Mobile Nanogrids Can Provide Electricity, Clean Water During a Disaster

Mobile Nanogrids Can Provide Electricity, Clean Water During a Disaster
Published on
March 20, 2023

Article published by CNET on and written by Andy Altman. Read the original article here.

When natural disasters strike, one of the first crucial resources that can get disrupted is electricity. Startup Sesame Solar thinks it's found a solution to providing power for emergency crews and displaced residents with its mobile Nanogrids.

A Nanogrid from Sesame Solar before being deployed.

At first glance, a Nanogrid may look like a food truck. It's designed to be hauled the same way you'd transport a moving trailer. But once deployed, the solar panels that line the Nanogrid are revealed. The panels charge the onboard batteries, and the company says a single Nanogrid can produce anywhere from 3 to 20 kilowatts. That's enough to power four to six houses.

Lauren Flanagan, Sesame's co-founder and CEO, calls the Nanogrid the world's first 100% renewably powered mobile system. "You don't need fossil fuel. You don't need diesel or natural gas. Just water and sunshine," she said. Watch the video above to learn more about how the Nanogrids work.

One person can set up a Nanogrid in about 15 minutes.

In addition to solar power, the Nanogrids are equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell that turns water into hydrogen. The hydrogen can be stored in tanks and used to charge the batteries when they dip below 35%. Nanogrids also have an onboard water filtration system that can provide up to 500 liters of potable water per day, and a 5G mesh network so people displaced in a disaster can get online.

A Nanogrid from Sesame Solar deployed on the island of Dominica following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Sesame's Nanogrids can be customized depending on a customer's needs. They can be built as a medical unit or a communications hub, among other possibilities. A single unit costs anywhere from $100,000 to $375,000.

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