Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Envirolytics™ and what do they do?

At Envirolytics™ we create, design, and deliver customized patent-pending mobile lab platforms, a van and a trailer version, as well as related inventions a heat exchanging device and an air sampling device, for scientists and equipment manufacturers through sales, lease, service, consultation, or licensing.

What are the mobile platforms, how do they differ, and what do they do?

The van or truck is a patent-pending mobile lab platform to run scientific or electronic equipment continuously for extended periods of time, unattended.  It is a field-deployable, alternate-fuel, zero emissions, solar and wind assisted mobile platform for scientific or electronic instrumentation.  As such, the platform is a device, a system, and a method for companies, researchers, and equipment manufacturers to continuously run their equipment, unattended, for extended periods of time with out the need for traditional power supplies.

There is a trailer version of the van.  It contains all the essential features of the van or truck, but it has no engine.  Rather, the trailer is moved to the research or job site for extended deployment.  Due to the larger total surface area on the trailer, additional monocrystalline solar panels are permanently placed to keep the batteries to the inverters at operational charge.  The upsizing of the trailer allows additional scientific instrumentation, batteries, and inverters to be included.

How long does it take for delivery once an order is placed?

The van or truck turn-around time is approximately 2 months. The van must be specially built by Ford in Kansas, so production is dependent upon seasonal fluctuations in demand, as well as model year production schedules.  Generally, new model year production occurs in the Summer.  Once completed, the platform is sent by rail to Dallas for alt-fuel conversion by the Westport Corporation (www.westport.com), which also has the same constraints.  Generally, Westport completes the conversion within a month.  EPA certification of the vehicle occurs only on select engine platforms.  With no major changes in the engine, year over year, an EPA certification is issued upon completion of the alt-fuel conversion.  With major changes in the engine model-line, a new EPA certification process is required, which may cause additional delay.  In consideration of all discussion above, the van or truck can usually be delivered between 6 and 9 months from order.

What does the van or truck cost and what does it include?

Prices vary depending on client customizations and options selected, as well as the numbers and types of platforms ordered in standard build times.  The base price with out any option packages or customizations is $310,000, not including taxes, licenses, or delivery.

The standard build for the van includes:

  • The most current model year 1 ton Ford Transit with medium height and long wheel base in white
  • EPA certified bi-fuel (gasoline and propane) vehicle
  • 10 AGM batteries (6-volt, 400 amp hour) in series and in parallel in a protective case
  • Two 3200 watt inverter/battery chargers
  • 680 total watts of rigid mount monocrystaline solar panels with dual charge controllers
  • UL® certified industrial control panel (AC) and a DC electrical control panel
  • High efficiency roof mounted AC unit
  • 4500 watt portable inverter, EPA and CARB certified, running on propane or gasoline, including a ramped cargo carrier
  • Multi-drawered cabinet 
  • Insulated cargo area with R-30 and 0.4mm Mylar
  • Vibration dampening, replaceable puzzle mat flooring
  • All waterproof cables, cords, hoses, and electrical connectors
  • Manuals for all components
  • One day of on-site user training and subsequent phone support (3 month)

Besides additional client customizations, the platform add-ons include the optional Science Package and the auxiliary Trailer Package.

What does the trailer cost and what does it include?

Prices vary depending on client customizations and options selected, as well as the numbers and types of platforms ordered in standard build times.  The base price with out any option packages or customizations is $275,000, not including taxes, licenses, or delivery.

The standard build for the trailer includes:

  • One white trailer (12' long, 6' high, 8' wide) Wells Cargo, Continental, or similar, with rear door ramp
  • 10 AGM batteries (6-volt, 400 amp hour) in series and in parallel in a protective case
  • Two 3200 watt inverter/battery chargers
  • 2 kilowatts of rigid mount monocrystaline solar panels with dual charge controllers
  • A wind generator
  • UL® certified industrial control panel (AC) and a DC electrical control panel
  • Two high efficiency roof mounted AC units
  • 4500 watt portable inverter, EPA and CARB certified, running on propane or gasoline
  • Two 10 gallon propane tanks (outside mount)
  • Multi-drawered cabinet 
  • Insulated cargo area with R-30 and 0.4mm Mylar
  • Vibration dampening, replaceable puzzle mat flooring
  • All waterproof cables, cords, hoses, and electrical connectors
  • Manuals for all components
  • One day of on-site user training and subsequent phone support (3 month)

Besides additional client customizations, the trailer add-on includes the optional Science Package.

Is the van or trailer for lease?

