In summer 2009, engineers from the UC Irvine Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) came to Barcroft to assist with developing the monitoring and controls system needed for running the C-30 microturbine generator. In order to provide the proper fuel at the proper pressure, a precisely controlled pump and vaporizer is needed to pressurize the propane when the outside temperatures are low. We purchased a National Instruments "CompactRIO" system, and in September began programming and instrumenting the device. APEP PhD Patrick Couch provided leadership and experience with the C-30, APEP student Josh Eichmann led the Lab View programming, and WMRS associate director John Smiley wired instruments and relays to the various devices. The mid-September weekend effort was very productive and successful. However, the early October snowfall forced postponement of the second session until June 2010.
Josh Eichmann (l) and Patrick Couch (r) examine the wiring box and the compactRIO device in the DEG (generator) room at Barcroft. This device will run unattended, controlling the microturbine generator and support applicances such as the pressure pump and propane vaporizer. 9-13-09
The cRIO will also serve as a single interface between the other energy devices (i.e. the boilers, outback inverters, and other devices) and the internet, enabling an extensive monitoring program for the system. See monitoring schematic diagram for details. 10-27-09