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Powering Earthquake Monitors with Solar

Earthquake monitoring systems are crucial for predicting and tracking earthquakes. These systems collect data on earthquakes, such as the seismic activity’s magnitude, location, and duration. In the past, earthquake monitoring systems were powered by electricity from the grid, but this is no longer the case.

Using solar to generate the power needed to monitor earthquakes in previously unreachable places provides critical information that can save lives and reduce damage. One example of how solar panels are being used for earthquake monitoring is in this recent installation in Haida Gwaii, off the British Columbian coast. Here, natural resources Canada uses a network of solar panels powered by seismographic stations. The data collected by these stations are used to study earthquakes and to develop early warning systems.

Not only does using solar allow systems to be installed in critical locations, but solar panels are also environmentally friendly and do not emit harmful gases or pollutants. They are also more cost-effective, requiring minimal maintenance and can last for several decades.

Solar panels are changing how many industries operate, and earthquake monitoring systems are a prime example of the flexibility of the uses for mobile power. 

From the NRCan team: 

“Last week, NRCan’s field crew were grateful for blue skies and calm winds as they worked on Haida Gwaii. On Wednesday, a helicopter delivered an Earthquake Early Warning station kit on a sling to a site in Gwaii Haanas Park. 

(We) then installed the station’s seismometer and other equipment. A satellite dish will send data to NRCan datacentres, and solar panels will provide the power to run the station. NRCan is working with the Council of the Haida Nation to ensure that the sites being used for these stations are in suitable locations.”