Solar 2009: Deploying Mobile PV Emergency Power Systems In A Disaster

Report Number



Disaster Relief; Disaster Planning; Photovoltaics


After a disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, utility services may be damaged or destroyed, leaving people without electricity, water, sanitation, and communication. First responders are deployed to provide food, water, medical services, shelter and other life support services. In tandem with these efforts, support has also been provided with portable photovoltaic (solar electric) power systems, from photovoltaic powered flash lights, to radios, portable power packs and generator trailers. Portable photovoltaic (PV) power systems have been carried into disasters since Hurricane Hugo in 1988. At first, only a handful of systems were deployed, as very few emergency management organizations knew about PV; but more recently, about hundred systems were deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina. This study found that mobile PV units can replace gasoline and diesel generators for temporary power in many small applications.

Date Published


Local Subjects

Disaster Planning; Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection

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