Power is generated by the Leading Edge LE-600 wind turbine mounted on one corner of the PowerBox and 1.3kW-1.5kW of solar, designed for disaster response applications by GB Sol and specified by Team Rubicon UK.
The PowerBox is a pre-configured, self-contained system the size of a standard pallet that once installed is left operating, topping up the batteries until needed.
When a hurricane is forecast, all that needs to be done is to lower the wind turbine, the PowerBox unit itself is bolted to the concrete pad on which it sits. This is a simple operation Ė stop the turbine spinning with a switch, undo the two bolts at the bottom of the mast and lower the mast. The wind turbine is then stored in a safe place until the storm has passed.
As soon as it is safe to do so, the wind turbine is reinstalled and the foam-backed flexible solar panels are laid out and fixed to the ground, together they produce 1.5kW of power during daylight hours with the wind turbine continuing to put in power during the night. The AC equipment that needs powering is then plugged into the PowerBox.
In the first phase, four PowerBoxes were sent to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and installed on Tortola, the main island. Manufactured in the UK by Leading Edge Power, the PowerBoxes are air and sea freight friendly; the six on-board deep-cycle batteries comply with IATA Special Provisions A48 and A67 and therefore classified as non-restricted goods.