This recent video sent to us by one of our partners in Ukraine shows how NUE solar generator providing power for an eye surgery in a dark hospital room in Ukraine. With 30% of the country’s power stations destroyed from Russian attacks, the national grid is unreliable and prone to blackouts. These generators are crucial for medical professionals to complete life-saving procedures.
New Use Energy is proud to announce the build and delivery of a resilient solar plus battery storage trailer for use by 17 Humboldt County fire agencies in the Eureka, California area to use for emergency response.
Through the work of Captain Richard Birt and his non-profit Empowered by Light, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority facilitated a 1-year assignment of the trailer for Humboldt County. The donated SunWing™ 2500 was built by NUE with donations from Schneider Electric, Simpliphi (battery) and Empowered by Light.
“The off-grid power source to use in the Southern Humboldt area will be very helpful for many incidences, especially as a command station. Communications and lighting are both very important aspects that this solar powered trailer will be able to assist with as an incident command center,” said Marianne Bithell, Program Specialist for Infrastructure for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. “It will replace 100 gallons of fuel per day, saving much needed dollars to be used for other firefighting needs.”
The SunWing™ solar trailer give firefighters experience using a solar and battery clean energy trailer as a noiseless portable command center for emergency response that can run and charge equipment as needed.
This specific trailer will be the first commercial deployment of the SunWing™ 2500. This trailer features several new innovations that make it stand out:
- The lightweight solar panels are 30% percent lighter than solar panels made of glass with metal frames which makes for a lighter trailer and faster deployment
- Using connection points built into the trailer, users can use the NUE SunTarp™ products to augment the solar input of the trailer for faster charging
NUE’s Head of Product Development Eric Youngren traveled to California with the trailer to provide the fire agencies with a walk through of the trailer and training on the features.
Learn more about our line of solar trailers here.
This article originally appeared on KEYT.com here.
CAMARILLO, Calif-Ventura County firefighters are learning about solar safety issues.
This week Classes are being taught by an award-winning retired Las Vegas Fire Captain who helped put solar on fire stations in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Richard Birt has seen the lack of power kill people and he is believes solar can save countless lives during disasters.
“This lesson is about safety, this is about saving lives with clean resilient energy,” said Birt, “Power outages are killing people and what we can do is back up communities with clean solar panels and batteries.”
Crews are also learning about protecting themselves while protecting homes with electric car chargers, and solar systems. It is no longer as simple as turning off the electricity
Birt also demonstrated how to use portable solar charging units and trailers. Firefighters now use portable kits for their own vehicles while departments bring trailers to places that have lost power during fires or other disasters.
New Use Energy (NUE) displayed a small trailer that can be towed by a car. CEO Paul Shmotolokha, who was raised in Thousand Oak called it a ” power machine on wheels.” He said it can help homes, schools and businesses during power emergencies.
“There is no fuel needed.”
Direct Relief in Santa Barbara County is already using trailers to respond to disasters.
“You wheel this up and everybody can plug into all the outlets here on the outside or on the inside, you can run refrigerators inside, all sorts of machinery, and it just doesn’t need any extra power to regenerate, it works off batteries that are powered by solar panels, “said Shmotolokha.
Birt travels all over the world teaching firefighters how to protect themselves and the communities they serve.
“Teaching in Ventura County is two things, we teach firefighting safety with solar and batteries, but we also teach resiliency so communities can protect themselves from all power outages with the fires and basically save lives with electricity, solar electricity.”
He said other departments are welcome to check out the classes through Thursday at the county training facility off Durley Avenue in Camarillo.
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Read our chat with New Use Energy CEO Paul Shmotolokha about NUE’s deployment to Louisiana with Footprint Project in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Q: What prompted New Use Energy’s deployment to Louisiana?
Paul Shmotolokha: This is part of our core mission. We have a priority set for emergency managers and disaster response and so for us, it was a natural deployment to do. We have a broad product line of sizes of solar generators designed for replacing the use of portable generators, which have traditionally been the go-to source of power after major disasters.
People are increasingly realizing the issues with portable generators. They need to restock the gasoline, there’s excessive noise, mistakes using the equipment and the CO2 emissions from it.
We immediately reached out to some of our NGO partners like Footprint Project once the power of the hurricane came to bear and we were able to see the impact.
So, you know, if it came over as a category one storm, it might not have been as big of a deal. But it came over very strong, especially hitting those barrier islands. So we just knew there was going to be a problem there. In this case we knew due to the severity of it that the rural areas would be the worst part hit.
Q: Talk about the need for reliable energy in Louisiana after the hurricane.
PS: The damage south of New Orleans was really where things were most acute and what happened immediately is the gas stations ran out of gasoline.They emptied out the gasoline stations and then the ability to pump was hampered. And then the resupply trucks were blocked for making it down, due to dangerous debris conditions on the road.
So people were stranded without gasoline. There were altercations in lines at gasoline stations for the few that could still operate after the electricity was out. Even some of the people that had their own generators, uh, ran out of gas for their own generators.
