A container that can produce clean water, electricity, heat and cold and can be quickly flown to the acute crisis areas such as Haiti, trouble spots in Africa or areas in Hungary that become saturated in red mud. That\’s what researchers and students at KTH are in the process of developing right now.
“KTH students are currently working hard on the container that goes under the name Rescue Module. In about 6 months, a detailed proposal will be presented, which will contain drawings, specifications and a description of how everything should be implemented,\” says Victoria Martin, lecturer and programme coordinator for the Master’s programme SELECT where the students who are working with the Rescue Module study.
She goes on to say that an initial pilot container is expected to be developed in two years time, under the EU\’s multi-billion crown initiative InnoEnergy, collaboration between the university and industry. She sees the container as a unique chance for a cross-fertilization of work among students, researchers and business. But the idea behind the Rescue Module is also a result of the motivation that came from the misery that has recently befallen the world.
“Flexibility is the key as regards the container. You should be able to produce energy from the sun and the wind, but it should also be possible to send a fossil fuel if necessary,\” says Victoria Martin.
According to Torsten Fransson, Professor of Heat and Power Technology at KTH and the initiator of the container idea, the project aims to take advantage of the various resources available at the university.
It’s all about thinking outside the box in the energy sector, combining the different skills of researchers, irrespective of whether they’re in the field of solar, wind or nuclear power,” says Torsten Fransson.
He adds that the container project forms part of a range of initiatives and resources. Among them are InnoEnergi, the exchange programme Erasmus Mundus and the Master’s programme SELECT and Polly Generation, which aims to produce products that incorporate the use of many different forms of energy.
“In total, we will make use of students and researchers equivalent to a workforce of 15-20 people-years, who will be working with the container,\” says Torsten Fransson.