Construction of new facilities and renovation of existing ones in the Los Baños Experiment Station (LBES) have been conducted last November 2016 and were finished on April 2017. Said facilities include the tree house, view deck, office building, modern “kubo”, central nursery, wild pig enclosure, two satellite nurseries, and three concrete bridges. Be that as it may, LBES still gets dark during the night due to lack of electricity.

On September 2017, a complete set of equipment to harness solar energy has been installed in the Los Baños Experiment Station (LBES) to power its various facilities. Solar energy is one the environmentally-friendly sources of electricity as it is renewable and uses virtually no fossil fuel. In the Philippines, these set of equipment are called solar panels. However, the more appropriate term would be photovoltaic system. Strictly speaking, a photovoltaic system is a set of equipment needed to convert light, mainly from the sun, into electric energy which can then be used to power various facilities.

Included in the installed photovoltaic system are eight (8) solar modules, eight (8) rechargeable lead-acid 12-volt batteries, and other various equipment such as the inverter, surge protectors, and the circuit breaker. Each solar module is composed of 60 solar cells and measures 1 meter wide and 1.6 meters high. On the other hand, each battery can be charged up to 200Ah, enough to run a laptop.

Access to this kind of equipment is significant, not only because of the lack of power in LBES, but also because it shows that ERDB is patronizing the use of green technologies. As a part of the government agency responsible for the protection of our country’s environment and natural resources, this is only fitting and timely amidst global warming and climate change.

This opens up a new set of possibilities within LBES as lectures and trainings may now be conducted with the aid of computers and projectors. Previously installed light bulbs rendered useless due to the lack of electricity can now be lit up during the night providing a sense of security.

The Los Baños Experiment Station was established within the now Makiling Forest Reserve as an experimental site for research purposes of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau. Since 2015, the site is being managed by the Experimental and Demonstration Service Section of the Laboratory and Experimental Services Division. Kevin Philip M. Olaya & Florentina D. Oliva, LESD