Solar Powered Search and Rescue VHF & UHF Repeater
Skye Mountain Rescue Team http://www.skyemrt.org/ required radio coverage across the Cuillin, a jagged and wind blown mountain range rising nearly 1000m out of the Atlantic ocean. Three Repeaters located in key positions provide coverage across the entire mountain range enabling near seamless radio communications for rapid rescue of fallen walkers and climbers.
Repeaters require power and there is no mains electricity at two of the locations so a renewable source was required. Wind turbines were out of the question for both environmental and reliability reasons. Hydro is totally impractical because there are no streams on mountain tops. This leaves solar photo voltaic panels as the only solution. The problem with this is that repeaters are very power hungry and a huge array of solar panels and batteries would be required to provide power for the days of no sun or snow cover common to Scottish mountain tops in winter. Large arrays are also out of the question on environmental grounds.
The Wildtalk solution:
Minimise energy consumption rather than generate more energy.
Wildtalk designed a device to reduce the 10 Watt power consumption of a standard repeater down to 0.2 Watts. 1/50th the energy consumption. The results 1/50th the area of panels and 1/50th the amount of batteries and nearly 1/50th the cost.
This repeater power saver is now in use in two locations on Skye and has been working without fault through three full winter seasons of heavy snow, fierce winds and heavy rains.
The power saver is a Wildtalk designed and built add-on unit which can be attached to most existing repeaters. We can also supply it with our own repeater configured to give over the air battery warning and other simple telemetry to monitor and control.
Panels, batteries and power controllers are available in sizes for any application and location. The panels are mounted on carefully designed zinc-plated storm proof frames designed by engineer Chris French of Skye MRT and manufactured here in York.
- Repeaters in remote locations.
- Low Power Consumption.
- Solid state solar power generation.
- Storm proof mounting for solar array.