Eight wind turbines in Antarctica are withstanding temperatures of -60 degrees Celsius and winds of over 90 m/s. The Princess Elisabeth Station will be officially inaugurated in Antarctica on February 15th, 2009. This station is the only polar base operating entirely on renewable energies. It marks a major change as most stations rely on diesel generators because no wind turbines, until now, were thought to be robust enough for such extreme conditions.
The turbines will endure the most severe weather conditions on Earth. They will be operating in average winds of 53 mph and winter gusts of over 200mph, while still providing 230V electricity for the stations heating, computers, lights and scientific instruments. The electricity generated is expected to be the highest output of any small wind power system in the world.
Proven Energy, a Scottish based small wind turbine manufacturer, supplied the 6kW wind turbines. The turbines are designed to work in extreme environments. Previous installations have weathered ice storms in Slovenia and typhoons in Japan.
Richard Caldow, Operations manager at Proven Energy says: “This is a great credit to our company that International Polar Foundation has chosen us to work with. They recognise the confidence others have in our technology which is a testament to our product.”