Modular Aid and Power Pallet (MAPP): FY18 Energy Technical Investment Program
April 19, 2019
Electric power is a critical element of rapid response disaster relief efforts. Generators currently used have high failure rates and require fuel supply chains, and standardized renewable power systems are not yet available. In addition, none of these systems are designed for easy adaptation or repairs in the field to accommodate changing power needs as the relief effort progresses. To address this, the Modular Aid and Power Pallet, or MAPP, was designed to be a temporary, scalable, self-contained, user-focused power system. While some commercial systems are advertised for disaster relief systems, most are limited by mobility, custom battery assemblies (with challenges for air transport, ground mobility, or both), and the ability to power AC loads. While the first year system focused on an open architecture design with distributed DC units that could be combined to serve larger AC loads, the second year succeeded in minimizing or eliminating batteries while providing AC power for both the distributed and centralized systems. Therefore, individual modules can be distributed to power small AC loads such as laptop charging, or combined in series for larger loads such as water purification. Each module is powered by a small photovoltaic (PV) array connected to a prototype off-grid Enphase microinverter that can be used with or without energy storage. In addition, an output box for larger loads is included to provide a ground fault interrupt, under/over voltage relay, and the ability to change the system grounding to fit the needs of a more complicated system. The second year MAPP effort was divided into two phases: Phase 1 from October 2017 to March 20181 focused on refining requirements and vendor selection, and Phase 2 from March 2018 to October 20182 focusing on power electronics, working with the new Enphase microinverter, and ruggedizing the system. The end result is the Phase 2 effort has been designed, tested, and proven to form a robust AC power source that is flexible and configurable by the end user. Our testing has shown that operators can easily set up the system and adapt it to changing needs in the field.