PSMFC Steelhead Monitoring Program

Solar Trailers

PSMFC Steelhead Monitoring Program

Mobile Solar generators used in monitoring CA Steelhead.
Mobile Solar designed and built a custom trailer for Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in conjunction with the Calif. Department of Fish & Game District 5 on the Southern California Steelhead Monitoring Program.

A custom desk was built into the power equipment frame to allow PSMFC biologists to conduct their field work.

Steelhead Monitoring Program under direction of Pacific States Marine
Fisheries Commission.

The equipment used in the Steelhead Monitoring Program
required 1,921 watt-hours per day – to power the underwater DIDSON
sonar camera, two laptop computers and two external hard drives.

A custom 3-panel solution in a 5×9-foot trailer with a built-in work desk.
Solar: 3 Sanyo 220 watt panels, Battery Bank: 418AH @ 24V.DC,
Inverter: 3.5kW pure sine-wave, 6kW surge.

The system has been operating successfully since January 2012.
Whereas rainfall amounts left creeks and rivers abnormally low in
District 5 during the 2011/2012 season, the system continues
to provide PSMFC and DFG with valuable data – with no fuel or
maintenance bill, and without endangering the riparian environment!

 “We decided to use a solar generator for our project because we were trying to be more environmentally conscious and not leave a carbon footprint.  We also needed an energy source that was going to more reliable than a generator or batteries.  We got that with Mobile Solar and would definitely go with them again.  We ran it for about a month-and-a-half without anybody being there.  We’ve had no problems with powering what we have:  two laptop computers, two external hard drives, and the DIDSION camera (including the rotator).  It has done great.”
–Gaytha Morningstar, Fisheries Technician I, Crew Lead, Steelhead Monitoring Program, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

“Having the unit be mobile is definitely a benefit and something that we have to look at with our other sites. It provides a shelter and work space.  The external hard drives are not water resistant.  You have to have some kind of shelter for most of the electronics.  You either build something, or you have a job box, but you still have to have a cover over it when you open it in the rain.  With water and all the sensitive electronics you’re just compounding your issues.”

“With our unit we don’t have to worry about that.  You can take off all rain your gear and sit down.  Two of us can work in there, it’s a little cozy, but we’ve done it.  The shelter is definitely nice.  It allows us to have flexibility to. We don’t have to worry about where the power source is going to be.  Having it be mobile and having open space inside the trailer are definite benefits.  We can go to almost any one of the watersheds and be able to collect data with the trailer.”

–Gaytha Morningstar, Fisheries Technician I / Crew Lead
Steelhead Monitoring Program, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

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