Presenting a Solar-Powered Service Module with Multiple Uses

Presenting a Solar-Powered Service Module with Multiple Uses

Reliable multi-purpose service modules are required to provide effective solutions in times of disaster and social emergencies. Solar power can be used in these modules to provide a consistent power source, and a new study in the journal  Sustainability  has analyzed the performance of such a module. Scientists from Germany, Austria, and Kuwait have contributed to the paper.













Study: Performance Analysis of a Solar-Powered Multi-Purpose Supply Container. Image Credit: Guenter Albers/

Managing Emergencies and Social Problems

Climate change is one of the most pressing existential threats modern society faces. By 2040, according to Greenpeace, there could be as many as two hundred million climate refugees, which will place huge economic and social burdens on nations. Additionally, rising global temperatures are predicted to cause more intense environmental disasters in the future, such as flooding, wildfires, heatwaves, droughts, and hurricanes.

All these issues come with a huge cost in terms of human lives. Disasters cause the displacement of whole populations, making vast numbers of people homeless. Add to this the growing world population and effects such as water shortages due to increased consumption, which is evolving into a food crisis in many vulnerable developing nations, and there is an urgent need to mitigate the impacts of climate change and environmental pollution.

The delivery of humanitarian aid is crucial to managing disasters and social issues such as vast numbers of climate refugees. Essential equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, food, water, first aid kits, power generators, and desalination equipment need to be sent to areas in need quickly. The reliable and quick delivery of humanitarian aid is essential for saving lives and minimizing personal suffering in the aftermath of a disaster. SOURCE


In this article, the performance of a solar-powered multi-purpose supply container used as a service module for first-aid, showering, freezing, refrigeration and water generation purposes in areas of social emergency is analyzed. The average daily energy production of the solar panel is compared to the average daily energy demands of the above-mentioned types of service modules. The comparison refers to five different locations based on the Köppen–Geiger classification of climatic zones with the data for energy demand being taken from another publication. It is shown that in locations up to mid-latitudes, the supply container is not only able to power all types of modules all year round but also to provide up to 15 m3 of desalinated water per day for drinking, domestic use and irrigation purposes. This proves and quantifies the possibility of combining basic supply with efficient transport and self-sufficiency by using suitably equipped shipping containers. Thus, flexible solutions are provided to some of the most challenging problems humans will face in the future, such as natural disasters, water scarcity, starvation and homelessness.