The largest in Uruguay engineering company Novasol Ingenieria, together with ABB, is implementing a large-scale project to provide electricity to the ice continent. In the long term, the Artigas base in Antarctica will be 100% supplied through renewable energy sources.
For more than half a century, the Antarctic base of Uruguay receives electricity from diesel generators. In addition to difficulties in the delivery of raw materials, the use of fossil fuels has a detrimental effect on the environment. To provide the continent with difficult climatic conditions with environmentally friendly fuels, the Uruguayan company Novasol Ingenieria is implementing a project for an experimental solar installation. For successful work, it was decided to cooperate with ABB, which provided its products:
- Single-phase inverter UNO-DM-1.2-TL-PLUS-SB, 1.2 kW.
- Recording device VSN700-03.
- Communication board UNO-DM-COM.
- Weather station VSN800-14.
- DC side load switch
- Circuit breaker on the AC side.
- Connectors MC4-Evo2.
Novasol and ABB jointly tested these devices in the laboratory environment of the aggressive environment of Antarctica. The flexible capabilities of the UNO-DM-PLUS inverter allow you to remotely monitor the operation of the equipment, as well as collect data on weather conditions. The Aurora Vision® solar station management platform based on ABB inverters is used for remote monitoring. The problem with connecting to the Internet was solved thanks to two communication satellites.
Preliminary tests have ensured that Novasol successfully and timely implements the project. "We knew that in case of problems from ABB side, we can hope for support",-says Diego Oroño, project manager at Novasol.
The indicators of the pilot project inspired the specialists. The next step is the construction of a 100 kW plant in 2019. Uruguay wants to see 45% in the short term, and in the long term 100% of its electricity needs in Antarctica are covered through renewable energy sources. Strong cooperation between Novasol and ABB at the first stage gave hope for cooperation in more complex projects in the future.
Rear Admiral Nuñez, President of the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute, commented on the result: "Preliminary configuration of the system in the test environment made the installation work in Antarctica very simple".
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