Wombat Forest Meteorological Station


Objectives & Site Considerations:

OzFlux is a network of micrometeorological flux stations located at various sites within Australia and New Zealand. OzFlux is part of a global network of over 500 sites where exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapour, and energy are measured continuously over long periods.

The Wombat Forest research site was established in January 2010 and is managed by The University of Melbourne in collaboration with Monash University and the Department of Sustainability and Environment of Victoria.

This site facilitates the investigation of complex ecosystem processes of the carbon, water and nutrient cycle in a dry-sclerophyll forest ecosystem that is typical for many forests in Australia. This research will help to assess the impact of future environmental change on forest ecosystems in Australia.

The Wombat Flux research site consists of a main flux tower site and three satellite sites located within 1km radius. The main flux tower site includes a 35 m tall eddy-covariance flux tower, trailer-mounted mobile laboratory, and an existing off-grid power system, located in a secured and locked compound.

The compound is in a secondary re-growth forest at about 25m canopy height, with dominant tree species Eucalyptus obliqua (messmate stringybark), Eucalyptus radiata (narrow leaf peppermint) and Eucalyptus rubida (candlebark).

Load Analysis:

Average summer demand: 3.2kWh
Average winter demand: 3.2kWh
Demand surge: 700W

System Design:

  • Victron Multiplus-II 2.2kW
  • Victron Colour Control
  • Powerplus ECOs (16kWh) with 4 module cabinet
  • Victron Bluesolar MPPT
  • DC-DC Converter
  • Earthguard
  • Solar panels and framing supplied

Project Outcome:

Given the tree canopy, the only suitable place for the solar to be installed was on the main flux tower itself. The new off-grid system would be installed inside the laboratory.