We are all familiar with the electric car. But did you know that there is an electric fishing boat in Senja, and two electric airplanes in Bardu? ARC is testing and developing further possibilities within low carbon transport at these sites. We need to develop more then just ground based transport alternatives, to achieve a complete transition to an oil free society. Sea- and air alternatives are as important in the bigger picture.
The two first electric airplanes to be tested in an arctic environment were recently delivered to an airbase in Bardu, North Norway. They were baptised in the norwegian soda ‘Solo’, and taken for a first spin on the tarmac (video). But this project is not only about testing the capability of the airplanes. It is about testing the whole chain of components required to make them run on locally produced electricity. The hangar walls have been covered with solar panels and and the energy is stored on site, so that the planes can be charged without using power from the external grid. The project can be seen as a protoype of a renewable energy airport, that can be scaled up to commercial sizes, based on the information from this test.
The same goes for the fishing boat, where the bottle neck is the need for highly efficient charging stations. A boat can carry a lot of batteries, in contrast to an airplane, and the challenge is to ensure that it charges fast enough to be used in a commercial fishing schedule. This requires rethinking the backbone of the electrical system, in our case for some traditional fishing townships at Senja.
This section will be updated as the results come in, and new projects are on their way. So check back to see how things develop in these exciting explorations!