From Cool Earth Solar's inception in 2007 to late 2011, I served as Cool Earth Solar's Principal Scientist. As with any start up, I wore many hats and contributed to many aspects of the company's development. My main contributions, from a scientific standpoint were the creation of Cool Earth's Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, patenting a low-cost metstation for solar prospecting, and finally fund raising for the metstation project which was awarded $95,000 for my proposal entitled “Portable Low-cost Meteorological Station for Solar Resource Measurement and Forecasting” selected for funding by the California Energy Commission.
Article in Caltech's ENGenious Magazine
I was interviewed in Caltech's ENGenious magazine along with two of the other four Caltech alum that were hired by Cool Earth Solar.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Software
Instead of using off-the-shelf SCADA software, we made the decision at Cool Earth Solar to build our own system. Most SCADA systems were very old-school in that they were PC based, closed architecture, and expensive. Our system was built with mostly open source software, which was great because I was able to use some of my favorite tools such as Node.js, Objective-C, Objective-J (Cappuccino), jQuery, HTML5, Ruby, and Python. Below is a screen capture of one page of the SCADA system displaying real time data in response to a control change message and examples of the excellent iPhone application developed to control Cool Earth Solar's pilot power plant.