Ice on the Rocks

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 gases.


Worldwide, Schneider 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.

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