Photovoltaics in Disaster Management
Disaster Relief; Disaster Planning; Photovoltaics
Man made or natural, disasters can happen at any time, often with little or no advance warning. Major disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, and earthquakes, can leave many people without adequate medical services, potable water, electrical service and communications. They can be as destructive as Hurricane Mitch leaving several hundred-thousand people homeless or as minor as an afternoon thunderstorm knocking down local power lines to your home. In response to a disaster, photovoltaic (solar electric) modules offer a source of quiet, safe, pollution-free electrical power. Photovoltaic (PV) power systems are capable of providing the electrical needs for vaccine refrigerators, microscopes, medical equipment, lighting, radios, fans, communications, traffic devices and other general electrical needs. Stand-alone PV systems do not require refueling and operate for long periods of time from the endless energy supplied by the sun, making them beneficial during response and recovery efforts. This report discusses the need for electrical power during a disaster, and the capability of PV to fill that need. Applications of PV power used during previous disaster relief efforts are also presented.
Disaster Planning; Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics
Florida Solar Energy Center and Young, William, "Photovoltaics in Disaster Management" (2001). FSEC Energy Research Center®. 590.