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24 Jun 13. USAF evaluates modified PBIS-2000 lift gas generator. The US Air Force Special Operations Command (US AFSOC) has successfully carried
out initial field trials of AlumiFuel Power’s (AFPW) upgraded Portable Balloon Inflation System (PBIS)-2000 at an undisclosed location. Delivered in January following certain USAF-requested modifications, the system successfully addressed the service’s minimum requirements during the testing. The company was also informed by the AFSOC about several minor items, which need to be modified or integrated for follow-on units. Delayed in wake of the US government’s budget cuts, the trials represent the system’s second round of on-site training and evaluation, following on-site training with AFPW’s engineers at Hurlburt Field airbase in Florida, US, in 2012. Following the 2012 testing, the system, which was originally delivered in April that year, was returned to AFPW for modification of 14 items to help enhance and upgrade its functionality and user-friendliness in the field. AlumiFuel Power Technologies. The AFSOC ordered a prototype PBIS-200 system along with 360 cartridges, a spare parts kit, a tool kit and a two-day operational training package from AlumiFuel in September 2011. The next milestone in the evaluation programme includes additional trials in the US and then in an overseas environment, where the PBIS is expected to operate. Equipped with six AlumiFuel cartridges, PBIS-2000 is a hydrogen lift-gas generator designed to provide the AFSOC with the required amount of lift gas for the launch of a 200g weather balloon and special instrumentation payload within 20 minutes. Having footprint, weight and safety features similar to that of the company’s PBIS-lite system, it is also capable of operating at ambient pressure and low temperatures, a quality superior to conventional K-cylinders. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Jun 13. High Energy Lithium ion solution provides hot swap functionality. Critical equipment and applications that need to run continuously cannot rely solely on mains supply; additional energy solutions in the form of battery backup are also required. To this end Accutronics, the UK’s leading independent battery design, development and manufacturing company, has launched the Intelligent Power Vault (IPV), a high energy density lithium-ion battery system. The product is an ideal solution for applications where energy reliability, flexibility and safety are paramount, such as medical & industrial applications. Over the past ten years, Lithium Ion battery technology has become the default choice for powering portable electronic devices as it provides longer runtimes and lower weight than older chemistries such as nickel cadmium (NiCad), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) and lead acid. However, the transportation of Lithium Ion batteries by air, sea and road is heavily regulated and Lithium Ion batteries must pass mandatory transportation tests before they can be shipped. Once tested, these batteries must be packed in accordance with strict packaging and paperwork requirements and limitations are placed on the number and weight of batteries shipped. Batteries with energy in excess of 100Wh have additional restrictions placed upon them which can make their transport costly for the company or individual trying to ship the battery. Listening to OEMs’ requirements Accutronics has created an off the shelf, modular battery system that draws energy from removable, sub 100Wh Lithium Ion smart batteries and feeds them through a central controller. This allows an energy system with less than 100Wh to be manufactured whilst still complying with transportation r