Powering Public Radiation and Weather-Monitoring Stations

Application: Telecom
Location: Nevada
Year: 1999
Product: SunSavers
System size: 50 and 60-W solar panels on 24 sites
Partners include: The Desert Research Institute

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education administers the Community Environment Monitoring Program (CEMP) to watch the ambient environment for radiation from past nuclear testing, ensuring the safety of nearby communities. The program encompasses 24 publically accessible radiation and weather-monitoring stations.

Solar panels (50 and 60W) operate in conjunction with a deep-cell battery to power all CEMP station instrumentation. Morningstar solar charge controllers have kept these systems reliably running for more than two decades. 

Residents’ direct participation in collecting data and disseminating information from these stations provides a greater sense of security. All information collected from automated sensors at these stations is posted online and updated at least hourly.