British Antarctic Survey has bought two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for its new research building.

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RenEnergy to supply solar panels to Antarctic research base

British Antarctic Survey has bought two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for its new research building.

By Renewable Energy Focus Staff

Norfolk-based RenEnergy is supplying British Antarctic Survey (BAS) with two solar panel systems, which will be installed on a new research building at their main Antarctic base Rothera.

The new solar PV panels are part of a new Dutch science facility being built at Rothera financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

British Antarctic Survey has already installed various technologies including cavity wall installation, LED lighting and inverter driven pumps to improve its energy efficiency in one of the coldest environments in the world.

The solar panels will be installed between December 2011 and March 2012 on both sides of the roof: north and south. In contrast to the UK, where solar panels are usually installed on south facing roofs, the Antarctic experiences 24-hour sunlight during the summer months which allows BAS to generate energy for the research centre by installing solar panel systems on each sides of the roof.

BAS currently uses a 340 kW generator to meet base electrical demand so the solar panels will not produce enough electricity to significantly affect the main base, but any excess electricity generated will be exported to the base electrical network. According to RenEnergy, once the installation is complete the energy generated by the panels will offset emissions from the main generators.

Damian Baker, Managing Director for RenEnergy, says: “It has been a privilege to supply British Antarctic Survey with solar panel systems and to provide advice on how to improve their energy efficiency."

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity


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