The Antarctic solar PV installation | Photo: Getek

Solar Fuel Saver in Antarctica

Solar Diesel Hybrid system design

Troll is a research station located at Jutulsessen, 235 kilometers (146 mi) from the coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The station is located on the nunatak bare ground area Jutulsessen, at 1,270 meters (4,170 ft) above mean sea level. It is completely surrounded by the Antarctic ice sheet.

Prior to the solar installation, the station ran entirely on diesel which had to be imported at great expense for the station. Installing a PV array and batteries has enabled the station to reduce its diesel requirements by up to 50%.

Scope of work

The primary goal of the project was the design and feasibility assessment of a functional “fuel saver” Solar PV system (with electricity storage) that can:

  • Increase energy autonomy and reduce the need for fuel logistics;
  • Withstand extremely low temperatures, high snow loads and powerful polar wind blasts; and
  • Maximize solar harvest according to the load profile.

The load from the Troll station is a constant 165kW (incl.30kW thermal). Given the extremely high cost of diesel at this location, the goal was to maximize PV penetration without compromising system stability. The analysis concluded that the ideal solution was to build a 762,5kWp (4100m2) array with a battery capacity of 3,840kWh. It was found that this solution would have a payback period of slightly more than 6 years.

Our services

  • Integration of Solar Power in combination with diesel aggregates and batteries
  • Preliminary study
  • Review of the actual energy system, assessment of the solar resources, design and simulation
  • Winterisation factors
  • Cost estimation