Photovoltaic and wind turbine in an organic olive grove – Filiatra, December 2012

Sylvia, Elias, Savas and their friends have been managing an olive grove in Filiatra for the last two years. The olive grove consists of more than a thousand olives and after years of mild but conventional cultivation, a systematic effort is made by the team to transform it into a productive olive grove with ecological practices. In addition to the organic methods for olive production and soil improvement, the estate manages water according to the principles of permaculture, having created ponds that collect rainwater, while at the same time vegetables are grown, composting is done and chickens are kept. The estate has been planted with fruit trees and will soon start a herb garden. The accommodation is shared and can accommodate a large number of people all year round.

New Guinea undertook to electrify the residence and the use of power tools for harvesting the olives, thus meeting all the residents’ electricity needs, as the property is far from the grid. For this purpose, an autonomous hybrid system was designed and installed that utilizes the renewable energy sources of the area. Specifically, it consists of a 4.5kW photovoltaic generator and a small 800W wind turbine (the wind turbine, which has been built in New Guinea, will be installed in autumn 2013). The system stores the energy produced in an array of batteries that can then deliver it on demand. The olive harvest takes place at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, when the house is full of people and the harvesting tools are working all day long. Then, the system and specifically the batteries have the ability to maintain the daily consumption for 3 to 4 days in case of prolonged cloud cover. The wind turbine works supportively, especially in these cases, as it is very likely that the clouds will be accompanied by wind.