In the summer of 2007, Mobile Solar Power was awarded a bid from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo to build three solar generators. The university’s plan was to use these generators to power high frequency radar installations along the Central Coast near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
The radar installations, which are three of several dozen stretching from the Mexican border to Alaska, are part of a larger project called the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program (COCMP). The program, which is a conglomerate of several organizations including the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Scripps institute of Oceanography, University of California, and the California State University system, condenses ocean current data for easy access and use by other organizations, businesses, and individuals.
According to the COCMP website (www.cocmp.org), the primary function of the organization is to provide information to water quality monitoring agencies. However, the data obtained from the radar sites has several other very important benefits. It helps researchers look at the impact of global warming on ocean currents, prepare for potential oil spills by tracking current flows, and aid the US Coast Guard and maritime shipping vessels by mapping out surface currents.
Getting power to remote locations on the coast is not always easy, which is why Cal Poly, and more recently the University of California at San Diego, made the decision to use solar generators to power their equipment. By storing excess power in the battery bank during sunny days, the four MS-300 Series solar generators positioned along the California coast can provide round-the-clock, reliable power to the radar sites. In addition, the weatherproof interior of the cargo trailers makes a perfect place to keep the sensitive equipment needed to monitor the currents and upload the data from a remote location.
For more information on this project, please visit the following websites: