Sesame Solar Nanogrids Offer Resiliency Against Increasing Wildfires

Learn how nanogrids and solar energy are providing relief from dangerous and costly power outages across the Western United States and across the world.
Learn how nanogrids and solar energy are providing relief from dangerous and costly power outages across the Western United States and across the world.

The West is on Fire

Wildfires have been rapidly increasing over the past 30 years in the western United States due to climate change and aging power lines, and these wildfires are increasingly burning more acreage. The number of megafires (>100,000 acres) has significantly increased in the west since 2000 due to rising temperatures and lower precipitation, resulting in tens of thousand’s of deaths and injuries, loss of wildlife, increased air pollution, and billions of dollars in property loss. More wildfire statistics here.

There are many strategies communities can employ to become more wildfire resilient, including improved zoning policies mandating fire resistant buildings, landscaping regulations, controlled burns and forest management, better power line insulation, burying power lines, and better disaster preparedness. Learn more about helping your community here, and about being personally prepared for wildfires here.

No Power for Weeks

Extended power outages are common due to wildfires, and increasingly utilities are cutting power as a proactive measure during dry conditions and high winds, leaving millions of businesses and residents without lights, fans, air conditioning, refrigerators, or power for necessary medical equipment, computers and devices before a wildfire has even started. Effective disaster preparedness includes preparing for several days or weeks of sustainability during power outages. PG&E has announced rolling blackouts in California for the next decade to protect against wildfires. 

When PG&E cut power to hundreds of thousands last year, many California residents and small businesses rushed out to buy backup generators, some of which caused fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, and all of which are increasing air pollution. The fine particles generators emit can travel far, increasing acidity in lakes and streams, and damaging crops and forests. Backup generators were not designed to run 24/7 for weeks on end, and communities are just beginning to measure the negative environmental impact when generators are running in high quantities during power outages. Air pollution due to smoke from wildfires has been 60 times higher than world health standards for safe air quality, which pollution is compounded with high volume generator use.

Installing roof or ground mounted solar panels and battery storage is a more environmentally friendly option for many residents and businesses, but it isn’t feasible in some locations. Companies like Sesame Solar partner, SimpliPHI, offer battery storage systems for scalable standby power, which can be grid-tied or powered by solar PV or wind power.


Sesame Solar Takes Wildfire Resiliency on the Road 

We make mobile, solar powered Solutions for communities, municipalities, counties and businesses inside our Mobile,Turnkey, Solar Nanogrids to prepare for power outages and rapid response during emergencies like earthquakes. Our Solar Nanogrids can be used to power emergency equipment, power a mobile medical clinic, filter or generate clean water, or to broadcast emergency information and news to evacuated residents while powering their mobile devices and offering WiFi connectivity. They can serve as Mobile Emergency Operations Centers (MEOCs) powered by renewable solar power without the noise and air pollution of diesel or gas powered MEOCs. They are easily towed from location to location, and can provide power in hard to reach areas. Sesame Solar Nanogrids are expressly designed for standby power use for weeks or months at a time. They have a useful life of 20 years, (batteries and inverters need to be replaced in 7 years).

A variety of vertical market Solutions have been pre-engineered and pre-configured to work “inside the box.” They are typically configured with a 3-8kW solar array, 10-55kWh of battery storage and pre-wired with appropriate electronics for their use case. 

Sesame Solar Nanogrids can be clustered to share power and provide a range of Solutions for a Firefighter or First Responder Basecamp. Instead of bringing in a lot of diesel powered trailers for housing and services to a Basecamp, Sesame Solar Nangrids can be configured to provide housing, kitchens, large scale refrigeration, showers, toilets, laundry, medical clinic, water generation, communications center, and operations center, all powered on clean, renewable solar energy. First Responders to wildfires are subjected to heavy smoke and toxic fumes, and protecting their Basecamps with silent, non-polluting solar power can be a significant health benefit. Sesame Solar Nanogrids can be grid-tied as well and accept power from other sources such as wind or generators. Hybrid Nanogrid systems interconnect solar power and system-sized generators, significantly reducing generator use while enabling peak power support.

¡Arriba, Arriba! ¡Ándale, Ándale! Rapid Deployment Model

Sesame Solar Nanogrids are shipped ready-to-use and can be set up by one person in less than 15 minutes to start generating power and services. Minimal training and maintenance are required. Delivery is available 45 days from receipt of Purchase Order and deposit. Faster deliveries are available for volume orders.

Made in Pure Michigan, USA

Sesame Solar uses USA-made components and materials in our Solar Nanogrids, and many of our suppliers are Michigan-based. Michigan is a great state for manufacturing with a large labor pool of skilled tradesmen and women, and many flex manufacturing companies, which is why we made it our world headquarters. We are a scrappy team of visionary entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers, and builders who aim to make Solar deployments as simple and as practical as possible. For more information please see www.sesame.solar.

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