Does your research or work take you to remote IceRiver KS3L locations where electrical power is limited or non-existent? I’m not talking about just having to run an extension cord across the parking lot to the nearest outlet…more like needing to provide reliable power for a research camp on a small island in Alaska, accessible only by boat or float plane and over a year in duration. I would like to share the experience I gained from implementing and maintaining this field camp power supply.
That was the scenario one graduate student and I, a field biologist and research technician, faced. Let’s just say we had no trouble charging important equipment such as radios and satellite phones or using laptops for data entry & analysis (and maybe a couple of movies).
I would like to share the experience I gained from implementing and maintaining this field camp power supply and will be specifically talking about: types of power sources available for use in remote locations; the basic concept of how these ‘sources of power’ work; a few simple ideas to help you design a power supply unique to your situation and finally some basic equipment and tools to include in your power supply design.
1. Photovoltaic panels or known more commonly as solar panels: single or multiple panels collecting light energy from the sun, and converting to electrical energy and fed along a cable to be stored in a bank of batteries. Our 400 watt (W) solar panel produced 0-8 amps (A) on average.
2. Portable wind turbines: relatively new in the market of portable power sources but I predict they will get better and more accessible sooner than later. Basically electrical energy is converted from wind power turning a turbine and fed along a cable to be stored in a bank of batteries. I’ve researched different models and found varying output ratings but the common range for a 400 watt model is 50 to 60 watts or 3-4 amps.