Ice on the Rocks
So Antarctica is thawing. How can that be? After all, winter temperatures there plummet to 76 below and winds blow in at 115 mph. According to new findings,
the continent's interior and eastern regions are holding their own. But
West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula lost nearly 200 billion
metric tons of ice in 2006 alone. Sure, everyone points to global
warming, but can anyone do anything about it?
Enter Schneider Electric. This NEMA member has partnered with the International Polar Foundation to design and launch Princess Elisabeth scientific research station, the first zero emission
installation in the Antarctic. This two-story, 700 m² installation will
accommodate 20 people with kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms,
laboratory, storage, infirmary, offices, and control room. An adjacent
garage will house vehicles and equipment.
What does this mean?
Sun and wind will supply the station with the energy it needs—48kW from
eight wind generators and 109.5 m² of photovoltaic solar panels.
Plumbing, ventilation, bioreactor, and batteries necessary to store
generated electricity will be located in the middle of the building’s
main floor. Heating will be supplied by a system that brings together
passive solar and co-generation by recycling thermal radiation emitted
by the station’s energy core, the computers, lighting, and even human
presence. This precludes all emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse
Electric's energy services, solutions, and products actively reduce
50,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Say what you will about global warming. The Princess is an incredible application of science and creativity.
01-17-2008 7:11 AM