Solar Panels and Wind Turbines - © International Polar Foundation

in News

Preparing the Relaunch of the Station’s Systems

During the winter, Princess Elisabeth Antarctica's core systems are either idle or functioning at very low intensity. At the beginning of a new season, all systems have to be thoroughly checked before being restarted.

Erik and Karel, our electricity and smart grid specialists, have been reviewing the logs of the smart grid and related systems to see how they behaved during the winter. The next step will be to run a series of tests on the various components (wind turbines, solar panels, backup generators, circuits, batteries, etc.) to make sure everything has been tested before relaunching the systems and powering the station.

Meanwhile, Paul Herman and Jacob Bossaer, the newly hired water treatment engineer, have started the snow melter. 1700 liters of water are now available for consumption. Everybody was trained to understand how the water treatment works, because the system requires a bit of discipline from the users. The bacteria used to purify water are only able to treat so much water per day. Users thus have to track the amount of water they use in order to avoid consuming more water than the system is capable of treating. The usage of certain products is also restricted because certain chemicals can damage bacteria used in the bioreactor.

As you can see, life in Antarctica and aboard a spaceship share some interesting similarities.

Author: Jérôme Coupé

Picture: Solar Panels and Wind Turbines - © International Polar Foundation

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