29 Mar Solar panels in the Chilean desert
Don Leo is a mechanical engineer from Tocopilla. Tocopilla is located at the coast in the north of Chile in a windy desert area. For almost 24 years, Don Leo worked at the Tocopilla coal power plant.
In 2012 however, he decided to quit the power plant to start running his hotel on a full-time basis. Using his engineering experience and knowledge, he set up a solar heating system on the roof of his hotel, which currently provides the hotel with hot water fully.
Don Leo has set himself a goal: by 2016, 50% of total energy consumption of the hotel has to come from clean energy sources: sun and wind. In order to obtain this goal, Don Leo is considering to set up some wind mills too on the roof of his hotel.
Don Leo did all the construction of the solar heating system himself, together with his son, who is an industrial engineer. Apart from his own knowledge, Don Leo browses YouTube for tutorials on how to set up solar systems.
Don Leo is a modest man. Rather than to brag about his projects, he prefers to walk the talk, step by step, with great perseverance and commitment.