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Clean2Antarctica: Mastervolt powers expedition to the South Pole

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The Clean2Antarctica mission is to travel across Antarctica and to the South Pole in an ingenious vehicle made from collected waste plastic. The Dutch founders, Edwin and Liesbeth ter Velde, wish to discover new methods and tools for transport and every day life that use only clean technology, which can help shape a circular society and a green, liveable and clean world – a very challenging, yet much needed, initiative. Just think of the harsh conditions in Antarctica: almost 24 hours of daylight and temperatures dropping as low as -30 °C. Could Mastervolt help provide the Solar Voyager, a giant solar-powered vehicle weighing around 1,485 kilograms, with a reliable power supply? Mastervolt was happy to take on the challenge.

More information about this fantastic journey can also be found at

Advantages of the system

  • The Mastervolt components chosen for the vehicle were selected due to their ability to work well in the harsh conditions.
  • Mastervolt Lithium Ion batteries (MLI Ultra) have already proven their worth and reliability in the tough round the world Volvo Ocean Race. The extreme conditions in Antarctica made the Mastervolt Lithium Ion batteries first choice once again, so as to ensure maximum performance. Despite outside temperatures of -30 °C and a temperature of -10 °C inside the vehicle, Lithium Ion batteries can operate at full capacity without losing performance due to the temperature. The Solar Voyager high efficiency system ensures that each and every bit of daylight is used to the full.
  • The EasyView 5 control panel in the vehicle accurately tracks the solar panels' output and displays the precise charging status of the Lithium Ion batteries, preventing any surprises in the form of flat batteries.
  • When driving, the light yield is transferred directly to the Solar Voyager's electric motors via the Solar ChargeMaster 60, equipped with MPPT (maximum power point tracking) and MasterBus communication. Any unused energy is stored in the Lithium Ion batteries. This energy would be used during a blizzard or to provide an extra power boost when climbing a small incline, for example. All scenarios that might arise in Antarctica are accounted for in this simple but comprehensive Mastervolt system.
  • The Mastervolt Solar ChargeMaster is a key part of this special vehicle. The SCM60 MPPT-MB is Mastervolt's largest MPPT solar charge controller. With solar panels of 600 to 3,600 Wp, connections for 12, 24 and 48-volt battery banks and an integrated MasterBus connection, this Solar ChargeMaster is ideal for systems that require significant amounts of power in extreme conditions. The innovative technology in the Mastervolt MPPT charge controllers significantly increases the solar panels' efficiency. Compared to PWM controllers, the SCM60 MPPT-MB charges the on-board batteries up to 30% faster with the same number of panels.

Customer feedback

"During our fantastic journey, it became clear that the Mastervolt system did the job extremely well. Not once did the system let us down or enter a critical situation. Even with the solar charge regulators supplying the required power for hours on end, we didn't experience any temperature issues, precisely as indicated in the product specifications. The Mastervolt Lithium Ion batteries and the whole system produced excellent all-round performance despite the extreme cold. If any part of the Mastervolt system had failed, it would have meant the end of our expedition and could have put us in a dangerous situation, as charging the system using mains power is simply not an option in Antarctica", says Edwin ter Velde.

System drawing

Mastervolt Clean2Antarctica system

System components


The Mass 48/50 battery charger served as a back-up, and provides extra charging capacity through 230 V mains power. However, 230 V power was not available during the trip; this back-up supply was only used during trip preparations.