Solicase: taking power to the extremes
High tech equipment in the Sahara
Swiss-Green is one of the companies involved in making this unique spectacle a success and supplies the aptly named Solicase for the event. Solicase can best be likened to a battery-generator that provides electricity anywhere. It is a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to a gasoline generator, as it can be charged with solar energy. During this marathon, Solicase powered the equipment in the medical tent, the telecommunications tent and even the webcams. This sounds easy, but in reality it is almost as challenging as the marathon itself.
In an environment that is tortured by sandstorms, resulting in almost non-existent tracks; the challenges to simply transport Solicase are difficult. The sand, transportation shocks to equipment, combined with daily temperatures that reach over 45 degrees Celsius, demands peak performance and reliability of the equipment. It always needs to function, no matter how harsh the conditions. Because this marathon is held in such extreme and remote conditions, participants rely on the medical facilities which in themselves rely on a secure electricity supply. If for example surgery needs to be performed, monitoring equipment and basic facilities such as light are essential and must function. Staff and participants also need to be able to rely on a robust communications infrastructure. Primarily this is for assistance in the case of a search and rescue mission plus the more basic task such as the supply of goods. Besides that, power is also needed for the live webcams to connect the global audience including family, friends and sponsors of the marathon.
Always and everywhere
Solicase can provide either 1,600 or 3,000 Watts. It can be fed by either AC or solar power. In general the system comprises of batteries, a Victron Energy MultiPlus Compact and a Victron BlueSolar MPPT charge controller. The MultiPlus is a multifunctional device, combining a sine wave inverter, a sophisticated battery charger and a high-speed AC transfer switch, all in one housing. It is used to charge the batteries and/ or supply AC power to the connected consumers. The BlueSolar MPPT is an ultra-fast solar charge controller that improves energy harvest by up to 30% compared to PWM charge controllers and by up to 10% compared to slower MPPT controllers.
Solicase makes Victron Energy’s motto of: ‘Energy. Anytime. Anywhere.’ come alive!
Note: The SoliCase is now also distributed by Iland Solar going by the name BigBox.