Karel Moerman, Paul Herman and Erik Verhagen working on a wind turbine - © International Polar Foundation

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Stormy Weather Loads the Batteries

This week, the team is busy finishing everything that can be done before the ship reaches the coast, probably around Christmas. This includes all the station interior work and the maintenance of all the energy systems such as the wind turbines.

Meanwhile, the water treatment is fully operational. The water engineer Jacob Bossaer is pushing the system to its limits, which is difficult since we are too few people at the moment for the size of the installation (only 8 team members). The outside work unfortunately had to stop on Thursday afternoon, when a storm came in. Since then, everyone stayed inside and found something to do until the storm ends (not before Tuesday according to the forecasts).

On the bright side, a storm always gives a good energy production. When the batteries are full, and the wind is still blowing, the energy excess is used to compensate the lack of sun. This means feeding systems such as the snow melter, the hot water boilers, and the garage heaters. To summarize, the inhabitants of this energy efficient Antarctic station are enjoying a fairly good level of comfort at the moment, despite the current weather conditions.

Regarding the research experiment at the coast, most of the drillings that were foreseen have been done with success. The team gained experience in ice drilling for further research projects. All the results of the ice probing have been secured and are now waiting for the data analysis phase. The traverse is now in the Crown Bay area to prepare a runway for the Alfred Wegener Institute scientific project, which will use planes to scan the ice layer around the coast starting end of December.

Author: Erik Verhagen, Station Engineer

Picture: Karel Moerman, Paul Herman and Erik Verhagen working on a wind turbine - © International Polar Foundation

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