The EKO sun-tracker, model STR-22G, was selected for its reliability and durability by the JMA Antarctic Observation project in 2004. Two sun-trackers are permanently deployed under extreme ...
The EKO sun-tracker, model STR-22G, was selected for its reliability and durability by the JMA Antarctic Observation project in 2004. Two sun-trackers are permanently deployed under extreme weather condtions at the Showa Station in Antarctic region ever since. We asked Mr. Mori from the Office of Antarctic Observation at the Japan Meteorological Agency how the sun tracker performed under the most extreme weather conditions.
Mr. Mori explained how they are very satisfied with the two EKO sun-tracker systems which are deployed on-site. One of the great advantages of STR-22 is its reliabity and durability. The compact sun-tracker is very rugged and greatly performs under severe temperatures. Mr. Mori reported that one sun-trackers is used for Direct Normal Irradiance and Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance measurement, and a second unit serves for Long Wave Radiation and Atmospheric Turbidity measurements.
Even though the EKO sun-trackers don't require any regular maintenance, the trackers for the Antarctic project were serviced on a routine basis. The research site is very remote which makes the logistics more difficult. To ensure a year-round operation with zero down-time, there is one extra unit on-site for incidental back-up. A fourth sun-tracker is kept a the EKO service center in Tokyo for a periodic maintenance check. There are a total of 4 units of Sun trackers used in Antarctica observation project. EKO Instruments performs a periodic maintenance check by exchange of one unit every year. The harmonic gears inside the STR-22G have proven to be most durable and smooth running after 14 years.
EKO is committed to develop the best, most stable and reliable products to be deployed under harsh weather conditions. This way EKO could contribute to Antarctic observation project and we like to specially thank Mr. Mori and the people of the Antarctic observation station for their valuable feedback and good partnership.
(Photo provided by Office of Antarctic Observation, Japan Meteorological Agency)