Lighting up the Pacific with Solar Relief
I had the light bulb moment when I was sitting in my house after Cyclone Yasi with no electricity.Source : By Pauline Mago-KingWe all know just how ruthless Mother Nature can be. From landslides
I had the light bulb moment when I was sitting in my house after Cyclone Yasi with no electricity.
Source : By Pauline Mago-King
We all know just how ruthless Mother Nature can be. From landslides to thunderstorms, she knows how to make her presence known and worse yet wreak havoc in our daily lives. And if there’s one thing that her presence can guarantee, it’s black outs.
We’ve become so dependent on power to do just about anything that it becomes almost impossible to carry on with our day-to-day activities through a power outage. While most of us would just sit back and wait for our power woes to disappear, Trent Small saw differently.
When tropical cyclone Yasi hit northern Queensland in 2011, it did so with such intensity that the area was left without power for up to four weeks. While others were picking up the pieces from Cyclone Yasi’s devastation, Small sought to create the Solar Relief portable power supply (PPS) units which relied on solar energy.
“I had the light bulb moment when I was sitting in my house after Cyclone Yasi with no electricity. Looking at my neighbours’ roofs which were full of solar panels [I saw] they could not use the power that they were providing when they needed it the most as the grid was down. This is when I knew that there had to be a solution,” said Small when asked about how the idea came to him.
The Solar Relief PPS units are really one-of-a-kind from their surge protection (ideal for appliances) to their environmentally friendliness. Other features include:
• Worldwide Patented technology
• Pure 3000 W Sine wave inverter
• 260 AmpH Modular Battery Storage
• Built-in RCD & circuit breaker eliminates power surges
• Connections: 240V, 12V & USB
• NO NOISE OR FUMES
• Able to be connected to fixed or portable solar panels
• Safe to use in confined spaces and indoors
• Can be charged with Solar or battery charger
• Able to be used in a variety of applications – connect to the house and simply unplug and take camping or
• Portable, compact and mobile
• No fuel or services required
• No ongoing costs – connect to power circuit to save paying for electricity
• Environmentally friendly
• Fully sealed unit in a robust, insulated case
• Direct USB connection
Small’s company, Solar Relief, has also meant that the PPS units are playing a vital role in combating climate change.
The Solar Relief PPS units’ use of clean and renewable energy couldn’t have come at a better time especially when reducing carbon emissions is being stressed the world over.
Garry Scott, Distribution agent for Solar Relief’s Pacific Region, knows this all too well.
“Not using fossils fuels is one of the most important features of the PPS units. Apart from revolutionising life in villages and remotes areas, using solar energy is the way forward with playing a major part in reducing climate change. The idea of not having to rely on fossil fuel generation was the genesis for the invention of the PPS units. We are proud to be involved in a clean technology that will help play its part in reducing climate change,” said Scott.
From its humble beginnings in, Solar Relief PPS units are now being distributed in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The distribution of PPS units in these areas mean that even rural areas can enjoy the benefits of electricity. So in a way, the PPS aren’t only preparing urban areas for the next disaster but are also empowering rural areas. The PPS units ensure that one doesn’t need to worry about fuel, maintenance, servicing and the noise and air pollution that come with generators.
The introduction of a great invention like the Solar Relief PPS units will see a surge in demand. Scott said that in order to make the product more accessible at the grassroots level, Solar Relief’s also trying to keep prices low.
“[Hence] we are limiting the number of distribution agents and taking our time to select distributors to ensure quality control and ensure protection of our reputation. A lot of our enquiries and orders have come from parties relying on aid money and sales are expected to grow strongly upon different aid funds becoming available. We’re in discussions with village groups with a view to providing them with solar generated power supply to operate activities such as fishing projects by giving them the ability to operate a freezer.”
With green products like the PPS units, you can be sure that power will never be lost. Areas like Taveuni Island in Fiji which was greatly affected by the tropical cyclone Winston will now have access to power.
“We have manufactured PPS units as funds become available through our current Go Fund Me Campaign. Our current focus is on Taveuni Island. [At present] we have two PPS units going over to Fiji purchased through Queensland Master Builders Association (QMBA) to assist victims of Cyclone Winston in Fiji. We are also attending a trade mission in Fiji in April…aimed at assisting Fiji in its Cyclone Winston relief efforts. Solar Relief also has a flat packed, cyclone rated, strong, energy efficient house kits which we are offering to the Fijian Government which can be powered by our Portable Power Supply,” explained Scott.
The innovation of green products like the PPS units allows us to enjoy electricity without hurting the environment. Further, we now have a backup plan in place should Mother Nature decide to strike.
So what does Solar Relief have in mind for the future?
“In the next five years, Solar Relief PPS units will be providing enough power that a single unit will be running a whole house or factory. Take for example computers or mobile phones, when these first came out, they were large and bulky and inefficient. The Solar Relief PPS unit will have increased capacity and efficiency in the future as technology improves and power storage and generation becomes more efficient,” said inventor Small.