Mobile Power Supply Challenge Trailer

Centre for Appropriate Technology Discussion Energy Mobile Power Supply Challenge Trailer

  • This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Luke Barbagallo.
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    Will Avery

      What exactly is meant by “Project teams may assume the availability of a 4-wheel drive trailer”. Does this mean that there is a provided trailer for the design, if so, are there any given dimensions for the trailer that need to be followed for the design solution? If not, do we suggest what trailer would be best fit for our design and include it in our cost evaluation? Just need some clarification on the 4-wheel drive trailer.

      Luke Barbagallo

        Hey Will,

        Assume that basic 4wd box trailer would be available with a size somehere in the below range:

        Size H L1 L2 L3 W1 W2
        6 x 4 500mm 1800mm 1580mm 3380mm 1200mm 1720mm
        7 x 4 500mm 2100mm 1560mm 3660mm 1200mm 1720mm
        7 x 5 500mm 2100mm 1500mm 3600mm 1500mm 2020mm
        8 x 5 500mm 2400mm 1500mm 3900mm 1500mm 2020mm

        You could design with one these sizes in mind, or select a trailer size that best fits your design. However, keep in mind some key factors such as the towing capacity of the most likely towing vehicles (hilux, landcruiser, troopy etc) as well as the fact that 4wd trailers need to have slightly different designs, including longer draw bars and heavier suspensions.

        There are lot’s of great resources on towing trailers in off-road conditions, so I’d recommend doing some further research in that space also.



        Kenny Aung

          Is there a cost limit to the mobile solar energy device that is to be designed and if so, what is the cost limit?

          Luke Barbagallo

            Hey Kenny,

            Firstly, I’d check out the Big Tricky Questions doc, as we cover this answer to a degree there.

            In terms of the cost of your solution specifically, we can’t suggest a budget, as this should be part of your considerations based on what you feel is appropriate to meet the design brief.

            As a suggestion I will make is to consider the flexibility that this mobile power supply could bring; not all homelands or ranger stations are occupied continuously, with where people reside changing through the course of the year. Let’s assume that the alternative to your mobile system is 2 or 3 other systems that are static and don’t produce any benefit when those sites aren’t occupied. This means you’ve got an installed asset, with all of its upfront costs, but your only yielding the ROI when you’re occupying the site. What is the cost of those two systems? For the same or less amount of investment, could a mobile array effectively service two locations?

            Some things for you to consider 🙂

            Also, we’ve answered a similar queries to this elsewhere in the mobile power supply question threads, so I’d look through there also.

            Hope this helps,


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