The Kluane Lake Research Station (KLRS) is proud to be powered by a hybrid-renewable energy system. This makes the station more sustainable and increases our capacity to host researchers and support instrumentation year-round.
The installation of a renewable energy system was completed at KLRS in February 2020. The system is made up of a 48.3 kW Q.ANTUM solar module array (128 solar panels), a 171 kWh lead-acid battery storage system comprised of 24 Discover Tubular Gel OPzV (stationary tubular plate) batteries, and the existing 21 kW diesel-fueled generator.
The renewable energy system in combination with the generator comprises a fully automated system that is particularly important for the winter when the sun does not break the tops of the surrounding mountains for two months. When the diesel generator is operating it meets load first, and excess generation charges the battery until a maximum state of charge (SOC), at which point the generator turns off. The generator is capable of ramping to meet any change in demand. Operating the generator in such a way, with a high load for a short period, increases the fuel efficiency of the generator. In total, the new renewable energy system is expected to reduce diesel consumption at KLRS by over 80%—equivalent to over 25,000 L of fuel per year.
The renewable energy system installation was made possible by generous donations from the Mines and Resources Energy branch of the Yukon Government's Department of Energy and the Arctic Institute of North America. Special thanks are extended to everyone at Solvest Inc., Whitehorse, for designing and installing a bespoke system that increases the capacity of KLRS to sustainably support science and research.