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How we provide water & power to an island resort

May 10, 2017
2 min read
How we provide water & power to an island resort

Since Ray Caye Resort is a private island located 17 miles off the shore of Placencia village, there are questions about how our resort generates the power and water to operate. Without boring you with a whole lot of technical stuff we decided to share some answers to the most asked questions about these topics.

Where does the electricity on the island come from?

The primary source of power for Ray Caye is solar power.  Ray Caye has two sets of PV (photovoltaic) arrays (solar panels), one on top of the power building and the other on top of the hanger. There are 111 solar panels on the power building and each produces 215 watts totaling to 23.8 kW of power. There are 117 panels on our hanger that each produce 260 watts which produces a total of 30 kW.  This system is usually enough to provide for most of the power needs at Ray Caye since it runs at a load range of 80% much of the time when the air conditioning is running (which is daytime 14kw – 23kw/58amp – 96amp and nighttime 25kw – 40kw/105amp – 166amp).  Finally, as with most solar systems, there are batteries available to store power to be used when the sun is not shining. We have a total of 8 energy storage-battery banks. In each bank, there is a total of 24 battery x 2 volt cell 1,400Ah. which gives you a total of 48 volts.

solar panels at Ray Caye Resort
solar system at Ray Caye

During those times when the solar system is not producing enough power, such as night time or on a cloudy day, then Ray Caye has two 79kw/329amps diesel generators for backup power to charge the battery bank and power the island. These generators are serviced every 500 hours.

solar system at Ray Caye Resort

Our power distribution system is rated at 36kW, composed of six 6kW Xantrex Inverter/Charger and 3 grid-tied SMA Sunny Boy – these systems “invert” the direct current (DC) output of the solar panels and batteries to the alternating current (AC) used for our normal outlets.

What is the water system like on the island?

Ray Caye has two Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems and one UV system to purify water on the island. The RO system purifies 150 gallons of water per hour – this means that we purify about 3,600 gallons per day and over 346,000 gallons a year.

reverse osmosis system at Ray Caye Resort

A weekly backwash, rinse and freshwater flush is done on the RO system. All brine water is pumped back to the sea. After every 500 hours, we do a change of oil and all filters on the RO system. The membranes are cleaned every 6 months with special chemicals.

All the buildings on the island have a rainwater holding tank with a capacity of 250 gallons – summing to about 4,000 gallons for the entire island. All that water is pushed into two other holding tanks behind the power building containing 2,500 gallons each. This system collects a total of 285,000 gallons of water annually.

Ray Caye uses between 1,600 to 2,000 gallons of water per day with an average of 50,000 – 60,000 gallons monthly and 630,000 gallons annually. 

Water usage break down as follows:
RO = 346,000
Rain = 285,000
Total = 631,000
Usage = 630,000
Gain = 1,000

In addition, we have seven Rotoplas tanks, each holding 2,500 gallons of water which give you a total of 17,500 gallons.

We hope that all this information gives you a better understanding of what Ray Caye Resort’s electrical and water system is like. So, when you turn on your showers or ac on the island you can truly appreciate where it came from.  
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