In this rugged land of subzero chills and eternal winter darkness, the residents of Tuntutuliak place a high value on their electrical service. And, here in lies a story worth telling.
Nearly 4,000 miles away, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, sits the home of Windwatcher Systems, a manufacturer of wind turbine controls. In recent times, alternative energy, wind farms and tall towers seem to be gaining center stage in national discussions. But, Windwatcher is different.
Tom Ellis, Windwatcher Systems President, has created a solution for turbine controls located in remote power systems. According to Ellis, “These remote villages have traditionally used diesel generators to produce their power. And, with the combination of the rising price of diesel and high transportation costs, this power runs about $0.65 per kWh. The cost to the village is more than just high, it's astronomical.”
Extreme weather conditions and long travels
Here’s the crux of the story. Windwatcher Systems must have the ability to remotely monitor their systems in the field. Here’s what Ellis says about this requirement, “It takes over 26 hours to travel to these remote locations, when travel is even possible. We leave Colorado Springs early in the morning, fly to Seattle, take a plane to Anchorage, grab a commuter flight to Bethel, Alaska and then, if the weather cooperates, go the rest of journey via some Bush Pilot. In at least one instance, we found ourselves stranded and traveled over 100 miles via snow mobile. Not good.”
eWON - reliable remote system
The eWON system allows for remote programming, trouble shooting and monitoring like nothing else on the market. “The eWON system just takes the stress out of shipping our systems to the far corners of the globe. For example, just last week we were able to update and test seven systems in a single day; all from the comfort of our office. Nothing else on the market allows that kind of flexibility.”
Full integration of IT security standards
It enables Internet VPN connection between the user and the remote machine without requiring any changes to IT network security settings at either end. This allows easy deployment while hiding the complexity of the IT network infrastructure. Since connections to the cloud are outbound, firewalls remain intact to protect the network against malware and virus – like Stuxnet.
Collection of data
“Without the eWON device our whole business model comes to a screeching halt. We couldn’t do what we do without the remote monitoring provided by eWON. The eWON products open up a new paradigm where distance, travel, and lack of expertise in the remote villages is no longer a deal breaker. We can improve the quality of life for the residents of remote villages and deliver world class service anywhere on the planet. Simply put, the numbers just don’t add up without eWON.”
Finally, a quick check of the weather indicates the temperature in Tuntutuliak will be -32.