|System||Solar and Wind.|
|Location||North Ridge of Utsteinen nunatak in Dronning Maud Land,
East Antarctica (71° 57' S, 23° 20' E).
Distance to coast: 190 km
Distance to nearest base: 500 km
Research opportunities: Sør Rondane Mountains, glaciers, coast and the Antarctic Plateau
|Description||With a commission from the Belgian government, the
Antarctic Research Station Princess Elisabeth was designed, built and
financed, with the help of public and private sponsors, by the
International Polar Foundation. Designed with an emphasis on
sustainable technologies and minimization of its environmental impact,
Princess Elisabeth Station will rely solely on renewable energy from
wind and solar supply. The different subsystems (wind turbines,
photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors) function separately
or combined depending on the demands and circumstances. An intelligent
and robust control system of industrial type monitors the energy demand
and production and steers the different processes. To anticipate power
peaks, the control system use "switch-off" or "power on" sequences for
non-critical items (battery chargers, freezers, water
"Zero Emission"Princess Elisabeth will be the first "zero emission" facility in Antarctica. It is the only polar research station to be conceived and built to operate entirely on renewable energies. The Princess Elisabeth Station will achieve high standards for functionality, safety and minimum environmental impact.
Installed Power Overview
Total yearly production: +/- 140 MWh/year
Water Treatment Unit100% of used water is recycled, 75% of which is used a second time
A Passive BuildingThe station’s skin, insulation, shape, orientation and window disposition allow a comfortable ambient temperature to be maintained inside the building with little energy input. Sophisticated ventilation and air circulation systems are an integral part of temperature management. The Princess Elisabeth station was conceived to take full advantage of currently available passive building techniques.
Each of the 160 C-shaped side panels composing the walls of the station are made up of 8 consecutive layers, totalling 60 cm in thickness. The insulation layer itself, lightweight expanded polystyrene, is 40 cm thick.
Intelligent SystemsThe electrical systems of the station were designed to be as energy-efficient as possible given the requirements of operating an Antarctic research station and the demands of working in the harsh polar environment. All station systems are integrated and piloted by an intelligent central unit. This configuration will ensure that working and living conditions inside the station are optimised with minimal resource consumption.
Energy management of the station will consist of maintaining the equilibrium of the entire network between the energy produced and the energy used in the station. Efficient use of the energy produced by the solar photovoltaic panels and the wind turbines is monitored and controlled using a smart grid system. This centralised control of interdependent systems also allows for remote monitoring during the winter.
In order to store energy and help regulate energy usage and stabilise the electrical grid, four double, valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) OpZv 1000 battery packs will be used in the station. Each battery pack will have 24 battery unit elements with an electric potential of approximately 2 V each.
Energy Produced and Energy Consumed
A specifically designed smart grid using a high-performance PLC controller has thus been installed inside the Princess Elisabeth Station to manage the energy consumers in balance with the Station's energy production by means of intelligent prioritizing.
Whereas a conventional mini-grid can feed 3-times more installed consumers than the average energy production can support, the smart grid used at the Princess Elisabeth Station takes this one step further: it is able to work 10-times more installed consumers than the Station's average energy production.
Contact:Ms. Nighat Amin, Program Administrator of the Princess Elisabeth Station project
International Polar Foundation
Rue des Deux Gares, Tweestationsstraat 120 A
Tel : + 32 2 543 06 98
IPF Website : http://www.polarfoundation.org
Princess Elisabeth Station Official Website: http://www.antarcticstation.org