After large scale disasters such hurricanes or floods, affected areas are often left without power, making it much harder for emergency services to find and help survivors. Delays of minutes or hours can often mean the difference between life and death. We have already seen the Ambulance Drone — an all purpose medical toolkit that can be flown into emergency situations, and now WindStream Technologies has developed the MobileMill — a portable trailer which harvests both solar and wind power, designed for first responders at disaster sites where other power sources have been knocked out.
WindStream developed the MobileMill at the request of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The portable energy unit adapts the hybrid technology of WindStream’s SolarMill, which combines solar photovoltaic panels and vertical axis wind turbines into one small scale, high density device. Often, the drawback of renewable energy products is their reliance on uncontrollable environmental factors — solar panels can only function in the daytime, while wind power generation is very unpredictable. By combining the two into an integrated device, WindStream’s SolarMill becomes an efficient and scalable consumer driven product — a single unit, installed on a user’s roof, can harvest almost 1000W.
The MobileMill, on the other hand, is a portable command centre which can be operational within a minute of its arrival and provide 4kW of renewable energy. The trailer is constructed of stainless steal and alluminium and can be attached to any vehicle. It can transport, power and charge a full control centre containing computers and radios, powering the emergency services for up to three days on renewable energy with an 18kWh battery array. You can watch the video below for more information:
Are there other ways to adapt renewable energy devices to assist the emergency services?