Crab Pelican

Since 2003, rMeter has been in the Galapagos Islands, monitoring the climate, several buildings, a solar power system, and a primary fossil fuel generation plant. for critical assessment of the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the long range potential of energy conservation measures and renewable energy applications.


Remote Wireless Data Collection

The monitoring system uses advanced telecommunications technology to bring data half way around the world to our web server in California. Data is captured by sensors clamped to the high voltage buss on the generators, to the rMeter data logger, then via wireless antennas (on the power plant, on a hill at the edge of town and on the roof of the electric utility’s office), to the server at ElecGalapagos, then via another wireless circuit to the local satellite dish, via satellite onto the internet to our server in California where the data is processed and stored in our data base.


This complex installation clearly demonstrates the problem-solving abilities of the rMeter team. In a demanding project with multi-client engagement, the rMeter staff has provided the highest level of support.


Client Observations

The client and sponsors have used the rMeter data in various ways:

  • As local residents acquire more appliances and population pressures continue, a primary concern has been to know whether earlier projections of electricity demand are borne out in practice. In fact, growth (about 10% per year) has been higher than anticipated.
  • To reduce the use of exhaustible fossil fuels, it is important to keep electricity consumption to a minimum. By monitoring specific buildings over time, it is possible to measure and display the impact of life-style choices and management practices.
  • It is critical to monitor electrical generation systems performance in remote locations, where technical skills are not always available and maintenance requires outside intervention for diagnosis and parts supply. We have been able to provide the kind of detailed data needed to confirm systems performance and arrange for repairs based on such information.

Next Steps

In 2007, two small solar systems and three large wind turbines will be installed on San Cristobal Island. rMeter will be expanding the monitoring system in order to analyze the contribution of solar and wind-generated electricity to the performance of the grid. Furthermore, the client will use our data to assess concerns about grid stability whenever intermittent renewable generation sources are used.

 

Solar at CNG byron Solar at Alexander Humboldt

Current Data