Portable solar energy could play a role in bringing clean water and electricity to the survivors of the recent devastating floods in Pakistan, including an estimated 3.5 million children who are exposed to water borne diseases. The solar power flood relief project has been proposed by ACS Energy Advisors and WorldWater & Solar Technologies, Inc., which has come up with a line of portable electricity generators that use solar energy to purify water and run essential disaster relief equipment equipment such as lights, power tools, and communications gear.
Portable Solar Power for Flood Victims
WorldWater calls its line of solar generators Mobile Max, and this week the Clinton Global Initiative recognized ACS and WorldWater for the contribution of Mobile MaxPure units to the Punjab and Khyber regions of Pakistan. The commitment of four years is intended to provide long term infrastructure improvements through solar energy, as well to assist in recovery efforts. The MaxPure can process seawater as well as fresh or brackish water, with a maximum capacity of 30,000 gallons daily. As for portability, the units are designed to pack into seven-foot cubes that can be airlifted where needed, in addition to being hauled over land or water.
Portable Solar Power, Disaster Relief and the U.S. Military
The U.S. Navy foresees an increasing demand for its disaster relief services, directly as a result of climate change and potentially as a result of conflicts related to climate change. It has been field-testing a high efficiency portable desalination unit that runs on conventional fuel, but could be adapted for solar energy. Not to be outdone, the U.S. Air Force has commissioned a mobile solar energy generator that fits into a standard shipping container, the Marines are using suitcase-sized portable solar arrays, and the Army has developed flexible solar panels in a backpack, which can be used to charge batteries in the field. These devices were developed for military use but also have potential for supplying emission-free energy to remote areas in disaster relief, providing the twin benefits of cheap, renewable energy while freeing transportation resources from the burden of conventional fuel supply.
Image (altered): Flood in Pakistan by DVIDSHUB on flickrcom.
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