Straumnes Air Station, Westfjords, Iceland (Latitude 66.440607) – October 22, 2020 – Noted wind power startup IceWind is deploying its new Njord series wind turbine just nine miles below the Arctic Circle on the site of the former U.S. Air Force’s Straumnes Air Station in the Westfjords region of Iceland. The air station monitored Soviet maneuvers in the strategic Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap during the Cold War. The IceWind RW100 (aka Njord) turbine will power an autonomous emergency beacon operated by the Icelandic Coast Guard (Landhelgisgæsla Íslands) there.
Straumnes is known for its extreme weather. In fact, five prior attempts have been made to run the site on wind energy, all of them unsuccessful. Wind gusts break apart lesser turbines and none have lasted for an entire winter. IceWind turbines, on the other hand, are engineered to provide reliable power in the most extreme Arctic environments.
The site has a 30W emergency transmitter that needs to run 24 hours a day all year and cannot go off-line. The total power consumption of the system is around 100W. For a vast majority of its lifespan the site has been run on diesel. Solar panels were incorporated in the last ten years to power the station during summer months.
At Straumnes Air Station the wind is known to reach 157 mph – blowing from all directions because of turbulence created by the near-vertical drop on the sides of the mountain the station is on top of. Average wind speed is estimated to be well over 22 mph.
The IceWind Njord turbine installed at Straumnes is made from stainless steel, carbon fiber and aluminum. It will be placed on a concrete platform 26m away from the main power system and will be connected to location’s existing energy system of batteries, solar panels and a diesel engine.
IceWind designs and manufactures robust omni-directional micro vertical-axis wind turbines and other hybrid energy solutions to power telecom towers, and weather and seismic stations, for on-grid and off-grid applications. All products are designed and tested in Iceland, one of the windiest places on earth.
The Njord (RW-series) wind turbines are built to be mounted on commercial towers, and reduce operational costs through an increase in backup power time and reliability, as well as reduced maintenance and failures, minimizing total downtime, and carbon emissions, along with savings from the vastly reduced service and refueling calls needed by diesel generators.
IceWind USA President Daryl Losaw, a USAF veteran, notes, “We are very excited to be working with the Icelandic Coast Guard on this installation and are hopeful that it will be the first of many Arctic region installations of our robust carbon free technology.”
Noted Arctic expert Robert Gerber, the former Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy in Reykjavik, and an IceWind advisor, adds, “With our understanding of the power needs in Arctic locations we are thrilled to be part of a critical infrastructure power solution that is also good for the planet.”