Casa De Compai goes solar.
One of the things I want to achieve at Casa De Compai is to be as self reliable as possible. The first thing was to drill a private well so I will always have a water supply. The city water in Sosua isn’t always available. Our first summer open the country was in a drought and there was no water coming from the city. Then I added the water filtration system so I will always have potable water and avoid having to buy truck loads of water.
The next thing I needed was to have back up electricity . The power system here in the Dominican Republic isn’t 100% reliable like many Europeans and North Americans are used to. We can have rolling blacks outs where the government can limit the amount of power use in a certain area. Where you live also depends how much electric you have. The grid is divided into an a,b, and a, c circuit. The people who live in the a circuit usually have power most of the time. Usually this is in the tourist areas and larger cities. The b circuit can be parts of larger cities and more rural parts. Also what has a large influence in the type of circuit is how many of your neighbors pay their bill or just steal electricity . Yup, you read that correctly people hear will run cable from your meter to another house. Usually with electrical tape and thin copper wire. So, when you see you electric bill double thats a good sign you have a power sucker! The c circuits are usally the very poor areas and they might power a couple of hours a day. When the people in this zone get power they do everything that requires electricity. If you have plans to meet a local and they don’t show up on time, or not at all they might be doing all the house work that requires power. If your not confused enough, the electric rate have different prices per kilowatt. The more you use the more you pay. The worst part is , when you move to the next higher rate you whole usage is charged at the higher rate.
Some things on the island are very expensive to operate, for example, a/c units. When you rent in any developing county and your responsible for paying the power bill, please ask if the unit has an inverter air condition unit. What this means in a short explanation the inverted units use direct current to power the compressor with less electricity. All my units have these high efficient a/c units. Its better for the renter, my business and the environment . The other item that costs a lot of money to operate is a pool pump. This is usually the most expensive item because of the amount of time the pump needs to run to keep the pool clean.
I decided to add a solar pool pump to off set my cost and have a cleaner pool and be more green. I have to admit I am so very happy to watch the water come out of the pool jets. Just knowing its free and no carbon its being released into the environment is a great feeling. The pump has enough sun around 8am to start running, then it shuts off around 7pm. So how does it work, the whole system is simple. I have four solar panels mounted on the roof. Actually I have more panels than I need, I could have gotten away with three, but I want to have more power so my pump can start earlier in the day and stop later as well. The panels produce direct current and that provides electricity for a pump that runs on direct current (dc). There is a voltage controller between the pump and the panels and that is the whole system. When the sun is up at the correct hight the pumps runs until the sun get to low. Its a great system, on then off. I don’t need batteries to store power. The pump runs even when it is raining, and it will pump slower when a cloud passes over, haha. But all in all I love the system. It will save me between $70.00 and $85.00 a month. As a business man who wants to self sufficient as possible this is a wonderful investment, as a beach lover it protects the reason I moved to the Caribbean.