Report Number




Disaster Relief; PV Power Supplies; Photovoltaics


Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and tornados, can happen at any time, destroying homes and businesses. One such disaster, Hurricane Andrew, devastated South Florida in 1992, leaving several hundred thousand people homeless. Many people were without electrical service, functional water and sewage systems, communications and medical services for days and weeks in the aftermath of the storm. Emergency management teams, the military, and countless public and private organizations staged a massive relief effort.

In response to the Hurricane Andrew disaster, the staff at the Florida Solar Energy Center, with assistance from Sandia National Laboratories, transported PV-powered equipment to Miami to help with the relief effort. The PV systems generated power at temporary medical shelters and emergency communication stations during the weeks after the storm. Electricity generated by the solar cells was used for vaccine refrigerators, lights, radios, and for other general electrical needs. Solar is an environmentally benign, inexhaustible source of energy. Solar generators in the form of photovoltaic (PV) cells generate quiet, pollution-free electrical power. PV systems can be designed and sized for varying needs. The systems can be modular, so small systems can be easily expanded to create larger systems. The length of operation poses no problem since refueling is not required for a system properly designed.

Date Published


Local Subjects

Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics; PV Power Supplies


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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