Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Solar Powered Computers at School

Coming to Taquile last week we rode on the bus with a crew of electricians and workers who were coming to Taquile to install a solar/wind powered computer program for the Elementary School. EuroSolar has 27 identical projects for schools in the Department of Puno, including five 170W PV panels, a wind turbine, 24V worth of batteries inverted to the Peruvian standard of 22V, and a water tank with an ultra-violet water purifier on the line, a refrigerator, and 5 laptops plus mouse and keyboard. Very cool.

Here's the project in process. The 6-man crew, plus several Taquileños, finished the installation in 4 days. The ground wires were in long deep pits, covered first with sheep dung before the dirt and rocks. Water in the dung makes a better electrical conductor that just dirt.

Showing the water tank, windmill (they call it a mariposa, or butterfly) and the 850W of PV panels. The trouble with 27 identical projects is that individual issues aren't considered: How will they get the water up into the tank? Climb a ladder with water on their backs after hauling in from the well 100 meters downhill? The Taquileños suggested a pump, not included in the project. They probably will still need to haul the water up the hill before pumping it up to the tank.
Final view of the installation, including the fence. Taquileños had built the control/battery building and the cement foundations for the PV array as well as the water tower in advance of the crew's arrival.

Five Fujitsu Siemens business notebooks, plus keyboard and mouse (so they'll know how to use them when they come to town and use other computers). Satelite internet is promised to come next year.

This is a picture of the PV array which was installed at the high school several years ago. Local parents complain that when the teachers leave they take the key, so no one else can use the computers. I suggested they train someone and make him "president of the computers" (seems that everyone is president of something), if they want to keep it open.

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