'Solar-powered donkeys' carry Internet for Turkish sheepherders
Ancient beasts of burden are being given a new load to help bring shepherds into the 21st century in western Turkey.A solar panel producer in western Turkey has said recent international media coverage of their "plug-and-play donkey" project proved that they are on the right track.
BBC News reported on June 24 that sheepherders in western Turkey have now equipped their donkeys to cart around solar panels that will enable them to be connected 24/7. The video shows a donkey equipped with a large panel strapped to its back walking across rocky, dry terrain.
Ser-Gün, a Turkish solar panel producer, is behind the project. "We aim to better the daily comfort of the producer in the countryside, providing sustainability for sheepherding," Ser-Gün Chairman Tamer Uğurluel told Cihan news agency.
Uğurluel stressed that the project was the fruit of the 30-year-old efforts of the local sheepherding association in the western Turkish province of İzmir.
The power from the panels – 5 to 7 kilowatts of electricity – can be used on laptops and cell phones but can also be used to power lights. RFDTV reports that during birthing season, it is especially helpful to have extra light generated by the solar panels, according to examiner.com.
"The Plug-and-Play Solar Pack" costs 2,800 Turkish Liras. The Turkish state covers half the cost for the sheepherder from public funds allocated to supporting development in the countryside.