ISER’s Dr. Jen Schmidt traveled to Tanana this past October to discuss the results of an ongoing fuel meter data collection project alongside Alaska Center for Energy and Power’s (ACEP) Alana Vilagi and Baxter Bond.

Vilagi and Baxter Bond stationed 12 wireless pump metering apparatuses in both residential and public buildings in the community of Tanana in October of 2017. SIM cards are installed on each device and use GCI wireless signals to send the data collected to the researchers at ACEP. The apparatuses monitor “fuel consumption of fuel-oil vented heaters…by using a sensor that clips onto the outside of the fuel pump.” The affixed exterior data managers collect data from the heaters to calculate parameters such as fuel consumption or indoor temperature.

Their goal was to develop a sample village heat load by monitoring the fuel consumption throughout 2018. The data collected from the first year “revealed variations in home-heating patterns throughout the day and across different seasons, how factors such as the area of the space and the number of household members affect fuel use, and how different behaviors can lead to fuel savings.”

During their most recent visit, Dr. Schmidt, Vilagi, and Bond presented and discussed the results from the first year of fuel meter data collection. The PuMA meters were updated for their last year of data collection, as well. This data will serve to improve the understanding of residential heating loads and individual heating patterns, as well as inform future energy efficiency programs or renewable energy options.

University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student, Elizabeth Richards, and her advisor, Sveta Stuefer, also discussed the use of ground-penetrating radar to measure the thickness of ice roads. They hope to test the MALA GroundExplorer GPR system on the Yukon River ice road that connects with the new gravel road stretching westward toward Tanana from the Manley Hot Springs area this coming February.