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10 May 13. The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is developing a next-generation blanket based on a new application of more powerful solar cells that previously have been used only on satellites, the lab said in a 7 May programme update. Solar blankets are not new equipment for military ground troops. The USMC deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province with them in early 2011 after the technology was developed through the marine’s Experimental Forward Operating Base initiative and they are now widely available commercially. The blankets are important to ground troops because so much of the equipment a soldier carries today is electric. Batteries are heavy, especially for soldiers on missions who do not have access to recharging power and must carry enough batteries to last several days. The weight can be more than 80 lb for each soldier. The solar blankets currently in use by the US military – and shared with British troops in Afghanistan – are based on thin-film solar technology, which, while flexible enough for blanket applications, is relatively low efficiency with an average sunlight to energy conversion rate of about 10%.(Source: Jane’s)
16 May 13. Research and Markets announced the addition of the “Biofuel Usage in the Armed Forces” report to their offering. Biofuels have had a long history of use in the transport sector. This began in the 1970s and early 1980s when a substantial increase in biofuels production and use in many countries resulted from high oil prices. But biofuels became less competitive vis-à-vis fossil fuels after the collapse of oil prices in the mid-1980s, and global interest in biofuels for transport waned considerably in the 1990s and the first years of the 21st century. The recent sustained increase in international oil prices has once again highlighted the potential for biofuels to contribute to transport fuel demand, particularly in countries that import the bulk of fossil fuel supplies. Global concerns about the effects of fossil fuel use on the environment, as well as recognition of the benefits of energy supply diversification also support increasing biofuels production and use. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
16 May 13. LGS Innovations, a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent, announced the release of the LGS Tactical Power Solution (TPS). The TPS is a tactically-oriented, ruggedized battery capable of providing up to 2700 Watt-Hours of power at 48 volts direct current (DC). The Lithium-Ion smart battery is designed to help establish and reposition communication networks by providing high-powered, high quality electrical power
on the move. The TPS addresses the need for mobile, high-capacity, ruggedized, smart, flexible and fault-tolerant power solutions. The smart battery is air-shippable, if placed in shipping mode and shipped in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation and international restrictions regarding the transportation of Class 9 dangerous goods. The TPS can charge to full power in less than 5 hours and recharge while operating. More information on TPS can be found on the product page on the LGS website. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
16 May 13. U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin officials commissioned the first U.S. DoD grid-tied microgrid integrating both renewable resources and energy storage during a ribbon cutting ceremony today at Fort Bliss, Texas. The project was funded by the DoD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program. The Fort Bliss grid-tied microgrid is designed to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs while providing the capability to operate independent of the electric utility grid when needed to provi