09 Feb 2021, Off Grid Energy

Case study: Surface flux stations – MOSAiC expedition

EFOY Pro Energy Box by SFC Energy Canada being used in polar expedition by MOSAiC

Matthew Shupe, Senior Research Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

“During the expedition, we were only able to access our remote sites at infrequent intervals, but through remote monitoring we could ensure that operations were maintained at these sites. Importantly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our research vessel and all research personnel had to leave the sea ice for more than a month. During this time, the ProEnergyBox kept our systems continuously running during a very important time, allowing our ASFS to capture the important transition that occurs during the onset of the summer melt season.”

The Application

MOSAiC was a year-round expedition into the central Arctic to study climate conditions. The expedition was the first and the largest of its kind, involving 600 people, 20 countries, and 7 icebreaker ships over 389 days. From a ship trapped in the sea ice and observational sites nearby, scientists took a range of measurements to track climate data in the region.

The Challenge

The expedition required a robust (60-100 W) energy source to power the remote Atmospheric Surface Flux Stations (ASFS) deployed on the sea ice to measure energy transfer between the atmosphere and ice. It needed to operate autonomously for 1-2 months at a time in extreme central Arctic conditions.

The Solution

We developed a customized, extra rugged ProEnergyBox 4060P that uses an EFOY Pro 2400 Duo fuel cell and two 60L methanol cartridges installed in a purpose-built external housing.

The Benefits

  • 100% reliability in extreme weather conditions – Built in anti-freeze protection and automatic voltage sensing capabilities ensured the battery bank remained charged and power was available at all times. On MOSAiC, EFOY systems operated in frigid Arctic conditions that dropped to -40 degrees. The system provided the amount of power needed and the longevity of measurements required.

  • Easy installation and handling – Drop deployable, pre-packaged EFOY system, boxes and housings made for easy handing on site. The spill proof 60L and 28L fuel cartridges are easy to transport to the most remote locations — even the central Arctic!

  • Increased runtime and autonomy – EFOY Pro Fuel Cells offer fully autonomous and maintenance-free power generation. This was particularly valuable when Shupe’s team had to leave the sea ice for more than a month because of COVID-19 precautions. The ProEnergyBox kept systems running during their absence.

  • More efficient and eco-friendly power generation – EFOY Pro Fuel Cells produce power without any harmful emissions, are more efficient and consume significantly less fuel per year than various fuel gas (diesel, natural gas, propane) genset solutions.

References

As of 2020 more than 49,000 EFOY Pro solutions are deployed around the world to provide primary or back-up power to critical remote applications.

Download a PDF version of the case study here >>

Learn more at efoy-pro.com and sfc-energy.ca