Report Number




Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics


Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other disasters can happen at any time, often with little or no advance warning. They can be as destructive as Hurricane Andrew leaving several hundred-thousand people homeless or as minor as an afternoon thunderstorm knocking down local power lines to your home. Major disasters leave many people without adequate medical services, portable water, electrical service and communications. In response to a natural disaster, photovoltaic (solar electric) modules offer a source of quite, 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 then beneficial during recovery efforts. This report is an overview of the need for electrical power during a disaster, and the capability of PV to fill that need. PV power applications used during previous disaster relief efforts are also presented. Professional paper presented at ASES conference.

Date Published



Presented at ASES Conference, Ashville, NC

Local Subjects

Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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In Copyright