British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has installed a second loadbank from UK-based manufacturer Crestchic to secure critical data and the livelihood of scientists at two primary research stations in Antarctica.
The resistive-only loadbank provides 200kW to ensure that generators do not lose power in the acute period of the Antarctic summer and winter peak season and to protect received data.
During the summer, temperatures remain close to freezing and in the winter, temperatures drop as low as -30°C at the remote BAS research centres.
Because of the lack of an electrical grid, the data backup and safety of the scientists depends on the power of the generators at the primary stations Halley and Rothera. The second loadbank was installed at the Rothera station, after the first loadbank was delivered to Halley.
“You can’t survive here without resilient generators and we can’t afford to lose the power so the loadbanks are critical for our operation out in Antarctica,” said Mark Wales, facilities manager at BAS.
Halley, where the ozone hole was discovered in 1985, lies within an auroral zone on the Brunt Ice Shelf and is suited for “space weather” research. At Rothera, located on Adelaide Island, the BAS researches glaciology, geology, geophysics and biology.