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

Terra Firma

This self-powered portable communication system is designed for teams requiring high volume data transfer. It supports up to ten users (expandable to 50) with voice, Push to Talk (PTT), Radio over IP (RoIP), private data, internet, and video. The core of the system is basic voice, data, and internet. The transit case design is fully self-contained and may be transported via car or airline check-in.


NISHATI Inc. Portable Array Module

"PAM Expedition"

420 Watts of high efficiency mono-crystalline solar and a composite array that fits neatly into a rugged, waterproof case, that weights less than 75 pounds and has a total volume of less than 4 cubic feet. Unpacking takes less than 5 minutes, while adjustable angles allow optimum solar harvest. The array can withstand up to 50 MPHs winds when properly anchored with included tent stakes and sandbags.


Tactical Micro Grid - Energy Technologies Inc.

For years, ETI´s products have provided reliable, sustainable energy to warfighters in the field. Now renewable energy including solar, wind and lithium-ion battery power can be configured as part of a single integrated grid to support small to moderate size sites. Besides saving fuel costs, this approach reduces the dependency on fuel logistics to generate power. In addition, these sources are quiet and produce minimal heat signatures. However, traditional power sources such as diesel generators can be combined for larger systems or as backup.


Sol, Inc: 20/20™ & 10/10™ Lighting

THe TT Series is Sol’s latest state-of-the-art LED lighting system designed for large spaces such as parking lots and perimeter security areas. It delivers superior light performance in an architectural package that increases pole spacing, lighting uniformity and simplifies installation. The TT Series unified design incorporates a low profile LED luminaire (either a 10/10 or 20/20), light engine, PV assembly and pole that is powder coated your color choice.


PowerFilm Solar - PowerShade™ Solar Field Shelters -

Foldable, durable, and portable, the PowerFilm PowerShade is a solar infrastructure conceived for a variety of purposes, ranging from lighting and ventilation to power for remote bases of operations, disaster relief and communication hubs when grid power is unavailable. The solar panels are mounted to a lightweight, weather resistant fabric that easily folds for storage and unfolds for use. Unlike “CIGS” solar technology, PowerFilm A-Si solar modules do not need to be “sun soaked” after storage, they provide critical power immediately when placed in the sun.


NAPS - NAPS Universal Power Pack -

Naps Power Packs are complete photo voltaic power systems, designed specifically for quick installation and ease of operation.They can be installed in just a few hours, and the entire system can be quickly moved to a new location and re-installed. Naps Power Packs aim to meet people’s needs in rural areas where the lack of electricity grids is obvious.

Some features of the product are :


Solarcraft, Inc.- Tactical Solar Power System -

Solar craft is a company that manufactures extremely reliable solar power systems . Solarcraft's approach to designing solar power systems implies (1) an accurate definition of the load and assessment of the location conditions and ; (2) the use of typical winter sun hours as a base for calculating the solar array size . Other variables such as voltage, duty cycles, location access, weather and temperature, and more contribute to the design of the system as well.


SolarWorld - Sunmodule solar panels -

Solar World's Sunmodule solar panels are designed and manufactured to the highest standards of quality, performance and durability.

Some key features of the product include:

- High-performance monocrystalline cell structure
- 25-year linear performance guarantee
- 10-year extended product workmanship warranty
- Stable aluminum frame for easy mounting and eight possible grounding locations
- Extended cable lengths for easier installation
- The only true black module on the market today.


Silicon Solar Inc. - flexible solar panels -

Silicon Solar Inc. is a family owned and operated solar company that provides a high quality solar powered products. The flexible solar panels are one of the products manufactured by Silicon Solar Inc. Flexible solar panels are described as the most convenient, lightweight and portable solar panels available on the market. The company carries more than 50 flexible thin film solar panels, available in a variety of wattage’s, voltages and sizes .


Nanosolar - Nanosolar Utility Panel™ -

Nanosolar, Inc. is a company that focuses on developing low-cost manufacturing processes for solar energy solutions.
One product that Nanosolar manufactures is the Nanosolar Utility Panel . The Nanosolar utility Panel is a glass/glass solar module for ground mount installations. This infrastructure has the benefit to reduce balance-of-system costs through less mounting hardware, electrical cabling and installation labor. The end result is a lower levelized cost of energy compared to competing solar technologies.