ASU project receives first place in 2021 Microgrid Greater Good Awards


Led by sustainability scientist Nathan Johnson and the Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions, ASU’s ATLAS Containerized Microgrid has won first place in the 2021 Microgrid Greater Good Awards. The system powers a 40-foot container that was converted by an ASU team into a medical clinic in Northern Uganda that provides primary care to over 200 Sudanese refugees per day. Before the microgrid was installed, medical practitioners struggled with unreliable power and difficult access to clean water.

The clinic uses 22 linear feet of the 40-foot container, with the remaining 18 feet used for the microgrid and water purification systems. The 10-kW solar microgrid also provides power for medical staff housing and is capable of offering additional power for expanded water supply and area lighting.

The containerized microgrid is replicable and can be used for other areas that require “last mile” distribution to remote off-grid locations, according to Johnson, who led development of the system as part of a $2 million, four-part research project funded by the US Office of Naval Research’s Defense University Research-to-Adoption Program.

Microgrid Knowledge launched the award program three years ago as a way to highlight the humanitarian and societal benefits of microgrids. The winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges.

Michelle Schwartz