Yes, the minimum 6 month lease for the van is $20,00 per month, while the trailer is $18,500 per month, normal wear and tear provisions.  Modifications to the van or trailer require the prior written permission of Envirolytics™.  This lease option is typically reserved for academic researchers on grant proposals.  Lease options are not available outside the U.S.  The client is responsible for service maintenance and liability insurance.

What is the optional Science Package and what does it cost?

The optional Science Package in the van or trailer includes an installed LICOR 850A CO2/H2O sensor with monitor and a full function Magellan MX weather station with monitor.  Additionally, this option includes a full function, high end (chip, RAM, flash drive) 15 inch Lenovo laptop to integrate all science instrumentation.  The cost of this package is $30,000.

The Magellan MX weather station is a solid-state weather unit that calculates both “true and apparent” wind speed and direction with an ultrasonic anemometer.  Air temperature is based on a negative temperature coefficient thermistor that measures ambient air.  Relative humidity is measured with a capacitive cell humidity sensor. Barometric pressure is measured using a temperature compensated silicon piezo-resistive pressure sensor.  Magnetic compass headings use two-axis magneto-inductive sensors.  Pitch and roll angles are performed with a three-axis MEMS accelerometer.  Position, Speed, and Course over the ground employs a global positioning system (GPS) receiver.  A weather microserver and data logger allow information to be forwarded for encrypted FTP output, or stored for future retrieval.  Its rated wind speed is 134 MPH.  The Science Package also includes a 12 foot telescopic mast, which is securely mounted to the van or trailer.

The LICOR 850A measurements include:

CO2

  • Measurement range: 0-20,000 ppm
  • Accuracy
    • LI-850 Within 1.5% of reading
  • Calibration Drift
    • Zero Drift1: <0.15 ppm/°C
    • Span Drift2: <0.03%/°C
    • Total Drift at 370 ppm3: <0.4 ppm/°C
  • RMS noise at 370 ppm with 1 sec signal filtering: <1 ppm
  • Sensitivity to water vapor (LI-850 only): <0.1 ppm CO2/mmol mol-1 H2O
  • Lower limit of detection 1.5 ppm

H2O

  • Measurement range: 0-60 mmol mol-1
  • Accuracy: Better than 1.5% of reading
  • Calibration drift
    • Drift at 0 mmol mol-1: <0.003 mmol mol-1/°C
    • Span drift at 10 mmol mol-1: <0.03% mmol mol-1/°C
    • Total drift at 10 mmol mol-1: <0.009 mmol mol-1/°C
  • RMS noise at 10 mmol mol with 1 sec signal filtering: <0.01 mmol mol-1
  • Sensitivity to CO2: <0.0001 mmol mol-1 H2O/ppm CO2
What is the accessory Trailer Package and what does it cost?

The accessory Trailer Package includes a white or black trailer (4' wide, 6' long, 4' high) Wells Cargo trailer, or equivalent, with a rear ramp door when available.  The cost of this accessory is $10,000.

The trailer includes four 7-gallon DOT approved propane tanks arranged in series and in parallel with gauges and individual shut offs to accommodate "hot swapping."  An easy to read and manually adjustable pressure regulator is located inside.  Quick disconnects are provided on all tanks and hoses.  Additionally, the trailer comes with an aluminum ramp.  The floor of the trailer contains a rubber, non-skid surface.  A base for attaching the 12 foot telescopic mast is secured to the fork of the trailer for the Magellan MX weather station, if the Science Package is ordered.     

How do you switch fuel sources in the van or truck platforms?

A convenient switch in the driver’s compartment allows for manual selection "on-the-fly" from gasoline to propane fuel and vice versa.  No stops or other procedures are required.  The van or truck always starts on gasoline, then can be switched to propane if desired.

Where do I get fuel for the van or truck?

Any gasoline station can supply the regular unleaded fuel needed.  Propane can be procured from any retailer or commercial supplier.  No special tools or attachments are necessary.  Both fill ports are located on the driver’s side for easy, no-hassle fills.

Explain how the heat exchanging device eliminates condensation in air sampling lines.

The patent-pending heat exchanging device eliminates condensation by providing a high constant temperature above ambient over extended distances for air sampling lines.  Air in the sample line of the bundled hose is always higher temperature than the ambient air being sampled.  Thus, cold spots in the air sampling line, which cause condensation, are eliminated.  The device has no moving parts.  It is a bundled and insulated hose which contains three (3) tubes made of ultra-high purity PFA, or Teflon.  Two (2) process tubes in the hose are connected to the radiator system in the van or truck to recirculate the heated coolant.  A third tube in the hose, an air sampling line, is in direct physical contact with the process tubes.  This conductive heating process ensures air in the sample line is always heated.

