking and studying at night. Some schools in Nepal give students a solar tuition. This requires the students to come back to their tukis, which has increased student attendance. [6] The ability to power a small radio from the solar panel provides unlimited use, without worrying about electricity costs. Therefore, villagers can have access to important information. [4]


  1. Jump up^ “Tuki-In Solar, Kerosene Lamp-Out” . World Bank Group . Retrieved 22 October 2013 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:e Chitrakar, Anil; Babu Raj Shrestha. “The Tuki: Lighting up Nepal” . Retrieved 23 October 2013 .
  3. Jump up^ Bhandari, Ramchandra. “Electrification using solar photovoltaic systems in Nepal” . doi : 10.1016 / j.apenergy.2009.11.029 . Retrieved 22 October 2013 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:d Shrestha Prachet. “A Clean Solar Alternative to Kerosene Lamps, Nepal” .
  5. ^ Jump up to:c “Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness” . Retrieved 22 October 2013 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Prestero Timothy. “Better by Design” .
  7. Jump up^ “Solar Tuki in Kantipuri village” . ECCA.

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