Tuesday, January 10, 2012
In the last few days, we toured two different renewable energy plants. The first one used the manure produced by a nearby pig farm to generate methane. The plant first collects the waste and then places it in an air tight bag with special bacteria that works through the waste and produces methane. The plant then sells the methane as a form of combustible fuel. It was very interesting to learn about how they developed the process of producing methane and their plans for the future of the plant. The second plant we visited was a hydroelectric dam. Throughout the majority of the trip we were located in the town of Tilaran which is located next to Costa Rica's largest man-made lake, Lake Arenal. The dam we visited supplies the baseline electricity for most of the surrounding area. We were able to go inside the control panel to see how they monitor the flow rates and the rate of generation of electricity. We were also able to enter the plant to see the generator and learn how they monitor and maintain all the machinery in the plant.