How does the vapor collector device work and why is it important in air sampling measurements?

The patent-pending vapor collector  is a method and a device for capturing atomic and molecular vapors in air, solids, and liquids.  The collector is comprised of simple components, all fabricated into one piece. Its major design features include an Outer Vapor Collector, which is a hollow tube with perforations of various sizes toward the bottom.  Its purpose is to sample atomic and molecular vapors, while capturing detritus, like dust, leaves, rain, body fluids, and the like.  The second design feature of the device is the Inner Vapor Collector.  It, too, is a hollow tube, but with perforations of various sizes at the top.  Its purpose is to capture the air sample without any associated detritus. Finally, a connector at the base of the Inner Vapor Collector allows for the attachment of a vacuum line. This vacuum line is typically the air sampling line which leads to an appropriate mass spectrometer or other analytics device to quantify and qualify the vapors collected.  The vapor collector can be constructed of rigid, flexible, disposable, sterile, and/or reusable materials of various lengths, as long as the materials do not interfere, contaminate, interact, or compromise the air being sampled.  The vapor collector  easily attaches to the end of the a heat exchanging device, which can be installed in the van, truck, or trailer platforms. 

Wherever or whenever atomic or molecular vapors sampled need an uncontaminated source of uncondensed air for evaluating the quality of air in any sampled source, the vapor collector is the solution.

Are you a GSA provider?

No.  Presently, we are not a GSA contractor or supplier.

Will Envirolytics™ run our science or lab equipment in the field??

Through professional services contracts, Envirolytics™ has the ability to provide this as an option.

Does the van or trailer come in different colors, sizes, or configurations?

See your local Ford dealer, or go on-line at www.ford.com for a color palette.  The Transit van can be ordered in different lengths and heights, but the engine will remain the same – a 3.7 liter gasoline platform, EPA certified, to also run on propane.  The trailer can be configured to client requirements, as it has no engine.  The basic components inside the van and trailer platforms remain the same.

Are there other Ford models which can be converted and EPA certified to run on alt-fuel?

Yes, there are several engines and platforms which can be converted and certified to run on alt-fuel, including the F-150/250/350s, the F-450/550s, the F-650/750s, and others.  See the Westport Corporation (http://www.westport.com/contact/locations) in Dallas, Texas for the full line of conversion ready vehicles.

What fuel does the portable inverter use?

The portable inverter is an electric start alt-fuel platform, using either gasoline or propane.  You choose which fuel is used on start-up.  Once the preferred fuel source is depleted, the other fuel source can be manually switched to power the portable inverter.  The portable inverter is connected to the SciArk® or Scilab® through water proof cables. The inverter automatically starts and stops once client selected set points are reached in the battery bank.

How is the portable inverter transported?

The portable inverter can be safely transported either in the SciArk®, on a carrier (with a ramp) attached to the back of the SciArk®, or in the tow-behind trailer.  The portable inverter CAN NOT run from inside the tow-behind trailer, or within the SciArk® or SciLab®, for safety reasons.  A 25 foot propane hose is provided with each portable inverter.

How long will the portable inverter run?

The portable inverter will run as long as there is a fuel (gas and/or propane) supply.  The number, type, and load requirements of instruments used will determine the number of hours the portable inverter will run on gasoline, as well as the availability supplemental gasoline supplies.  At quarter load, the inverter will run for 15+ hours on a full tank of gas.  When the portable inverter is running on a propane, the tank supply in the pull-behind trailer determines the run time, which can be significantly longer, but produces less organic emissions.  A breaker inside the AC panel of the SciArk® or SciLab® can be adjusted to limit the run time of the portable inverter.  Finally, the portable inverter is equipped with an auto-start feature whenever the battery array inside the SciArk® or SciLab® reaches low charge of 11.4 VDC.  Once the battery array has reached full charge of 13.4 VDC, the portable inverter automatically shuts down until needed again - power on demand.

How much propane is in the portable trailer?

The client determines the size of the trailer and, therefore, the number and size of propane tanks to supply the portable inverter.  With the auxiliary Trailer Package,  there are four 7-gallon propane tanks, arranged in series and in parallel.  Each tank has a gauge and all connections have quick disconnects.  Any or all of the tanks can be put in service at client discretion.  If used in series, empty tanks can be hot-swapped” without interrupting the operation of the portable inverter.  The trailer is insulated to minimize tank expansion during high heat operations.

