Lead batteries: the power behind climate change research in Antarctica

The laboratory building with photovoltaic installed. Photo credit: Bulgarian Antarctic Institute

By International Lead Association

A remote research station in Antarctica conducting critical climate change studies is backed by lead battery energy storage.

EU-based battery supplier, Monbat Group, Sofia, Bulgaria, is supplying additional lead batteries to the photovoltaic power plant operating on the Bulgarian research base Sveti Kliment Ohridski on Livingstone Island, Antarctica. Scientists at this base are studying geology, mineral resources, glacier movements, the marine ecosystem and the effects of climate change across the region.

“The ice continent has now become the world’s largest open-air science laboratory. Scientists are looking for answers to global warming and are making discoveries that affect mankind as a whole,” commented Professor Christo Pimpirev, Head of the Mission, Sveti Kliment Ohridski.

Twenty four rechargeable lead batteries capable of operating in extremely low temperatures formed part of the initial project, which requires batteries capable of withstanding freezing weather and unpredictable requirements.

Since its opening in 1988, as energy demand and consumption have increased significantly, so has the need for reliable energy storage. A further eighty lead batteries were donated by Monbat between 2008-2021, providing uninterruptable power despite adverse weather conditions, enabling the crucial research into the effects of climate change.

Lead batteries balance power grids and save surplus energy, presenting a reliable means of improving energy efficiency and allowing for the integration of more renewable energy sources into electricity systems.

 

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