Green en­ergy fu­els ex­pe­di­tion to South Pole

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: With so­lar pan­els tacked to their sledges and a bio­fuel made from wood chips to keep them warm, a fa­ther and son duo will at­tempt to reach the South Pole re­ly­ing solely on green en­ergy.

Sea­soned ex­plorer Robert Swan and his 23-year-old son Barney will be­gin their eightweek, 1 000km ex­pe­di­tion on Wed­nes­day, hop­ing to show re­new­able en­ergy can work in ex­treme con­di­tions and prove a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to fos­sil fu­els.

“For the first time in his­tory we will be sur­viv­ing only on re­new­able en­ergy. It’s never been done,” po­lar veteran Swan, 61, the first per­son to walk to the North and South poles, said.

The Swans’ 5 000 daily calo­rie in­take will come from sus­tain­able and en­ergy- giv­ing foods, such as grains and al­mond bars, to help them over­come tem­per­a­tures of mi­nus 40ºC and the ob­vi­ous risks of frost­bite, al­ti­tude sick­ness and snow blind­ness.

Per­pet­ual sun­light will charge the so­lar pan­els, which will power an ice melter de­signed by Nasa, to pro­vide them with enough wa­ter for drink­ing and cook­ing.

“Wa­ter is gold down in Antarc­tica, with­out it you’re go­ing to be dy­ing pretty quickly, as Dad al­ways re­minds me,” said Barney Swan.

While their aim is to com- plete the trek us­ing just so­lar en­ergy, un­der ex­treme weather con­di­tions they’ll use an ad­vanced bio­fuel made out of wood chip waste.

“The fu­els have been tested to mi­nus 60ºC... it won’t get as cold as mi­nus 60ºC. We may get mi­nus 40ºC which is, trust me, cold enough,” the el­der Swan said. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

Ad­ven­turer Robert Swan.

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