When UCSB needed to power monitoring equipment in several coastal locations of the UC Natural Reserve System
The University of California at Santa Barbara was awarded a grant from the State of California for environmental monitoring. This project was created to monitor the UC Natural Reserve System. This network of protected natural areas throughout California consists of 37 sites which encompasses more than 750,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. Founded in 1965 to provide undisturbed environments for research, education, and public service, the Natural Reserve System contributes to the understanding and wise stewardship of the earth.
The project consisted of multiple remote sites with different geographical locations including coastal areas such as Big Sur Big Creek Reserve and the Coal Oil Point Reserve located adjacent to the UCSB Campus, inland to Palm Desert’s Deep Canyon Reserve, and to the Sierra Mountain tops of the Sagehen Creek Field. These reserves are remotely located and required a unique off-grid solution to power equipment such as cameras, wire mesh networks, and monitoring equipment. Additional equipment was deployed for wildlife tracking, hydrology related efforts, species habitat conditions, carbon dioxide levels, and the living conditions of the long horned beetle and southern mountain yellow-legged frog.
SunWize Power Ready Systems are complete solar electric systems that provide continuous, reliable power and are easily deployed, cost-effective, and require little maintenance. SunWize engineers designed 5 models so the customer could choose the correct system to best meet each power requirement at a particular location. Some systems were carried to the sites by people and some on horseback. A total of 82 systems were deployed. The systems are partially assembled to facilitate transportation. For easy assembly in the field, the control subsystem is pre-assembled into the battery enclosure. Careful component selection results in a solar power system with a lifetime exceeding 25 years with battery replacements every five to ten years.