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Power Systems

Electrical Diagrams

Power Management Module (PMM):  Enclosure containing the charge controller and power switcher.
Short battery harness:  Connects battery to multiple battery harness or other load cable.
Short 5-pin/3 battery:  Connects primary and rechargeable batteries to PMM.
Battery harness connects 2:  Connects 2 rechargeable batteries together.
Battery harness connects 10:  Connects 10 primary battery packs together.
Battery harness connects 8:  Connects 8 rechargeable batteries together.

Solar Equipment

Solar panels are used to produce the power to charge batteries needed to run a station.  The number and size of solar panels needed will depend on the amount of sunlight available at the site and the power draw of the station.  For stations at low to mid latitudes and at least moderate sun we recommend a power ratio of at least 20 to 1.  That is if the station draws 1 watt of power you need at least 20 watts of solar panel.  The Battery Usage Calculator  is helpful in determining power usage for stations.  To get the most power the solar panels need to be oriented to receive the maximum amount of sunlight using solar panel mounts.

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Power Systems


Regardless of the type of datalogger and sensor, the one constant they all need is power.



Because of the relative isolation of seismic stations the most common power source is a battery. Batteries come in two main types: primary and secondary. Secondary batteries are rechargable and primary batteries are used once then discarded.

Most experiments that utilize Q330's and RT130's will use deep cycle lead-acid batteries. The size and capacity of the lead-acid battery will vary with datalogger type, sensor type, telemetry, solar panel size, and geographic location.

Most experiments that utilze Texans (RT125A's) use two D-cell batteries per station. In this configuration the Texan can run for approximately 120 hours at 100 samples per second.

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Power Box

The Power Box is a combination of enclosure, solar charge controller, and connectors which ensure the battery is charged and the instrumentation is powered. Below are some pictures of the new PASSCAL power box (and below that is the old standard PASSCAL power box) . All the power boxes have a 12-15 amp load capacity and a Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD) to prevent damage to the battery. These boxes are designed to work with any nominal 12 volt solar panel and any deep cycle gel-cell lead acid battery.

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Solar Panels

PASSCAL has both 30 and 65 Watt solar panels available.

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Solar Mounts


65 Watt Single OR Dual Solar Panel Ground Mount Setup. Single panel is pictured below; a second panel can be mounted below the first. There is (a limited) angle adjustment range.

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Batteries are PI Supplied.

Batteries come in two main types, primary which are single use and secondary which are rechargeable.

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Instrumentation to support portable seismology available from IRIS facilities:

Dataloggers - This section encompasses the equipment which take in data and stores it on some type of non-volatile media.

Power Systems - All the required equipment to keep a seismic station contiously powered throughout it's deployment.

Sensors - The equipment that actually detects and quantifies ground motion. The sensor sends this information to the datalogger through a cable.

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