Generating power in extreme and remote locations has unique challenges and takes careful consideration. These areas rarely are connected to a reliable grid and many traditional means of power generation can’t perform efficiently under extreme conditions and weather. But, those living and working in these locations still expect their power to be stable without the need for consistent maintenance.
This is true regardless of whether the location is occupied by a small outpost or an entire community.
Most importantly, power generation needs to be done in an efficient and affordable manner. While this can be a challenging problem to solve, it is not impossible. And thanks to advancements in technology, it is becoming a more manageable problem to solve.
For those communities looking to solve their power needs, we wanted to take the time to discuss the needs and solutions at your disposal.
Requirements for power generation in remote locations
Power grids supply large and constant voltages of electricity to those within their network making power easily accessible. Those who live off the grid are tasked with finding a solution but without the major infrastructure. There are many solutions for this, but those living in extreme conditions are limited to the solutions available to them.
Remote locations require strategic solutions to ensure stable and reliable energy that meets their specific energy needs. This means that there are things to consider when finding a power generation solution.
Efficient under extreme conditions
Many power sources will lose efficiency or cease to work in prolonged exposure to extreme weather or climates. This means that the energy solutions have to be able to withstand the area’s unique conditions or else suffer through unreliable energy output or constant maintenance.
Renewable and Economically Viable Energy
Traditionally, remote communities were powered mainly by fossil fuel-based energy sources such as diesel. Not only was this a “dirty” form of energy, but it is also not the most economically viable way to power an area. With the advancements in technology, these communities can now consider power sources that utilize renewable, clean and energy-efficient sources.
Power sources are generally not easily accessible in remote locations. This means that the power source needs to function with minimal human interaction. It would be unrealistic for a community to provide consistent maintenance again and again. Power generation should come from a solution that involves little to no maintenance throughout the year.
Solutions for generating power in extreme locations
Remote areas are limited by their requirements but there are still solutions available. As technology has advanced, it has created more sustainable and efficient opportunities for people in these areas. When looking to provide power or upgrade to a more efficient system, there are various solutions to choose from.
- Solar Panels
- Wind Turbines
- Microgrids and Hybrid Power Solutions
Each one of these power sources has its own applications, benefits and downsides as some will work in better conditions than others. Finding the right solution comes down to each community’s individual needs and current and future energy goals.
As fuel cell technology has advanced we have found great success in creating generators that utilize solid oxide fuel cells. This provides a reliable source of energy for all areas but with improved efficiency compared to traditional generators.
How solid oxide fuel cell generators help solve the remote power generation problem
Generators are one of the most common solutions for remote power and for good reason. They are affordable, readily available and reliable.
The biggest problem with generators traditionally has been the use of diesel fuel as the main power source. Fuel usage can become very expensive in remote areas and it is not the most efficient source of energy.
However, by utilizing solid oxide fuel cells, generators become efficient and effective power generation solutions for communities in remote areas in extreme conditions. Here’s why:
- High performance in extreme conditions and temperatures
- Fuel flexible
- Low maintenance
- Provides Clean energy
The downside to traditional fuel generators like diesel is that they lack efficiency and the ability to maintain performance in extreme conditions. For some communities, diesel usage can become expensive and there are environmental risks associated with using it.
Solid oxide fuel cell generators on the other hand offer a more sustainable and scalable option for remote power generation.
Best of all, solid oxide fuel cells are adaptable and can be used for a number of various applications. At SPS, we have been able to innovate and create specialized solutions with the use of this technology.
Are you looking into unique power generation solutions for your community or location? Contact us and we can discuss your unique situation and if we can provide a solution that makes sense.
(See one of our functioning generators in the video below)