2008: Our second summer of operation for the new system. We were actually connected to the grid for an entire month in June! But the buried power line failed again at the beginning of July, and we have operated Barcroft off-grid since then. We found that the off-grid system can support an intensive summer of research including full operation of the astrophysics millimeter-wave telescopes.
We did several upgrades to the system this summer, including doubling the capacity of the battery bank to 100 KWh, and installing an "Outback Flex-net" battery monitoring system that is integrated with the Outback inverters. We also linked up with the UC San Diego campus alternative energy program, who installed a web-interfaced main power meter to keep track of station power consumption. We also linked several devices to the internet and created a new "live monitoring" web page.
We also worked very hard to get the Capstone Microturbine Generator on line, but this has proven to be a time-consuming and difficult process in our remote, high-altitude location. We still hope to have the system in operation next summer. We are also working hard to install and program a National Instruments "Labview" integrated monitoring sytem. This unit will control the fuel flow to the microturbine in real time, as well as serving as a control and monitoring interface for the entire system.