Electrolux assists zero-emission Princess Elisabeth Station with free products and remote technical support. The station will run entirely on renewable energy and all efforts have been taken to optimize waste management and energy usage. In recognition of the Electrolux Group’s “green”, energy and water efficient appliances, the International Polar Foundation (IPF) approached Electrolux to supply a range of household appliances to the new station.
The Elisabeth Research Station is, in many respects, the house of the sustainable future,” says Henrik Sundström, Vice President Environmental and Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux. “If researchers can have zero emission appliances why can’t everyone? This is the perfect opportunity to test products for the future.” To support the researchers with their project, Electrolux has donated a full suite of kitchen and laundry products to cater for up to 20 staff at the station. “Food preparation is terribly important which is why we turned to Electrolux for our kitchen requirements,” adds Station Manager Johan Berte.
Among the Electrolux products housed in the Antarctic station are six washing machines, six tumble dryers, ‘A+’ refrigerators, frost-free chest freezers, double oven cookers, cooker hoods, microwaves and an ‘AAA’ dishwasher. Electrolux will also supply the staff with technical training and remote support. Several products have been specially adapted to the researchers’ needs. For example, the washing machines have been fitted with an extra large door to handle bulky polar outdoor gear while the freezers can freeze food for up to a year at -18° Celsius. The washing machines save electricity by using pre-heated water in the wash cycle.
For several years Electrolux has been driving initiatives to raise consumer awareness of energy efficient household appliances and the need to cut carbon emissions. If all European households with appliances older than ten years would change to newer, more energy efficient models, that would save around 20 million tons of CO2 emissions, 6% of the Kyoto target. “The fact that the appliances chosen for the base are sourced directly from our A class appliance ranges is exciting. It confirms that our products not only exceed current stringent rules on energy and water usage in Europe, but in Antarctica as well,” says Sundström.
Eight 6 kW wind turbines will provide nearly 90% of the energy requirements for the Princess Elisabeth Station, with solar panels providing the rest. Over reliance on solar energy would overheat the facility. “The last thing we wanted was to have to install air conditioning,” says Berte. The station will be able to recycle up to 95% of all its waste effectively due to an elaborate water waste treatment system, advanced building physics and the use of natural snow drifts for water management.
The Princess Elisabeth Station, opened on February 15, 2009 will study ice samples for clues to solve climate change. Aside from communicating and educating people about Antarctic history and the impact of global warming, the researchers are also focusing on CO2 emissions. “We want to show the world that if you can build a zero emissions facility in the forbidding climate of Antarctica, you can build them anywhere!” says Berte. More on Electrolux Antarctica project.