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Potential of renewable energies in an off-grid system in the high Arctic

  • This study deals with the energy situation in Ny-Ålesund, an Arctic research station on the archipelago Svalbard, and aims at analysing the technical feasability of a transition to renewable energies by taking into consideration both the environmental and climatic impediments. The analysis is based on a 27 year long collection of authentic meteorological data with all its strong fluctuations, seasonal as well as yearly. Great emphasis was put on the discussion of tried-and-tested renewable technologies that were compared to a new wind-based energy device that has yet to be tested for its reliability in the harsh environment of notably the Arctic winter. Meticulous calculations lead to the result that bifacial solar modules are an efficient means even in months when the sun stands low and their combination with wind-based devices prove to generate a maximum output. Geothermal energy seems to be promising in the region, but could not be evaluated due to a crucial lack of relevant data. The study comes to the conclusion that the research station of Ny-Ålesund could well rely on a combination of renewable energy devices to cover its energy load, but needs to keep a back-up system of diesel run generators to bridge short periods of possible dysfunctions or standstills due to meteorological circumstances. Battery storage could only contribute to solve the problem of an unfortunate interruption of the energy supply, but it cannot serve as the entire back-up system since, at present, the need would go beyond all possible dimensions.

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Author:Elena Stautzebach
Subtitle (English):Case study: Ny-Alesund
Advisor:Markus Markstaler
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of publication:2021
Publishing Institution:FH Vorarlberg (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg)
Granting Institution:FH Vorarlberg (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg)
Release Date:2021/02/23
Tag:Ecology; Polar regions; Renewable energies; Solar energy; Wind energy
Number og pages:iii, 94
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Open Access?:ja
Course of Studies:Energietechnik und Energiewirtschaft
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG - The Austrian Copyright Act applies - Es gilt das österr. Urheberrechtsgesetz