Over the last few days, enough sunlight has touched the Zero Emission station's solar panels to wake up the team of “Sunny Boys” - inverters that convert power coming from the solar panels so that it's compatible with the station's electric installation. The first Sunny Boy awoke on July 15th, along with four others. Now eight are running, a little under half of station’s total capacity.
With such a small quantity of sunlight, the solar panels aren't really producing much energy yet, but the station's smart grid is reacting to the end of the long polar night: Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is waking up.
“Actually, ten of these Sunny Boys showed up today and a few Watts where even produced for the first time after mid-May” says station engineer Erik Verhagen. "It is all going much faster than expected".
No humans will return to Princess Elisabeth Antarctica until November – but preparations are already under way for another summer season packed with scientific endeavor.
Note: Sunny Boy is a product by SMA Solar Technology AG