Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


BARLOW, Margaret, VALENTI, Peter and REVETTA, Frank, Geology, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676,

Potsdam’s seismic network consists of seismic field stations operated in collaboration with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. These field stations transmit seismic data to Potsdam College via FM narrow band telemetry. These stations require electrical energy to power the amplifier and radio transmitter in the field. Initially, non-rechargeable air-cell batteries were used to power the stations.

Later on, the seismic field stations were converted from the air cell batteries to solar energy, which results in significant financial savings and eliminate the environmental problem of disposing of the toxic batteries. The solar panels provided the DC current to a regulator during daylight hours to recharge a rechargeable battery. This method of providing the energy to rechargeable batteries proved satisfactory except during long periods of cloudy weather, which is frequent in northern New York. Batteries would not remain fully charged (12V) and the station would not function for most of the winter months.

The most recent attempt to power the stations is by using wind energy and solar energy. A Rutland 504 Wind charger and a solar panel are being used to power a station. A seismic station has been installed on campus with wind-solar charging the 12V battery. This method has been providing the energy now for one month to keep the battery charged and station operating. At present, it is not known whether the station voltage will be maintained during the long dark winter period in the North Country.