SolarQuest® July 2004

    EcoLapagos Project Report
June 28th – July 25th 2004

By Alfonso Tovar

EcoLapagos Home Page




System Design

    Galápagos – San Cristóbal Island
June 28th - (Monday) 

I arrived to Puerto Baquerizo from Guayaquil.  I met with Kal Kallevig, Berenice Norris and David and Schoen  Hodges to catch up with current items and to complete preparations for traveling to Santa Cruz.  We organized the equipment I brought and the equipment already there, and we selected the tools and equipment to bring along to Santa Cruz Island. 

Kal, David, Schoen and I boarded the Galapagos Archipel catamaran around 7:00 p.m.

Galápagos – Santa Cruz Island  
June 29th – July 2nd

The Archipel docked in Baltra around 6:00 a.m.  We arrived to Puerto Ayora around 11:00 a.m. 

We used this first day to settle down in town and to introduce ourselves to the Director of Colegio Nacional Galápagos, Ms. María López Balseca, as well as to some other administrative staff and teachers.

We hold two meetings with CNG’s Director and Vice-Director as well as with Mr. Ricardo Gavilánez, CNG teacher.  These meetings had the purpose to extend an invitation to the school to participate in the MicroSolar Learning Program, as well as to explore the possibilities to implement a sisterhood relationship with Pacific Collegiate School (7th-12th grade) in Santa Cruz, California.  Maria López, CNG’s Director, committed to present both ideas to the Board and return with feedback from them on both issues.  David Hodges will be presenting the idea to the principal of PCS, Jan Keating, by mid-August to begin preparing a formal presentation to the Board, and eventually a proposal to CNG.   

I requested a meeting with as many staff and teachers available to introduce SolarQuest® and myself, to explain the photovoltaic system renovation project, to explore ideas related to renewable energy systems and sustainability and to draft a schedule for the hands-on workshop on photovoltaics.  I lead a 3-hour conference each day with a broad participation of the staff and teachers.

photos: Tuesday 29th  to Thursday 1st

Galápagos – Santa Cruz Island
July 2nd – July 20th

I lead a 75-hour workshop divided in two main activities:

1): Fast course on the fundamentals of photovoltaic systems.
2): Renovation and improvement of existing photovoltaic system. 

Both of the above mentioned activities were combined in two sessions each day.  The first session was dedicated to the theoretical course and the second for practical work on the system.  Depending on everyday priorities each session could last longer than the other.  The workshop hours were from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. during weekdays (very often extended until 6 or 7 p.m.), and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays (2 days extended until 8 p.m.)  The workshop lasted 16 days with an estimated total of 75 hours of effective work.  Some people were more committed in their participation than others but no one abandoned the workshop. 

The program of the course was as follows: 

bullet The Solar Geometry.
bullet The Solar Resource.
bullet Basics on photovoltaic processes in semiconductor materials.
bullet Overview of photovoltaic systems with emphasis on CNG's photovoltaic system.
bullet Fundamentals of electrochemistry.
bullet Batteries maintenance and batteries parameters (with emphasis on energy capacity).
bullet Load and PV system dimensioning.
bullet Wire Sizing.
bullet Training in the new equipment installed (OutBack brand)


  • Alexandra Burgos Alay
  • Raimundo Tomalá Alvarado
  • Ricardo Gavilánez Yañez
  • Luis Rosero Silva
  • Bolivar Mazaquisa
  • Luis Oña Yauli
  • José Caicedo
  • Patricia Padilla Iñíguez
  • Federico Carrión Barrera
  • Enrique Torres Landivar
  • Walter Sibri
  • Christian Pérez Cando
  • Wilson Villacís Manzano
  • Eusebio Bohórquez Ascencio
Extra workshop activities:
- Preparation of each day class.
- Installation and configuration of DAQ for the PV system.
- Preliminary configuration and testing of PV equipment.
- Purchasing of specialized material.
- Supervision of teamwork at the end of the day. 
- Planning of next day activities.
- Meetings with CNG's director and staff to discuss topics on the PV system such as: the PV system as an asset to the school, documents related to the donation of the system, the status of the PV system workshop, specifics on the MicroSolar Learning Program and ways to implement it at CNG.

photos:  Friday 2nd to Monday 19th 

Galápagos – San Cristóbal Island
July 22nd - July 25th  

Thursday: I worked with Berenice advising her on technical questions related to her work.  I followed up fostering our relationships with staff and teachers at CIH.  I made delayed payments related to my stay in Santa Cruz Island.  I completed my Galapagos residence procedures at Instituto Nacional Galapagos (Ingala, Galapagos National Institute). 

Friday: I checked wireless and instrumentation equipment at CNG.  I packed and transport all equipment, tools and materials from Casa Blanca to the Yellow House.

Saturday:  Detailed inventory of SolarQuest's goods in storage at the Yellow house

Sunday: Packing of personal belongings and last arrangements before departing to Guayaquil.








FRIDAY 16th - MONDAY 19th



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