Physical Plant Services

Physical Plant features a staff skilled in machinery, carpentry, welding, heavy equipment operation, repairs and fabrication.

Services Include:

Monitoring/Control Network. The Monitoring/Control Network uses programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to access the Laboratory’s Life Support Systems (LSS). Computers displaying virtual instrument panels provide remote control of research experiments, exhibits, and the Laboratory’s seawater and freshwater systems. Researchers and staff control water temperatures, flows, salinities, pressures, alarms, and key mechanical components of the LSS throughout the Laboratory and monitor meteorological and oceanographic instrumentation deployed on the Reserve. Additional sensors, controls and alarms are easily connected to the network, and secure and customized interfaces allow investigators to view the status of their experiments via LAN or internet.

Seawater System. The Laboratory’s seawater system pumps water continuously with variable flow from two 8 inch diameter PVC intake lines located about 200 ft offshore in Horseshoe Cove. Intake elevation is approximately six feet below mean low tide. Two stainless steel GOULD centrifugal pumps driven by 40 hp motors continuously provide up to 600 gallons of seawater per minute to the south and north wing storage reservoirs where the majority of the water is sand filtered to a nominal 30 microns. Seawater is distributed by gravity flow to dozens of labs and the two aquarium rooms in the north and south wings, the west wing water features and the outside pond and raceway systems. Approximately 150 gpm of temperature controlled heated and chilled seawater is made available primarily to the fish and shellfish pathology laboratories in the north wing. Unfiltered seawater is also available for researchers needing ambient plankton samples or food for filtering organisms.

Freshwater System. Researchers have access to 100 gpm of unchlorinated freshwater, filtered to 1 micron, at water temperatures from 5 to 20 degrees centigrade. A pathology wet lab can use either seawater or freshwater in a disinfection system to allow studies of pathogens.

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