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Antarctica: Surviving the Polar Extreme

Princess Elizabeth Station, Antarctica 

Location: Antarctica 

System Size: 3.5kW
Modules: 14 Soluxtec 250W modules
Inverter: 2 SMA Sunny Boy WR17


Summary
Princess Elisabeth Station is a research station funded by the Belgian government in Antarctica. The site is exposed to winds of up to 300km/hour. This combined with the fact that it is only sunny for half the year and faces extreme temperatures made for very challenging conditions for a facility to run entirely on alternative energy. Architects contacted Tigo Energy to see if they would be able to address their remote monitoring concerns and help the station run as smoothly as possible.

 

The Solution
Tigo Energy’s optimizers have allowed researchers to view conditions at the site and notify them of any issues on the array. They were immediately notified when a storm blew two panels off the array, which proved to be an invaluable alert as the scientists packed two more solar modules with them when they returned to the site in summer. Keeping the station to zero-emissions is an essential part of
preserving the environment in the Antarctic. With the help of Tigo Energy optimizers, this station has produced clean, smart solar energy for over two years now.

 

Land of Eternal Sunshine
While the sun doesn't shine on this part of the world for nearly 6 months a year, the solar panels quickly make up for it once summer comes. Figure 4 above, shows the energy production of the modules at midnight on December 20th, 2012. Because the system is so far south, energy is produced 24 hours a day for several months during the summer.

 

To view a pdf version of this case study use the file below.

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