The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Nature Coast Biological Station will be employing a Solar Stik®, Inc. LifeGuard Battery Cabinet to reduce generator runtime and fuel consumption at their facility in Seahorse Key, Florida.

The UF/IFAS Seahorse Key Facility is located off the coast of Cedar Key, Florida, and serves as a field site for collecting fisheries data. The facility is operated by researchers and provides interactive camps for students interested in marine biology. Currently, Seahorse Key relies on generators for power. The generators, which run 24/7, are the only source of power on the island. Thousands of dollars in annual fuel costs, time spent on maintenance, and lack of backup power highlight the complications of generator power at the facility.

To mitigate these complications, Seahorse Key is employing Solar Stik’s LifeGuard Battery Cabinet with the site’s main generator. Instead of running 24/7, the generator will be auto-started only to recharge the LifeGuard batteries and will be supplemented with 540 W of mounted solar power. This will allow the island to operate in a high-efficiency circuit that stores or consumes all generated power and, on an annual basis, will save Seahorse Key 30% of propane use, one 400-gallon fuel run, between $1,000 and $2,500 in fuel and maintenance costs, and hours in logistical complications.

Beyond these savings, the LifeGuard provides Seahorse Key an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Unique among battery cabinets, the LifeGuard’s climate-control technology maintains internal batteries at 77 °F (25 °C), the optimal temperature for extending battery shelf life. If the generator fails, Seahorse Key will still have power for critical loads, even in extreme weather conditions.

George Winsten, Solar Stik’s lead for this effort, noted, “The Seahorse Key facility is collaborative space for community members and researches alike to experience and study the unique ecosystem of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The fisheries native to this habitat have supported locals for generations, and it is an honor for Solar Stik to play a small role in supporting these locals for generations, and it is an honor for Solar Stik to play a small role in supporting these efforts. ”Solar Stik is scheduled to install the LifeGuard at Seahorse Key in September 2019 and will collect data on the system throughout its many years of employment.

To learn more about the LifeGuard and other rugged power solutions, please contact Solar Stik at 800-793-4364 ext. 140 or at

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