Solar Key to Power on Loggerhead Key

SunWize Technologies has completed a 14.4 kW hybrid solar energy system for park operations at the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. The system provides power for employee housing including air conditioning, refrigeration and potable water production on the island of Loggerhead Key.

LOGGERHEAD KEY, Florida 2002-04-02 [] The new hybrid system, which replaced a prime power generator, will use solar to provide 92 percent of the power requirements. One of the most remote and inaccessible of the U.S. National Parks, the Dry Tortugas is located approximately 70 miles west of Key West, Florida in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The park encompasses over 64,000 acres of marine sanctuary and seven small islands. Facilities on Loggerhead Key, largest of the seven islands, include two houses, a historic lighthouse and a number of other small buildings. The park service is implementing conservation measures to reduce daily energy use of 100 kWh per day to 50 kWh per day. SunWize’s system helps the National Park Service meet their goal of protecting the environment by replacing an inefficient generator system with a clean, renewable source of power. Operation of the hybrid system will reduce fuel consumption from 10,000 gallons of diesel per year to 392 gallons of liquid propane per year. One of the logistical challenges facing SunWize was the transportation of foundation materials to the site via boat and manual labor. To avoid the tremendous effort associated with the transport of materials such as cement and aggregate, SunWize used earth augers as solar array anchor points. The augers were hand installed and exceed specifications for maximum wind loading at 120 mph.
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