Consolar provides solar technology for first emission-free polar station

Consolar has provided solar technology for the first ever emission free polar station in the Antarctic, the "Princess Elisabeth". The Belgian polar research station has been fitted with two solar heating systems enabling it to obtain all of it's heat, hot water and drinking water from renewable energy sources. The research station was planned, built and financed by the International Polar Foundation (IPF) and the Belgian government. In February 2009 the station started its work on researching climate change at the South Pole.

The solar thermal systems have to work in extremely tough conditions, temperatures get down to minus 50 degrees and wind speeds can reach 250kph. The sun doesn't rise in the winter and never sets in the summer.  The tube collectors installed on the station's roof provide considerably more heat than flat plate collectors even in very cold environmental conditions. The vacuum between the inner and outer tubes acts as an excellent insulator so hardly any heat is lost and the connections on the underside mean that even during violent storms the snow simply slides off. The thermal stores in the station are known for maximum efficiency and extremely low heat loss. Consolar was awarded the "Blue Angel" enviromental seal for this heat store technology.


The first solar thermal system provides hot water for use in the kitchen and bathrooms and consists of 18 TUBO 12 CPC tube collectors with three SOLUS 50L thermal heat stores. The second system generates the energy for room heating and for the 'snow melter', which melts snow to obtain drinking and industrial water. This consists of 12 TUBO 12 CPC tube collectors and a CONUS 502 thermal heat store. They were installed at the polar station by the IPF technical team, which had previously been thoroughly acquainted with the technology by Consolar in Brussels.

Read more on the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.


Why the IPF chose Consolar to supply the solar thermal equipment

"The many years of competence in the development of highly efficient solar solutions convinced us – and the products from Consolar have already shown what they can do, and have withstood the first storms without problem."

Alain Hubert, President of the International Polar Foundation.

"We are very proud to support this pioneering polar station, which is not only active in matters of climate research but is also itself a model of environment-friendly working, with our solar technology. This project shows that if it is possible to create an emissions-free building in the extreme Antarctic climate, then it is possible anywhere in the world."

Andreas Siegemund, Managing Director, Marketing and Sales for Consolar.



About the International Polar Foundation

The International Polar Foundation (IPF) is a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting research as an instrument for increasing public awareness and understanding of basic climatic mechanisms. The IPF also supports the introduction of innovative solutions for facing the long-term challenges of climate change.