Energy, Energy Storage

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Stressed populations in post-disaster, post-war and/or impoverished situations will likely experience a disruption in electric power. In many instances the infrastructure will be severely damaged, and alternative electrical power sources will be needed until the system can be restored. In other cases, where a population is displaced and is living in a temporary camp, electrical power will be needed for lights to provide security, heating or cooling the population, and to meet many other life support requirements that consume electrical power. Integrated, renewable and mobile energy solutions are key in providing sustainable support in development and reconstruction environments.

Many variables need to be considered in order to provide sustainable and self-sustaining power solutions for small and large scale operations in emergency environments. If there is no stable power grid, alternative solutions (derived from wind, solar, micro-hydro, hybrid, etc.) may be critical to survival or recovery. However, not every power provision suits all situations. The needs of individuals, resource availability and the integration of civil-military capabilities sharing in the scenario all play a role in determining the most fitting integrated approach to energy solutions.


STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information for inexpensive, sustainable energy technologies and infrastructures that can be supplied to emergency situations and development scenarios with minimal transportation costs.

Other helpful collections of power and alternative energy solutions include:

  • The United Nations International Sustainable Energy Organization (UNISEO) at UNISEO provides a comprehensive collection of various alternative energy solutions, as well as pertinent information on policy, legal and other issues relating to energy.
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that works to promote the adoption of renewable energy. Created in 2009, IRENA consists of 137 member states and seeks to provide policy advice and aid in capacity building and the transfer of technology.
  • The International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) seeks to reduce poverty and help protect the environment by promoting sustainable and renewable energy solutions. The INFORSE website provides various resources, including a world-wide database of participating organizations, web-based information on EU policy and energy and climate resources for school programs.
  • The Sphere Project is a good resource that offers common standards used by the international community, when providing support to disaster victims, refugees, and other displaced populations. Energy production is considered a non-food-item (NFI) according to the Sphere standards. Most of the guidance provided focuses on sustaining and collecting fuel, as it relates to cooking only. The standards appear to be lacking more detailed information on the use and sustainable nature of energy. However, TIDES highly recommends that those involved in such operations become familiar with the Sphere Standards available at the above link.


The following is a list of other resources that provide helpful information on energy related issues within the emergency and disaster relief arena.

The World Electric Guide
The following link provides information on national electric grids and plugs.
A United Nations Development Programme compendium (.pdf) of power supply items and other equipment suitable for emergency relief operations:
Key features and what to look for in portable generators:
Global policy information on renewable energy:
United Nations Military Civil Defense Assets (MCDA)
Includes a “power service module,” which provides information on services that “generate electricity for power supply to equipment and camp installations in support of humanitarian relief operations”
USAID Field Operations Guide for Disaster Assessment and Response
A good source of information on needs assessments:
Electrochemical energy as a power source:
>A micro-hydro power source information repository:


Each link will lead you to a new page that lists power solutions under these broad categories. (Note: TIDES does not endorse any specific products or stores, nor are we responsible for the content on the links.)

Equipment Providers

  • Solar
  • Microhydro
  • Wind
  • Electrochemical and Generators
  • Consulting Services

Planning factors common to all power solutions are:

  • Costs – initial set-up investment of unit, transportation and upkeep costs.
  • Output wattage (kW)
  • Frequency in hertz (Hz)
  • Voltage
  • Designated plug types available (A through M, based on the World Electric Guide)
  • Size of equipment – weight and dimensions of packaging and of fully deployed unit.
  • Upkeep requirements –attrition of parts? Are any materials reusable?
  • Number of operators required
  • Operator training/difficulty of upkeep
  • Maintenance (man hours/day)
  • Environmental considerations – i.e. minimum hours of sunlight exposure?


List of solar powered equipment providers:

Global Solar Energy, Inc.
Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Stirling Energy Systems
International Automated Systems, Inc.
Tessera Solar
Silicon Solar Inc.
SUNRNR of Virginia, Inc.
Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan
Power Up Co.
Shift Power Solutions
Coyle Industries
WorldWater and Solar Technologies INC
Next Wave Solutions, LLC


List of micro-hydro powered equipment providers:

HydroCoil Power, Inc.
International Automated Systems, Inc.
Vortex Hydro Energy
Energy Systems & Design, Ltd.
Bourne Energy
Hydro Green Energy
Run of the River Power
Ing Arveid Nesheim


List of wind powered equipment providers:

Parafold Towers
Humdinger Wind Energy, LLC
Silicon Solar Inc.
Windspire by Mariah Power
Helix Wind
Green Wavelength
Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan
Power Up Co.
Shift Power Solutions


List of electrochemical powered equipment and generator providers:

ABSL Power Solutions
Titan Energy Worldwide, Inc.
Fuel Cells UK
SUNRNR of Virginia, Inc.
Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan
Honda Power Equipment


List of providers of consulting services:

3TIER, Inc.
Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan
Fuel Cells UK
Energy for Opportunity
Energy Planet - Renewable Energy Directory
Solar Aid

Ti Soley Solar Charging System

The Ti Soley system is the most rapid way to provide basic electricity in off-grid locations. The system includes a 1.5kW solar charging station and 100 portable Ti Soley battery packs that provide light and cell phone charging (either DC or with USB port). The packs are carried to their destination and when the energy is depleted they are carried back to the solar station for recharging. Using one light the kit lasts 30 hours. Recharges are typically every 3-5 days.


SunDial SmartPower

SunDial SmartPower is mobile power generator that uses solar panels and batteries, and can synch with a diesel generator. SunDial SmartPower systems are ideal for remote locations that are off-grid. Sundial SmartPower systems provide micro-grids that can manage power supply to efficiently meet demand. SunDial SmartPower can also be monitored remotely.


SC 1500

The SC Series is a stand-alone, off-grid system designed for multiple uses. As a standard they include
1,500/2,400/3,000/4,200 watts of solar PV, pole mounted, with DC output and 336-504 amp hours
worth of battery power at 24 volts. These systems are fully customizable for any application off the grid.


Sun Commander 8000

Sun Commander Series 8000 is a solar PV mobile electric generator with on-grid and off-grid capabilities. Can accommodate a variety of battery configuration and types of batteries to meet a wide range of needs. Can provide a variety of output options ranging from 208, 240, 480 single phase to three phase. Plug and play 2-60amp, 2-40 single plug standard 49kWh as standardly equipped