Providing Power When There is None: Instant Access Networks, Frostburg Faculty Developing Renewable-Energy-Fueled Power Grids Sa
National security nuts are boosting the renewable energy revolution; an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a terrorist missile or solar flare could take out the power grid, computer systems and our economy, so they're developing a distributed backup system based on renewable energy sources.
COLLEGE PARK, Md., Oct 09, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Imagine if electronic devices in the U.S. were disabled. Your car would not run. You couldn't make a phone call. Television, radio, GPS, computers and their related financial and military systems could be down. Power could be out for as long as two years. Sound far-fetched? A one-megaton nuclear bomb detonated 250 miles over Kansas could cripple many modern electronic devices and systems in the continental U.S. and take out the power grid for a long time. "A rogue state or terrorist organization could easily acquire nuclear material for a smaller weapon for $20 million," says Charles Manto, president of Instant Access Networks LLC (IAN). "That weapon could be fitted onto a Scud missile for as little as $100,000, fired and detonated 80 miles into the air and affect the entire U.S. east coast, causing up to $10 trillion in damage before you spend a nickel to fix anything." A solar storm similar to the one that occurred in 1859, which shorted out telegraph wires in the United States and Europe, could wreak havoc on electrical systems. Each of the above scenarios can create a powerful electromagnetic pulse that overloads electronic devices and systems. IAN staff and Frostburg State University physics and engineering professor Hilkat Soysal are teaming -- through a $165,000 project recently approved by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program -- to create renewable energy-powered, electromagnetic pulse (EMP)-protected microgrids that could provide electricity for critical infrastructure facilities in the event of a disaster.