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14 Aug 13. US NRL develops low cost solar sensor for field analysis. The US Naval electronics science and technology division research scientists have developed a new low-cost, highly-efficient spectral sensor, to measure the amount of solar irradiation (sunlight) visible to photovoltaic panels. Designed for field analysis of solar cell irradiance performance and spectral distribution, the sensor system can be used in remote solar radiation monitoring applications, including mobile solar power units. Working in the solid state sevices section of the laboratory, Dr. R. Hoheisel said the new minimum size, ultra-low power spectral radiometre unit features integrated data storage functionality and a battery lifetime of up to several years.
“In addition, the system can be produced at the expense of under $20 and features very high sensitivity and linearity,” Hoheisel said. “The system can be produced at the expense of under $20 and features very high sensitivity and linearity.”
The sensor can be tailored to suit the end-user needs and can also be used in long-term environmental monitoring systems where high-precision and low-power consumption is required. In addition, the modularity enables the system to adjust to different wavelength bands as well as different light intensities as required for the user. The completely autonomous operational sensor system facilitates wider operational range of solar radiation measurement units, which leads to better understanding as well as reliable and accurate forecasts of available solar power for various mission profiles.
“These units have a dynamic range of 0.01 – 2 suns measured in 30-second intervals, a data capacity of 128MB, an average power consumption of 100uW and an independent real time clock.”
The photovoltaic system has been developed and prototyped by the US Marine Corps (USMC) expeditionary energy office (E2O) to meet the requirements of USMC expeditionary power for robust, high-efficiency solar panels, which are appropriate for adaptation to rechargeable batteries in the field. The research is also contributed by the USMC E2O and the office of naval research (ONR) expeditionary and irregular warfare office. (Source: naval-technology.com)

22 Aug 13. General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center (mc2), NextEnergy and TM3 Systems successfully completed a microgrid technology demonstration in July at General Dynamics Land Systems’ headquarters in Sterling Heights. The collaboration used a General Dynamics Land Systems’ Electric Drive (eDrive) 8×8 armored vehicle and a Tactical Modular Mobile MicroGrid (TM3) power system from Royal Oak, Mich.-based start-up TM3 Systems to enable remote power generation and distribution. In this demonstration, the eDrive vehicle’s propulsion system generated electricity that was exported to a modified prototype microgrid system built by TM3 Systems. The microgrid system then stores, converts and distributes the appropriate power output required to support remote military installations and disaster relief efforts. “Since 2012, NextEnergy and mc2 have collaborated on a number of activities to accelerate innovation of vehicle development for defense applications,” said Jean Redfield, President and CEO, NextEnergy. “With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, we established a new program to integrate the TM3 Systems technology with the eDrive vehicle to accelerate the delivery and improve management of grid quality power.”
“General Dynamics’ Maneuver Collaboration Center is about firsts: First in collaboration and first in innovation,” said Sonya Sepahban, senior vice president, engineering, dev

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