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Proceedings Paper

Toward a green observatory
Author(s): Ueli Weilenmann; Christian Ramírez; Pierre Vanderheyden
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Paper Abstract

Many of the modern observatories are located at remote sites, far from larger cities and away from infrastructure like power grids, water supplies and roads. On-site power generation in island mode is often the only choice to provide electricity to an observatory. During the 2008 petrol price rally, conventional power generation has received special attention and alternatives are being studied now in many organisations to keep energy prices at bay. This paper shall outline the power generation at the ESO VLT/VLTI observatory at Paranal as it is now and a plan for a possible way out of the dependency on fossil fuels in the near future. A discussion of several alternatives including wind energy, solar energy and heat recovery from a conventional power plant shall be analysed and compared. Finally, a project is being proposed to equip the VLT/VLTI with a modern alternative energy supply, based on a novel concept: Solar cooling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7737, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III, 77371Y (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857851
Show Author Affiliations
Ueli Weilenmann, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Christian Ramírez, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Pierre Vanderheyden, European Southern Observatory (Chile)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7737:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III
David R. Silva; Alison B. Peck; B. Thomas Soifer, Editor(s)

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