Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Apr 07

PowerMod: To the Rescue

Posted in Energy Inventions | Photovoltaic Cells | Solar Power

PowerMod Think of the earthquake that happened at Tahiti, or havoc-provoking typhoons like Katrina; or the recent plane crash that took so many lives. With man-made or natural disasters occurring unexpectedly at all corners of earth, there has been a sharp demand for dependable portable energy sources that can make rescue efforts a lot easier and more successful. And to that effect, arrives PowerMod – the new portable solar tent ready to help in relief work to victims of disaster.

Hazards of conventional energy sources

Think of the trouble and hazards in transporting conventional fuel. And the high cost of procuring and storing the fuel only adds to the scenario – more so when you envision the spills, leaks, poisonous emissions and fire hazards! The noise of generator adding to the melee and trauma borne by the victims only reinforces high unsuitability of conventional fuel for rescue work.

Renewable energy sources for relief work

Today unconventional and renewable power sources are viable options for rescue work energy needs. They are available at a minimum cost and do not have the hazards that the conventional fuel normally present. With both solar energy and wind energy are now becoming more portable, no wonder, the latest kid in the block for helping in rescue work is the portable solar tent.

Features of PowerMod

PowerMod is a simplest kind of shelter – a 20×20 foot roof of flexible panel. The flexible panel is made by integrating FTL Solar lightweight fabric and Ascent Solar‘s thin-film solar cells. It is supported in the center by a pole. It gives a power output of 4.5 kilowatt hours/day. It weighs about 165 pounds totally. It can be assembled in 15 minutes and does not need more than 2 persons to assemble it.

Benefits of PowerMod

The energy used is solar power which has no fire hazards or poisonous fumes etc. Nor is there any need for huge containers to ferry across to the disaster site, at a huge cost eating into the relief-rescue expenditure. It works on clean emission-less energy, at low cost. It provides enough power to run essentials like lights, fans, laptops, refrigerators, AC equipment and to power up batteries, charge cell phones etc. It is portable, light-weight, needs just 2 persons and 15 minutes to be assembled and it looks neat and uncluttered.

Long-Term outlook

Recent trends show that quick and dependable relief work is crucial at the time of any disaster. When caring and compassionate assistance is the need of the hour, the renewable energy sourced portable solar tent is the most fitting answer to it. No doubt, the PowerMod will play an important role in future rescue work.

  • Tom

    Surprise — no mention of cost — almost all of this new stuff is cost prohibitive — I know its for emergencies — what about for every day use??

  • styke

    It looks like the solar panels they use are around $6/watt. I expect the cloth is sold by the yard, and does not figure in to the total costs. They say they are putting out 12VDC, which is fine, and probably minimizes the electronics needed to make this system work. I expect, therefore, that the total cost of the tent is between $6 and $10 per watt. The one they are showing is a 300 watt panel. They also ave a 1200 watt panel.

    Lots of things are designed for 12VDC, and it is easy to store, but there will need to be some storage batteries connected to this system. Those do not come with it. While it is touted as useful in emergencies, and no doubt that is true, it will be most useful to the military, which faces a huge cost of delivering fuel through hostile areas, driving the price up 6x compared to what we are paying at the pump. So, for them, $10/watt is probably a bargain.

    For the Red Cross, of course, they don’t need a cost effective solution, they need one that brings in donations. So showing some solar tents, then some donors will think “how green, how wonderful, let me write them a really big check,” and the Red Cross will be happy.

    • Anonymous

      For STYKE: I hope the Red Cross gets big checks because they are completely funded by donations from the public. No subsidies, whatsoever. They do a terrific job providing an immediate safety net, stepping up and in when people are at their most vulnerable.
      ARC might be a good proving ground for this product in certain situations which we all hope will never occur.

  • TSvi

    Text claims 4.5 KwH/day. With no sun tracking, a 300 W panel would not be enough. Perhaps it is a 600 W system that gets close to peak power 8 hrs/day.

  • John

    Do you mean the earthquake in Haiti?


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