ISU EPRC assists with development of solar power crate to transform disaster response

2 Oct 2020


In times of natural disaster or emergency, the Iowa Army National Guard strives to maintain a rapid response time. In such times, access to flexible, mobile power sources is crucial. In order to provide this power, the Electric Power Research Center (EPRC) at Iowa State University has received a $172,000 grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to develop a solar power crate to be installed at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. Funding for the grant is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

So what exactly is a solar power crate? EPRC Director Anne Kimber describes a crate as a portable energy source that could transform disaster response.

“Imagine a green box, a shipping crate, that a truck brings to your neighborhood, a nearby gas station, your city hall, your grocery store or maybe a cell tower after a disaster that led to loss of power and communications,” Kimber said. “On the outside of the shipping crate are outlets to charge your cell phones, your car, to plug in electric stoves or supply a food truck, to plug in motors to pump gas for vehicles, to provide air conditioning or heating for a care facility or to pump water out of flooded basements.”

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