A company originally founded in Watson Lake, Yukon has developed a portable solar+storage system with foldable panels to serve extremely cold remote locations.
SEI Logistics, now based in Merritt, British Columbia, first developed the new system for the fossil industry, PV Magazine reports. But it’s easy to imagine a wider market for a durable, off-grid renewable energy system, and SEI has recently been in the news with an installation for a remote gold mine and a partnership with the Liard First Nation to produce drinking water by gathering moisture from the air, then purifying it with UV light.
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The portable solar system uses a military-grade case and onboard heater to keep the lithium-ion batteries warm enough to function well in permafrost areas, with more of the power from the panels diverted to the heater when temperatures plummet, the news story states.
“The foldable module design of the solar panels was developed so that the off-grid solution could be easily transported and set up anywhere,” PV Magazine says. “Technical challenges included how small and light the structure could become without compromising sturdiness and performance, and how to reduce the number of components without leaving panels vulnerable to high winds.”
PV Mag writes that the solar+storage system is the kind of technology that could qualify for the federal investment tax credits announced earlier this year in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s fall economic statement, as well as the federal government’s more established Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program.
“When you’re faced with overcoming challenges as great as these are, having access to this kind of funding is invaluable. Knowing we can rely on SR&ED has completely energized our whole approach to innovation,” said SEI Logistics founder and CEO Eric Little.
“The benefits it brings mean we’re investing more in R&D than ever before.”