Solar & Wind Drive Fully Functional Smart Microgrid
By bringing together international technology and expertise, the Antarctic research station “Princess Elisabeth” combines eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use (sourced from wind and solar), optimization of the station’s energy consumption and the best waste management techniques to achieve a major global first, while Australian green technology company, Solar-Gem, is winning awards and contracts for its revolutionary approach to solar generation.
A Historical Handover in Antarctica
The International Polar Foundation and partners Laborelec and Schneider Electric bring the Princess Elisabeth Station to “zero emission”
We are pleased to announce the handover of the fully functional smart microgrid inside the Princess Elisabeth Station to the International Polar Foundation (IPF). After successful completion of the final tests of all systems, the Princess Elisabeth Station now operates solely on renewable energies, achieving a major first.
This innovative energy management system, designed and implemented by Laborelec, a subsidiary of Electrabel and one of the research centres of GDF SUEZ Research & Innovation division, rests on a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), the “brain” of the station, developed by Schneider Electric.
By continuously managing energy offer and demand, and prioritizing energy needs within the station, the PLC helps achieving best energy efficiency.
Princess Elisabeth Antarctica can meet its energy needs with an installed power only one-tenth of commonly accepted standards. This feat allows it to rely solely on renewable energies and thus achieve its “zero emission” operational target.
Using available technologies to produce and control energy, the IPF and partners Laborelec and Schneider Electric have succeeded in designing a new way to manage power in an energy autonomous building. Their joint achievement sets new standards in terms of energy efficiency and management.
It redefines the concept of energy consumption by devising a system distributing available resources according to priorities, instead of endlessly supplying energy to meet an uncontrolled demand.
At the end of this Antarctic summer season, a new satellite link will grant remote access to the PLC. The Princess Elisabeth Station will then be monitored online. All its energy-related systems will be managed and adjusted remotely throughout the winter season.
Achieving this milestone in energy management for Antarctic research stations has been made possible by the joint efforts of the International Polar Foundation, Laborelec-GDF Suez, and Schneider Electric.
International Polar Foundation (IPF):
The International Polar Foundation is a public utility foundation, which aims to promote polar research as a tool for raising public awareness and fostering understanding of the fundamental mechanics of our climate.
The IPF also encourages the adoption of innovative solutions that will enable us to respond in a sustainable manner to the challenges associated with climate change.
This project is a major first: the only polar base operating entirely on renewable energies! Wind and solar. This represents a technical achievement blending the best both science and technology can offer.
By bringing together international technology and expertise, “Princess Elisabeth” will combine eco-friendly construction materials, clean and efficient energy use (sourced from wind and solar), optimization of the station’s energy consumption and the best waste management techniques.
These leading techniques and facilities will aim to reduce the station’s ecological footprint on the pristine environment of Antarctica, following the principles set forth by the Antarctic Treaty..
Also appeared on Sky Business Eco Report:
Australian green technology company, Solar-Gem, has been given a major boost in the US after it took first place honours at an Innovation Shootout competition held at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus.
The Shootout, which is aimed at showcasing Australian technologies to venture capitalists for global commercialisation, saw Solar Gem win out over six Australian competitors — Digisensory, Intelliguard, Mid-Comp International, MultiTrode, Synengco, and Zarloc.
Solar Gem’s technology seeks to provide affordable off-grid energy based on clean solar power systems, particularly to developing nations without electricity and lighting for their rural and regional populations.
Under the Shoot-Out participants were allotted five minutes to convince a panel of Microsoft staff, Silicon Valley venture capitalists and industry analysts that their technology had potential for success in the US.
The Shootout is part of the G’Day USA week. Austrade’s San Francisco-based senior trade commissioner, Nigel Warren, said the event showcased the Australian innovation and promoted business collaboration between Australia and the US.
In January 2010, Solar-Gem the Australian Solar Powered Off-Grid Lighting Company announced it had shipped product samples to the democratic Republic of Congo for use as emergency lighting in hospitals and clinics.
The systems consists of Solar-Gem SGL-1 high-efficiency LED lighing modules coupled to the SGC-1 12V maximum power point tracking charge controller and SGP-32 32W flexible solar panels.
The system will initially be deployed in Kinshasa for testing and training and then relocated to a regional medical facility. The system will provide emergency lighting for operating theatres.
In June 2009 Solar-Gem announced that it had Australian Solar Technology lights up village life at Indian heritage site:
Sydney based company, Solar-Gem Pty Ltd, has won the rights to light up a village at the world famous Indian heritage site of Elephanta Caves off the coast of Mumbai with its unique solar powered LED lighting technology.
In a significant step towards successfully entering the Indian market, Solar-Gem has signed an MOU with Science and Technology Park (STP) based in Pune, India to conduct the trial with the Solar-Gem solar powered LED lighting solution. STP is an Indian Government research and technology centre renowned for its leading role in introducing new technologies to projects in the Sub-Continent.
CEO Khimji Vaghjiani said “this was a great step forward towards providing efficient renewable energy based lighting in both developed and developing markets. The Solar-Gem solution will replace dangerous and expensive kerosene and candle lighting used in villages and assist developing nations in reducing their carbon footprint and reliance on grid connected power.”
Khimji said “the MOU with STP was testimony to the fact that the Solar-Gem solution was economically and technologically suitable for the needs of developing countries.”