Friday, March 1, 2013

Pigeon Key the search for the Eagle Nest

We heard there was a Eagle Nest on Pigeon Key at a Star Gazers event, but  where could it be?

Instead of making the 4 mile round trip you can take a boat out to the key, they use this dock.

Sailboat coming in from Florida bay down Mossers Channel, they should make it  just fine to Boot Key Harbor before sundown. 

This little Hawk is all we saw on our search for the Eagle Nest.

I found the Battery shack so I took some pics for later reference, It had two large boxes with several large batteries in each. 

So they connected the batteries in each box in a series then  the two boxes of batteries in a series to produce  2 X 57.6 volts= 115 volts to power all the needs on the Key.

A little reminder on battery care

It takes 6 large charge controllers for the expansive solar array. 
This solar array is providing power to several buildings on Pigeon Key
The Eagle Hunt at Pigeon Key
We took advantage of a local Star Gazing, astronomy clubs invitation to see the stars one evening. We got to see a few constellations, a Nebula and Jupiter's moons. Very cool but one of the leaders made an announcement that there was a nesting pair of eagles on Pigeon Key. The Admiral wanted to go check it out so this time we decided to walk the 4 mile round trip for some exercise. Well once you get to the key you can pretty much walk the entire area in less than an hour and there was no Eagles nest in sight. We found some local park people and they said they had not heard of any eagles on the Key. So while the Admiral was scrounging up whatever birds there were to see I went to learn more about the solar power on the Island. I found the building that housed the batteries and solar Charge controllers and took the pics above. This solar system replaced two large Diesel generators that are still in a building right next to the battery shack. Each of the charge controllers can handle only so many panels so that is why they needed 6 controllers to manage the large solar array. Then the batteries are all connected in a series to produce the 115 volt power for the island. Very cool. when we return to living on land again I will check into adding solar power to our home. Basically it is just the solar array, a bunch of charge controllers to manage the power from the solar panels to the batteries, batteries to store the energy and a inverter to produce the proper voltage to power appliances in the home. They say there are some Eagles in the Keys but for now we just have to be happy with the exercise we got. We did see lots of huge Manta Rays on the return walk though!

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