The farther south you went, the more isolated everybody was and the roads were devastated. The devastation to the utility infrastructure was really bad. The storm just took about every pole down.
Q: What did NUE do to help the situation?
PS: We had a team from Footprint Project that arrived several days after the storm. It was just luck that they were north in Tennessee doing some clean energy charging stations at the Bonnaroo music festival which was then actually cancelled due to the storm.
They mobilized right away. We got a couple of trailers together, some SunKits and PowerPacs that they had for the festival. And they just started heading south. This is what they do. They came ready. They started initially staging in New Orleans and realized that within a couple of days of power was going to come back there.
So they started venturing south and they just saw how bad the situation was. The wind damage was the key on this hurricane. Katrina was terrible due to the water damage and the lack of functioning levees. Ida was much worse when it came to wind. When you get south of New Orleans, it is very rural. There’s a lot of people living on homes that are on stilts.
It was terrible. Whole homes were just gone. So there was just a huge amount of people left without homes.
It was then that we saw that this was a long-term challenge and not just a short term one. Initial indications were that electricity was going to come back to some locations in a couple of weeks. It turned out to be several months. You can’t run a gas generator for several months. It’s hard and it’s very costly.
We initially deployed systems in community centers and in places that really were force multiplication in terms of helping people. And then the longer we went, the more we focused on the longer-term situation.
After a month or so, Footprint Project redeployed our systems. And I think that’s a big thing for us – our systems are very easy to redeploy. They’re mobile and with solar, we just have to find the right location to put the panels.
Footprint redeployed to those areas farther south that we couldn’t even reach initially. We even had systems being ferried by boat which is pretty impressive that we can take a system, put it on a boat, add some solar panels and then get it out to islands on the Bayou.
We were still doing installations in December working with groups like the Louisiana Solar Fund and Nouveau Electric Records and Another Gulf is Possible. We were making installations for temporary housing, for those who lost their homes completely. And there’s a lot of people, there are hundreds, if not thousands who, uh, have lost their homes. For some of them, they’ve had temporary shelters built and they need power to them. So they are literally out living in these shelters on their property very often. So there’s no power, no electrical junction boxes, and we give them a safe daily, renewable solution. So far, I think we’ve made about eight to ten installations.
We were lucky that Footprint Project arrived with solutions, but once they arrived, they realized they needed a lot more than they had. Going forward, we’re hoping to work with them and others to have more equipment pre-positioned close by so that it’s easier to bring it in. But we also helped fundraise for a Footprint Project to be able to fund more of their activities.
Q: How did it feel to help the people in the aftermath of the hurricane?
PS: For me it was a tremendous learning experience, but it was also an opportunity to really understand the dilemma on the part of people who live in these areas after a major event like this. It was devastating. It was kind of soul crushing at times, even, but the fortitude of the people was tremendous.
Probably the highlight was when we were down there, we powered a morale concert from a mobile solar stage for Louis Michot, the lead singer of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a Grammy award-winning band and the owner of Nouveau Electric Records who works with us and also pioneers the Louisiana Solar Fund. His stage ran all day, even through a big rainstorm. The band went through all these devastated neighborhoods and people just came out of their houses and started dancing and they organized some great food and beverages.
That was quite a moving experience. Bonding immediately with people you’ve never met and just making it happen. So, how do we feel after the aftermath? We feel our work isn’t done yet. And so that’s why we were still working in November and December. There’s going to be people without homes for another year.
Thankfully it’s a warmer climate there, but we continue to seek out funding and opportunities so that these people can have power in their temporary shelters. People can come back but it’s tough.
Q: What lessons did you learn from this deployment?
PS: We show that our solutions prove themselves. It validated our whole product strategy of having ultra portable PowerPacs, the SunKits and the larger systems like the trailers.
Product-wise that was the biggest learning experience. We made some changes to our products that made them super easy to move before the hurricane that helped and the experience showed our products are super tough as well. We also really saw the benefit of having portable solar panels.
Following Hurricane Ida, certain areas of the continental US now face energy shortages. More than 30,000 power-line poles and nearly 6,000 transformers across Louisiana were damaged or destroyed during the storm. The region now faces power outages making it difficult to manage lights, appliances and many more electrical devices. Thankfully, emergency response organizations are stepping in to aid those in need. Footprint Project is one of these organizations currently using New Use Energy (NUE) products to provide relief for Louisiana residents.
NUE Products In the Field
We designed NUE products to provide affordable, clean energy through portable solar-powered units. Knowing how to power essentials by planning ahead is critical. During emergency situations, one of the most critical needs is electricity. People need to be able to remain in contact with the world around them. They also need access to food and clean water and to be able to power light sources. In the lower Plaquemines Parish area of Louisiana, gas has been difficult to come across. Some residents have even traveled as far as Mississippi to obtain enough gas to power their generators. Footprint Project has been able to provide a local emergency coordinator with a 2KW, 24V SunKit in order to replace a gas generator. They were able to utilize the SunKit to power lights, charge phones, operate a small refrigerator and a big-screen TV. Community members charged the SunKit unit with 2, 60-cell PV panels which totaled about 700W. Additionally, a community within a Bayou area in Southern Louisiana is using a NUE (T3) trailer to power a community’s main charging hub for essential devices as well as lights at night.
