Not long ago Aurore India was contacted by EcoSphere Spiti who were interested to introduce renewable energy technologies in beautiful Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
Spiti has the same cold and dry climate as Ladakh and it was decided to see whether our ETC solar water heaters could survive in this harsh climate during the cold winters, where temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees Celcius, and still provide useful quantities of hot water.
2 ETC with slightly thicker tank insulation (60 mm instead of 50 mm) were shipped to Kaza in June, the main town in Spiti Valley, where EcoSphere has its office, and Jos went there to help with the installation and give a full training on the systems.
(at the same time 2 more systems were shipped to Leh, Ladakh, for a similar trial there at a guesthouse).
In Kaza one of the ETCs was installed at the EcoSphere office roof during an on-the-job training session. Everybody helped out and learned, and lots of photographs were taken.
The next day we installed the second system at an old people's home in Ki village, which is run by Buddhist nuns. This time the system was installed by only the EcoSphere co-workers and they did a perfect job!
Now the experimenting starts and we're looking forward to see how the ETCs will perform in both Spiti and Leh over the coming winter.
One important lessons learned on this project was that by transporting the glass evacuated tubes vertically, we can avoid a lot of breakage on the way.
On the 10 hour trip in a pickup truck from Manali to Kaza, on very rough roads, not a single tube broke! Vertical makes all the difference.
All in all a job well done, and the head-nun of the old-people's home was very happy with their new solar water heater.
Since its inception in 1984, Aurore has installed standard as well as customized renewable energy systems all over India, often in remote locations. Below is an (incomplete) overview of our work so far.