What is the power output of the portable inverter?

The portable (pure sine wave) inverter/battery charger provides 4500 Watts of maximum output with 4000 watts of continuous output, producing 37.5 amps @120 volts.  Two independent circuits rated at 20 amps and 30 amps provide a sufficient supplemental power supply to the van, truck, or trailer platforms when conventional shore power is unavailable.  The inverter is an electric start, low decibel (52-60), brushless, air-cooled, 4-stroke, EPA and CARB certified, alt-fuel powerplant. 

Can I connect the portable inverter to the van or truck for a propane fuel supply?

No.  For safety reasons the 21-gallon propane tank installed in the van or truck is only used as a clean fuel option to propel the vehicle on roadways.  The auxiliary trailer, which can be towed behind the van or truck, or purchased separately with the trailer platform, provides DOT approved propane tanks with fuel for the portable inverter.

How is the weather station mounted?

As part of the Science Package, the adjustable height weather station can be roof mounted, side mast-mounted, or free-standing.  All three options permit the easy removal of the weather station sensor head.  Total extended height of of the telescopic mast, excluding the weather station sensor, is 12 feet.  Additionally, the telescopic mast can be mounted to the auxiliary trailer, or to the receiver hitch on the van or truck.

How much power is produced by the inverters inside the van, truck, or trailer platform?

Each of the two (2) inverters produces 3200 Watts (120 volts of 60 Hertz, 30 amps) of pure sine wave power.  The surge capacity of each unit is 6400 watts and 53.4 amps for 3 seconds.  Additionally, the inverter is a battery charger, keeping the AGM battery bank, inside the van, truck, or trailer platform, with operating charge at all times.

How many batteries are in the van, truck, or trailer platforms and what is their capacity?

There are 10 AGM batteries, enclosed, insulated, and protected in an aluminum case, inside the cargo area of the van, truck, or trailer platform.  Each 6-volt telecom battery is connected in series and in parallel, producing a 12-volt system which is used to power sensors and the 120-volt inverters.  Each of the 10 batteries is rated at 400 amp-hours of output, more than sufficient to power the inverters under load from multiple pieces of 120 volt electronics.  Battery charge is maintained by traditional shore power supplies, on-board inverters, portable sine wave inverter, and solar panels, or the optional 2nd alternator or the optional wind turbine should environmental conditions dictate.  For example, winters in Antarctica may benefit more from a wind turbine.  In any case, sufficient, redundant, and continuous power is always available when needed.  Additional batteries compliments can be added to the trailer upon client request.

How many solar panels can be installed on the van and how much power do they generate?

The configuration of monocrystalline solar panels includes three (3) 170-watt panels on the roof, as well as a 170 and a 115 watt panel on the driver’s side, all rigidly attached to the body of the van or truck.

A maximum of 795 watts (66 amps/hr. at 120 volts) can be generated from this array.  The roof panels and the side panels each have their own dual battery charge controller.  Cargo batteries are charged on one circuit of the dual battery charge controller, while the two (2) AGM batteries for starting the vehicle are kept charged on the other circuit of the dual battery charge controller – never a dead battery when you turn the key to start the van or truck.  Additionally, free-standing solar panels can be daisy-chained to the existing van or truck configuration.  Larger models of the Ford Transit can accommodate more solar panels.  The trailer platform can incorporate large numbers of solar panels due to increased surface area.      

Will the roof mounted air conditioner deplete your cargo batteries in the summer?

Two ultra-high efficiency air conditioners are used in the van or truck and most versions of the trailer platform. At 13,500 BTUs each unit draws 10.2 amps at 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with +1 amps for each 5 degrees of increase.  Start-up of the AC unit is regulated at 14.3 amps.  Under extreme high heat conditions, the AC units are amply sized and sufficiently powered to cool the 357 cubic foot cargo area in the van.   

What type of towing capacity do I need for the trailer platform?

All finished trailers will be weighed on certified scales, prior to delivery to the client.  The client is responsible for ensuring their vehicle can tow the weight of the platform safely.  As a rule of thumb, standard builds for the trailer can be towed with many Ford F-250s and with most F-350s.       

At Envirolytics™ we design, create, and deliver customized mobile lab platforms and related inventions. Whether through sales, services, or consultations, our mission is to:

  • Provide our customers with options to make their equipment mobile
  • Contribute to research and development of new technologies and novel scientific applications
  • Support the national defense and security of the U.S. and our allies
  • Improve the health, safety, and welfare of others
  • Promote a renewable and sustainable environment