A Chain of Efficient Power
NUE products can even be charged by one another. The Footprint Project Team has been able to use 2, PowerPac 1000s and 1 PowerPac 2200. These portable power stations ran 3 fans, powered lights, charged phones and laptops and inflated air mattresses for their entire stay in New Orleans. Two PV panels of about 650W charged the SunKit which, in turn, charged the PowerPacs.
The preservation of food and certain medications is one of the most important aspects to consider when there are power outages. A volunteer responding to Ida even referred to having reliable refrigeration as a “game-changer.” As a result, NUE’s grid-independent SunFreez DC freezer could be especially helpful during a disaster like this. Taking into consideration those with dietary restrictions such as vegetarians, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep volunteers and residents nourished without refrigeration available. Being able to function as both a freezer and refrigerator when desired, the SunFreez provides a reliable source for the preservation of foods and medicines, including insulin, in emergency scenarios.
Furthermore, each of NUE’s products is easy to set up. Certain products that operate with solar panels, like the SunKit, require minimal assembly to connect the unit with solar panels. With compact and portable designs, most of these systems do not require extensive assembly. The required items are all located within its containment unit. Overall, Footprint Project is capable of utilizing NUE solar energy sources to operate all the essential devices that may be necessary directly following Hurricane Ida.
NUE Can Help More Emergency Organizations
NUE’s objective as a company is to provide clean energy for anyone, anywhere. We make this possible with rapidly deployable, reliable products that serve the emergency power needs of a community. We can prepare emergency managers and organizations for outages and emergencies with power that does not rely on the availability of gas. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, equipment quickly arrived in Louisiana. As the storm made landfall on the 29th of August, Footprint Project team members soon arrived in New Orleans two days later. Not long afterward, more equipment followed.
Some NUE units, like the PowerPac 1000s, are always ready to ship right away. In some cases, SunKits could take more time to arrive but can still be provided in time to have an impact. Building a NUE trailer requires some time. However, there are a number of trailers currently deployed by Footprint in various locations across the U.S.
NUE is poised to help as many emergency managers and organizations as possible. Whether an organization is purchasing equipment ahead of time or having it ready to purchase, NUE is capable of providing equipment whenever necessary. Contact us today to see how we can help.
New Use Energy (NUE) and their core partner Footprint Project (FP), a 501(C)(3) non-profit, have been working nonstop over this past week to bring as many solar-powered generators to the New Orleans area as possible. The team is deploying trailers, shelters, charging kits and more to several established locations, other NGOs, and government agencies in the city and surrounding areas. They are working in response to the devastation and growing power needs of the people in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida.
Since Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana citizens are without power. More communities, including the northeastern United States, are also grappling with storm damage and power loss. New Use Energy is helping respond with reliable, flexible and mobile solar-powered systems. These systems are essential at providing incomparable power resources when supply chains go down, the power goes out and people no longer have easy access to fossil fuels.
Help Support Footprint Project’s Efforts
Together with Footprint Project, NUE is part of the largest relief effort to date. NUE is supporting Footprint Project by sending all available equipment and resources, including personnel, to help. Since 2019, NUE and Footprint Project have been deploying portable solar generators to disasters areas. Their team travels nationwide, helping communities in Colorado, California, Tennessee, Oregon, Iowa and more. To continue their relief efforts, the team currently needs more donations to secure and deploy equipment and personnel. You can help their efforts by donating to Footprint Project’s GoFundMe.
Safety to people and the environment are the top priorities of New Use Energy and Footprint Project. Unlike traditional disaster relief responses, NUE and FP do not use fossil fuel generators. After Hurricane Laura hit in August 2020, Louisiana Department of Health confirmed that eight deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of portable generators. Portable generators provide life-saving power in emergencies, but they can also pose a deadly threat if used incorrectly. NPR states “Most generator-related fatalities are caused by carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can build up especially quickly in enclosed spaces. At certain levels, just five minutes of exposure is enough to be fatal.”
Clearly, this method of response to disasters is amplifying an already tenuous and life-threatening situation. A change needs to occur to help make communities more resilient to increasing disasters. Solar-powered generators are the way to do this. NUE’s solar-powered generators are portable, component-driven and adaptable. The generators do not rely on gas and instead charge primarily from the sun or, if needed, an AC source. This flexibility makes them the optimal choice in city-wide disasters.
Solar-powered Boots on the Ground
Late Friday night, the NUE-Footprint team arrived in New Orleans with trucks towing three solar-powered trailers, one solar-powered shelter, over 60 portable solar generator stations, and three DC solar refrigeration units. The city was shrouded in darkness. The team has been meeting with volunteers and other non-profit organizations from California, New York, and Minnesota.
The team is staged in the most strategic, impactful locations throughout the city. Some areas include communication centers, evacuation shelters, medical stations, food/water distribution sites and assisted living facilities.