Off-Grid solar powers Environmental Monitoring in Norway

Locations for environmental monitoring don’t get much tougher than Svalbard located between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Leading Edge was asked by the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University, UK to specify an off-grid power kit as part of a research project in Svalbard.

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Leading Edge’s expertise in specifying equipment suitable for the low temperatures experienced on the glacier was invaluable.
Dr Claire Earlie, lecturer in Coastal Processes at Cardiff University

Dr Claire Earlie, lecturer in Coastal Processes at the University, is researching the effect of extreme wave conditions on glaciers – in this remote location, the off-grid power solution needed to be rugged, easy to install and deliver power 24/7.

“Leading Edge’s expertise in specifying equipment suitable for the low temperatures experienced on the glacier was invaluable,” said Dr Claire Earlie. “Also we were able to test the off-grid power kit with our seismometer equipment at Leading Edge’s facilities ahead of shipment to Lonyearbeen in Svalbard making sure installation would be as easy as possible.”

The solution specified was a compact 70W monocrystalline solar panel and insulated pelicase housing the battery bank and control equipment. The seismology data logger is mounted to the outside of the case. Active during the summer months, the broadband seismometers and off-grid power source are sited at three different distances from where the glacier meets the sea in this nearshore hydrodynamics research project.

“Moving the equipment across the ice is tricky as there are crevasses in the surface of the glacier,” continued Dr Earlie. “It was therefore important the equipment was as lightweight and compact as possible.”

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