Under stormy skies and on remote roadways, TEXSAR stays connected
You’re part of a search and rescue operation in Texas during a hurricane—and you need power to communicate with other vehicles in your fleet, check weather data, and operate emergency equipment. With known damage to local infrastructure, including fuel lines, it’s impossible to refill the gas tank, which powers the generator running all that equipment. How does your team stay operational in the midst of this natural disaster?
For Texas Search & Rescue (TEXSAR), a non-profit first responder organization with divisions across the state, a Go Power! solar-powered system has given them a portable alternative to generators that eliminates their reliance on a gasoline source, helping them function in similar emergency situations.
Their system, which includes a 120W portable solar kit and 600W pure sine wave inverter, was incredibly easy to install in less than 20 minutes, explains Charlie Grove, Technology Action Team Lead for TEXSAR. Having a portable power kit for their critical equipment has given TEXSAR greater flexibility when deciding where to set up their field operations—they can be closer to the search teams instead of miles away in a command center. When they arrive at a location, they simply open the solar panel, which comes with a built-in stand, connect the battery cables to a 12-volt battery, and connect the battery to the inverter.
“This kit might as well have been built specifically for search and rescue operations,” says Grove. “We knew that this system was portable and that the setup wouldn't be too difficult, but I don't think we realized just how much flexibility it would provide. If we need to move to a new location, we can pack up in under two minutes, put the equipment in the back of a UTV, and be back up and running within five minutes of arriving at the new location.”
TEXSAR vehicles do carry a limited supply of gasoline, but can also experience situations where the supply would be exhausted before they had completed their deployment and additional fuel isn't available, like in a remote location or after a hurricane. Having a reliable source of electricity that doesn't depend on consumables is a huge asset for the team—and their rescue efforts.