Powering Remote Instrumentation in the Antarctic
The British Antarctic Survey often need to power remote instruments a long way from the nearest mains electricity connection!
These particular instruments are used to measure ozone. The ozone monitor draws around 5W when it is on, and the data is logged by a small, very low power computer that also acts as a control box telling the ozone monitor when to sample.
In the winter it will only switch on for 2 hours every three days - but sampling will be nearly continuous in the early spring. A heater is needed at times to prevent the inlet tube freezing - it draws another 5W.
A Kyocera 40W solar panel is used to provide power in the summer months, but in the winter the sun is below the horizon for three months, so a Forgen wind turbine is used to provide additional power. Forgens are exceptionally robust, and are one of the few wind turbines able to withstand the Antarctic winter.