Lots of Wind in Antarctica; Now There Are Turbines
Read Scott's diaries. Then read Amundsen's "The South Pole," Cherry Garrard's "the Worst Journey in the World", the brilliant "Mawson's Will" and Roland Huntford's "Scott and Amundsen". You will learn that if there is one thing that there is a lot of in Antarctica besides cold, it is wind. It dominates the stories and changed the course of history. Now it is being harnessed; eight Scottish 6-kilowatt turbines are being installed at Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctic research station. They will have flywheels to buffer variations, and work together with photovoltaics and thermal solar panels on the building. Like Scott and Amundsen, they will have to survive -60 degree Celsius temperatures and winds that, quoting Cherry Garrard: "roared and howled into the ventilator let into the roof; in the more furious gusts the whole hut shook, and the pebbles picked up by the hurricane scattered themselves noisly agaist the woodwork of the southern wall. One ghastly blizzard blew for six weeks." Those turbines and flywheels will be spinning. ::Renewable Energy Access and read John's post on another wind and hydrogen powered Antarctic station named after Mawson, perhaps the most incredible Arctic explorer of them all.