The goal of the White Mountain Energy Project is to improve energy quality and reliability, increase safety, reduce costs, and test innovative technologies at WMRC field stations. The first phase of this project will be to assess the energy situation at the upper field station at Barcroft (and secondarily, Crooked Creek). The current energy situation at Barcroft is problematic for several reasons.
To carry out this project, WMRC has teamed up with Engineering Professor Scott Samuelsen and students in the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at UC Irvine. To date the project team has monitored power consumption at Barcroft and Crooked creek, analyzed energy needs with monitoring and simulation, researched energy alternatives, and set up a test bed on the Barcroft Pace Lab roof for assessing the power potential of two types of solar photovoltaic panels. Some of their recommendations are shown in the "Phase 1" WMEP schematic and the "WMEP Electrical and Controls Schematic." The team has also developed a phased strategy for implementing recommendations which allows for incremental improvements depending upon funding and time constraints.
In January 2006, the Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML) Improvement Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $255,000 to fund the core systems of the WMEP, including a hydronic heating system, backup microturbine generators, and a solar photovoltaic system ( see WMEP FSML web page for highlights of this proposal). Soon, WMRC and APEP will apply to the California Energy Commission for funds to upgrade the environmental energy systems capacity (e.g. wind and solar), and to the Department of Defense for funds to install a monitoring and controls test bed for testing new energy generation technologies and control systems at high elevation.