Sunday, December 1, 2013

Harvesting the sun - solar power - our choices:

During the expedition we will be in full autonomy for about 60 days.

This means 60 days of food, fuel, medical supplies, spares and repair materials, but also 60 days of electrical power! And todays expeditions are quite energy hungry: 

We anticipate to bring 2 satellite phones, 2 VHF radios, 3 GPS, 2 digital cameras, 2 POV cameras, a conventional video camera, and most likely also a satellite modem, a small laptop or tablet computer and MP3 players.

In order to feed the rechargeable batteries of all these devices we have choosen:

  • 2 flexible, folding solar panels based on polycrystalline CIGS technology, manufactured by Brunton:

Solaris 12 (12 Watts of power)
-Solaris 26 (26 Watts of power)

  •  2 buffer and backup batteries, which allow to regulate the charge and to store the energy harvested by our solar panels:

Tekkeon MP3450

Sustain 2

We pay utmost attention to the protection of these precious devices during the expedition. Cruise speeds easily exceeding 40 km/h under good conditions, and the rough surface of the icecap (sastrugis) put all  equipment to a test. But electronic devices are particularly vulnerable yet at the same time crucial for our  safety as we use them for navigation, weather updates and general communication. Redundancy in our power sources, power storage, but also in our devices will help us to ensure these vital functions in case of potential failure.