solar PV – Wincayaren Hostal

solar PV – Wincayaren Hostal 150 150 vidacycle


We worked in collaboration with Jorge, from Parque Educativo Solar, to provide Wincayaren Hostal with a solution for their electricity generation. Jorge installed two solar panels on their roof, along with an inverter to provide AC electricity for the whole building. The two panels mean that that hostel’s electricity bills are zero due to surplus electricity generation being fed back into the grid*.

*the panels generate large amounts of surplus electricity during the day in Summer months, this is fed into the grid and causes the electricity meter to become negative. At night and on cloudier days the hostal does use electricity from the grid, however over time their net usage is negative on the meter, more electricity is being put into the grid than taken out so they aren’t charged anything.



Wincayaren is a lovely eco-hostel located in Linares, a charming city that sits at the base of the Andes. Find out more about staying there on the website: www.hostalwincayaren.cl


solar hotwater – Fundo Meza

solar hotwater – Fundo Meza 150 150 vidacycle


All of our hot water generation comes from combined solar hotwater systems. We always aim to have the hotwater panel installation blend in with its surroundings, for minimal visual impact, as can be seen in both photos.

80% of the year all our hotwater needs are fulfilled by the water being heated directly by the sun in the panels. For the other 20% of the year the system is fitted with a simple valve which allows us to direct the warm water from the roof panel into a tank. The water in the tank is then additionally heated using a wood-fired stove which ensures hot water all year round.


solar pumping – Fundo Meza

solar pumping – Fundo Meza 150 150 vidacycle

Our solar pumping systems use a combination of solar PV panels, Dankoff SlowPumps, and gravity (storage tanks higher up) to provide all our water needs. We also now use a wind mill to draw water up out of a well as an additional water source.


At Fundo Meza whenever possible we use these two design principles:

1. Pumping to Gravity

Gravity always works, therefore pumping water into tanks higher up the hill ensures we always have access to pressurised water.

2. Direct PV (no battery used)

Batteries often have relatively short life-span and are not easily recycled, so minimising their use is more sustainable.

Our water pumping system is based on the principles in the diagram below.

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 13.14.57

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