Secondary Author(s)

Callahan, Michael

Report Number




A project is being coordinated by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) with the Perry Foundation and the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC) on Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas. The purpose of the research is to demonstrate energy and water savings associated with efficient technologies in an isolated sub-tropical climate. The project is being used as a test case to examine how energy and resource independent eco-tourism projects might be successfully accomplished in Florida and other Caribbean locations.

FSEC plans to monitor energy and water consumption in two buildings at the center. The VIP (Scientists' quarters) building has been selected for monitoring because this building has high occupancy during much of the year. The facility is also very similar to other housing units so that 'lessons learned' can be applied elsewhere on the island. This building will be monitored for various temperatures, total energy consumption, air conditioning consumption, water use, and roof water production.

The other building to be monitored is the kitchen and lounge/dining area. Energy use is high due to food preparation. Comfort is also an issue since visitors to the island eat their meals in the dining area. This building will be monitored for total and overhead lighting/ceiling fan energy consumption as well as interior comfort levels. Hot water consumption for the two buildings will also be monitored since both share a common water heater.

Our preliminary visit to the island on February 17-19, 1999 revealed several issues and opportunities at CMRC. Each is presented more fully within the report:

  • Diesel generators currently provide all power for the island. Maximum electrical demand is approximately 80 kW varying from a minimum of 19 kW depending on time of year, occupancy and temperature conditions. Annual diesel oil consumption is estimated at approximately 35,000 gallons per year. The incremental cost for electricity generation is approximately $0.13/kWh not including generator equipment maintenance or amortization.
  • Improved control of pumps and air conditioning systems could provide reduction to the annual fuel requirements for the island.
  • Total facility fresh water demand averages 2,500 gallons per day. Needs are currently satisfied by reverse osmosis of sea water - an energy and maintenance intensive process.
  • Termites are a major problem on the island. Even with constant pest control and spraying, maintenance cannot keep up with degradation of non-treated wood products. Building life is compromised and structural maintenance is increased. These problems argue for all-concrete construction.
  • Metals suffer extensive corrosion in the island's high salt environment. Wall and window air conditioners generally last 3 years. This problem also argues for concrete construction.
  • There are several cisterns for rain water collection on the island, although some are not utilized. Cistern water production using all of facility roof space could potentially provide more than half of facility water needs.
  • There are approximately 4.5 kW of photovoltaic modules available for use on the island that are not currently connected to the island power grid.
  • There are a dozen solar hot water heater panels in storage that should be used to retrofit all island water heating systems using a standardized two-tank system. Virtually all water heating could be accomplished with such systems.
  • Location of refrigeration units in a outdoor room and an effective range hood over the cook top can significantly improve comfort in the kitchen and dining areas.

Date Published





Reference Publication: Parker, D S and M P Callahan (1999). Energy and Resource Assessment of the Caribbean Marine Research Center, Lee Stocking Island. FSEC­CR­1085­99, Florida Solar Energy Center, Cocoa, FL.

Local Subjects

Buildings - Attics; Buildings - Energy Analysis; Water Pumps


Text; Document


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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