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December 13, 2008 at 11:24 pm #631
A friend just sent me this ad from today’s Wellington paper…I actually hadn’t heard much about the project but it looks like they’ll be working on it this winter…
Anyone know how it is coming along?December 13, 2008 at 11:25 pm #6116December 14, 2008 at 2:44 am #6117thepooles98Keymaster
They are working full steam ahead this summer. The site grading has been done, The pads are in place and part of the wiring infrastructure is being worked on.
It’s a pretty neat concept. They are going to tie the New Zealand and US electrical systems into one grid. They have some black box gizmo that allows the US 110/60hz system to match the NZ 220/50hz system. Everything will be powered by common generating capacity. During windy times the wind turbines will provided more power than the NZ base uses and their generator will be turned off. If the grid needs more power the NZ generator only gets turned on at that time. If more is need they will start to turn on the extra small US generators.
It’s about time they tried wind here, hey?
MikeDecember 14, 2008 at 3:21 am #6118Been_ThereMember
Don’t disagree it is past time for utlilizing wind generators for producing power at McMurdo but don’t forget the USAP has been utilizing wind power for many years. Black Island was orginally set up with wind generators and now has a hybrid system of wind/PV and generators. All of the large fixed camps in the Dry Valleys use wind and PV as their primary power source. Ray at Lake Hoare only runs the generator twice a year to be sure it works. Our very green friend over the hill still use generators in the Valleys.
BTDecember 14, 2008 at 4:21 am #6119BigJakesrqMember
I’m wondering if anyone has seen the crane’s being used for installing the windmills? I looked into the size of the windmills being put in down there and they would require a very large crane and I didn’t know there was a crane that big down there. The reason this is of interest to me is because I I’m trying to get down to Mcmurdo as a crane operator. I thought there were only the 2 small tracked hydraulic cranes down there. I know it a slim chance anyone knows anything about this but hey that’s why this board is here right.
What’s going on with the board moving by the way do we have a new home picked yet?December 14, 2008 at 5:04 am #6120
I think of all that roof space on top of the new South Pole station — it’s just crying out for photovoltaic panels. And that nice, steady 10-knot katabatic breeze…December 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm #6121
I’ve read up on this a bit more, actually the project is pretty impressive, and yes, it is about time. I too would be interested in finding out how the units are rigged–especially since it is up to the US program to improve access to the sites and get the equipment there. I’m thinking that these machines, which are routinely installed in very isolated spots, can be erected using gin poles, self-erection, or something similar. I guess we won’t find out until next summer. Turns out there is an Antarctic Sun article:
As for Pole, the last serious studies were 10+ years ago…the 3kw wind turbine was there for 2 winters and worked well, although not much is known about it today. I’ve got some info along with rare photos:
The operative issue was and is “low temperature grease” which has been a sore subject on station of late particularly with anyone who uses the internet. Still, I discussed this just today at lunch with one of the AGO experts and they have that issue licked fairly well. There also were PV studies done at Pole (mentioned in the link above) at the same time (yeah, a few 50-watt panels), as a precursor to the original plans to put some on the exterior walls of the new station, but as a demonstration project it fell away by the wayside for cost reasons.
And we must remember that all 4 of the “blue buildings” at Pole were designed and purchased with solar ducted air heating panels on the exterior…these were only actually installed on the El Dorm, and the system worked…some of the panels are still in place on the IceCube lab, but they are no longer doing anything.December 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm #6122AntarcticChongMember
There are some interesting concepts and project in the wings using solar. The grey siding on the new station at Pole is suppose to be a passive solar heater or maybe solar insulator is a better description. The Solar Camp project that is on the boards is kinda cool. It is a project to replace the current Jamesways with modular units with a solar grid for electricity, solar tubs for lighting and some new fangled insulation. I saw the plans while in Denver this past spring.December 15, 2008 at 12:51 am #6123
Good article Bill.
All I know is that inside those solar privies at the Pole it can get above freezing on a nice day. Thar’s energy in them thar… uh.. sastrugis!December 16, 2008 at 12:25 am #6124Been_ThereMember
Last time I was in the loop on this project the New Zealand Antarctic Program had the responsibility for putting up the wind generators, which would mean they would have the crane and operator. Having said that, if it means bringing a crane from NZ and the USAP has a crane that could do the job, than I would not be surprised if USAP provided the crane. I am pretty certain USAP is doing some of the site prep and any rock drilling required for anchors, since USAP has the equipment. Past practice is USAP would provide the equipment and operator on an exchange to the Kiwi’s.
As far as cranes go, someone on site should be able to give you the latest on what the USAP has at McMurdo. Nothing really big.
BTDecember 19, 2008 at 1:14 am #6125thepooles98Keymaster
Haven’t seen any new cranes. Meridian power from NZ did send down a monster digger machine.December 19, 2008 at 9:02 am #6126
I’m guessing from the schedule that the crane action wouldn’t be until next summer. Still, I’m surprised that Meridian would have sent a digger down, presumably on the vessel last January, unless they had one sitting around. Is it something specialized or just another backhoe?December 20, 2008 at 8:51 am #6127BigJakesrqMember
It’s probably a pile driving/digging machine. It takes a lot of concrete and it has to be pretty deep too to support the wind mills. They’re very heavy.December 20, 2008 at 1:02 pm #6128flynpenguin74qMember
The “digger” is a Cat 330 Excavator.December 21, 2008 at 1:20 am #6129
A friend in OPs once gave me a good definition of Antarctic concrete: water mixed with gravel.
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