Sustainable energy production in the Antarctic
The Norwegian Troll research station began using a PV system with 7.3 kW rated power in March 2016, making it less dependent on the diesel generators it has been relying on up till now. The newly installed PV modules at the all-year base camp Troll Green Station have to withstand temperatures as low as -60 °C and wind speeds of over 280 km/h. But despite the harsh weather conditions, the Antarctic has average solar irradiation values that are comparable to the values in northern Germany, for example. This is due in part to the Antarctic summer, during which the sun can even shine 24 hours a day.
The NeON 2 photovoltaic modules are manufactured by LG and were installed using a specially adapted mounting system on the roof of the station building Blåbo-I. The V-shaped mounting system with aluminium rails is manufactured by the German company AmbiVolt Energietechnik GmbH. The Norwegian company GETEK AS, which specialises in solar solutions for extreme climates, designed the technical infrastructure that feeds the generated solar power into the Troll research station's grid. The goal: very environmentally friendly research.
The research station, where up to 40 researchers live and work during the Antarctic summer, is already designed to minimise its ecological footprint. The station's container modules are very energy-efficient, and excess heat from the generators is used for heating and for thawing snow and ice to produce drinking water.