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The new Princess Elisabeth station is the delicate flower of Antarctic buildings: small, beautiful, efficient, and blooming only in summer. Designed to be the first carbon-free facility on The Ice, the station employs a sophisticated energy-management system that makes the most of the limited power generated by its 52-kilowatt solar array and 54-kilowatt wind-turbine cluster. The station assigns a priority level to every piece of equipment and electric outlet in the building. Life-support systems and research gear trump dishwashers and portable electronics. In other words, don’t plug in your iPod without asking the station’s brain first.
South African National Antarctic Expedition