Chinese Forest Protected Against Fire by Off-Grid, Solar Powered Monitoring

Protecting its forests and biodiversity is an important goal for China, which aims to increase national forest cover (20% in 2008) to 23% by 2020 and 26% by 2050. The 287,000-hectare Niuda forest farm, located in Shiping County within China’s Yunnan Province, is protected against forest fires and other threats by a monitoring network powered by an off-grid solar power system, built using advanced photovoltaic materials from DuPont.

The challenge was to provide safe, sustainable and cost-effective power for the radar monitoring center and multiple sub-stations across the 287,000-hectare forest farm. The high altitude (1,550+ meters above sea level) and terrain made it difficult to install electricity access or a cable telephone network. Mobile telephones were also not a viable option, because of unstable signals and the high cost of use in this remote area.