Hurricane Throws Coconuts, Spares Solar Array

[] An article in the Miami Herald Tribune quotes a park site manager from Dry Tortugus Islands in the Florida Keys as saying that winds from hurricane Charley had “coconuts flying around inside the fort like missiles, exploding against the walls like cannon balls.” Amid all the natural warfare on Loggerhead Key was a 14.4 kW hybrid solar electric system that was installed by SunWize Technologies in 2002, it survived the onslaught and kept working through the whole storm. SunWize had used earth augers as solar array anchor points for the installation. The augers had specifications that exceeded maximum wind loading at 120 mph. The hybrid system, which replaced a diesel generator system, provides power for employee housing including air conditioning, refrigeration and potable water production. Dry Tortugas National Park is located approximately 70 miles west of Key West in the southern Gulf of Mexico, and is one of the most remote and inaccessible of the U.S. National Parks. Hurricane Charley hit the islands in August with sustained 120 MPH winds and recorded gusts of 133 MPH.
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