This unique project involved the first installation of StorTera’s Emergency Energy Storage Unit (EESU), a battery backpack developed to support disaster relief efforts in countries affected by climate change. The EESU prototype is a 5kW/5kWh system comprised of two 20 litre backpacks weighing approximately 25kg each. It was developed under an Innovate UK funded project that concluded in March 2018.
StorTera worked with KERA, a charity based in Sri Lanka to install the first solar powered EESU to support disaster relief in the local area and, when not being used in emergency situations, to provide evening and night-time power to the charity’s educational facility. A 12kWp solar array was installed on the roof of the off-grid building in Kurunegala and the pilot 5kW/5kWh EESU was connected using a GridVerter™, StorTera’s highly functional and economical on and off-grid hybrid inverter technology.
The installation allows the charity to use their solar generation to power second-hand laptops that are used to educate local plantation workers in the evenings. It also keeps the EESU charged and ready for deployment in disaster relief operations. KERA has used the systems numerous times to support victims of these events, most recently in May 2018 when flooding affected 130,000 people in 20 districts with over 13,000 families evacuated to 231 welfare centres due to flood and landslide risks in 10 districts.
StorTera is also working with major telecom companies in Sri Lanka to establish a network of EESUs, stored and powered at existing telecoms towers, that can be called upon in times of need. A shared ownership model between the telecom companies and local charities makes this possible.
The benefits of this project are hugely significant – educating and empowering local plantation workers can help bring an end to what is essentially modern slavery, giving them a better quality of life and the ability to improve their working conditions. Supporting victims of disaster relief is a growing need across the world and the EESU makes bringing power to difficult to access locations possible – potentially making the difference in life or death situations.