China's domestically-made unattended power supply system will provide power for the first time to Taishan station in the Antarctic inland ice sheet, its developer said.
Developed by Southeast University, the giant "power bank" left Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Tuesday to join the country's 36th Antarctic expedition.
The unattended power supply system can provide uninterrupted power to the polar region for a year, according to Wei Haikun, executive dean of the university's automation college.
The system is formed by two containers -- one for instruments and another for power generation with a tank that can store up to five tonnes of aviation oil.
Fang Shixiong, a teacher from the university who will join the expedition, said the system mainly uses oil to generate electricity, and if the condition is met, it can utilize wind and solar power to meet the power demand of scientific facilities in the Taishan station for a year.
The Taishan station sits at an altitude of around 2,600 meters and has an average annual temperature of minus 36.6 degrees Celsius.
"Due to the harsh environment, only the equipment can replace scientists to work. The latter can come to maintain the equipment and collect data on a regular basis," Fang said.