Based nearby in Linares is Parque Educativo Solar, established by Jorge. What started as a backyard project has morphed into a full on Sustainability Education Centre, providing solar energy workshops and products for both local people and international visitors.
The Centre showcases a variety of low-tech uses of the endless sun’s rays, as well as simple installations using PhotoVoltaic (PV) solar panels to generate electricity. Wandering through the Park there are an array of indigenous trees like the Quillay, Peumo, and Araucana, plus a circle of tree stumps surrounded by lavender for a moment of calm. See below for more info on the dehydrator, on-grid and off-grid solar systems and eco-toilet.
On-grid: This double solar panel installation is connected to an inverter (in the red box) that converts the DC electricity produced by the PV cells into AC for use in the house. Jorge generates all the electricity he needs in this way, and most days has surplus which he supplies back to the grid. This means he has no electricity bill and, after the law changes in the next year, the energy companies will be paying him for the electricity he puts into the grid.
Off-grid: There is a PV solar panel connected to a Dankoff slow pump which pumps the water up from his well into the storage tank above.
Dehydrator & Solar Oven: Jorge has made many of these dehydrators for people in the Maule Region, they effectively retain heat and provide ample ventilation for optimal dehydration.
The organic seedbank is an invaluable store of seeds from organic plants grown locally.
The eco-toilets use Vetiver grasses to clean the water from the toilet after the solids have been removed.
and of course there are plenty of hammocks for relaxing…