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03 Sep 13. US Army receives bidirectional electric vehicle chargers. A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, alongside subcontractor Coritech
Services, has commissioned five bidirectional chargers and aggregating control systems at Fort Carson in Colorado, US, as part of the US Army’s smart power infrastructure demonstration for energy reliability and security (SPIDERS) microgrid project. Designed for Fort Carson’s plug-in electric vehicles fleet, the bidirectional, fast-charging stations are capable of supplying power back to the base microgrid when required, to help address installation demand or enhance overall power quality. Carried out using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, the commissioning marks a significant milestone of the Fort Carson SPIDERS project, which is moving closer to completion. The vehicles were supplied for use on SPIDERS under separate agreements with the US Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Besides offering plug-in electric vehicles up to 300kW of power, the chargers are also capable of discharging a like amount of stored energy from the vehicle batteries to the grid or microgrid through the society of automotive engineers (SAE) standard J1772-compliant bidirectional charging cables. Having tested to charge and discharge at full capacity of 60kW, every charger has also imported and exported a combined 394kVAR to local grid even when the vehicles are not connected, which increases power factor of the loads at the base, apart from reducing cost for transmission of power from the local utility. In addition, the chargers are incorporated into the SPIDERS backup power microgrid, enabling the base to use a bidirectional-capable electric vehicles fleet as energy storage devices, which in collaboration with diesel generators and a 2MW solar photovoltaic array increases reliability and efficiency of backup power systems to critical facilities. Other members of Burns & McDonnell team include Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corporation (IPERC). Primarily managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the SPIDERS project also features technical guidance from both CERL and TARDEC. (Source: army-technology.com)

27 Aug 13. DARPA seeks proposals for Warrior Web programme final phase. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is requesting proposals from industry partners for the final phase of its Warrior Web programme. Warrior Web seeks development of a soft, lightweight undersuit, which will help reduce injuries and fatigue, simultaneously augmenting dismounted soldiers’ battlefield endurance, carrying capacity and overall effectiveness, without interfering with their body armour or other standard clothing and gear. The comfortable, durable and washable suit is expected to allow efficient and safe movement for an array of activities, such as walking, running, jumping and crawling, while consuming no more than 100W of electric power from the battery source. Also called Warrior Web Task B: Advanced Technology Development, the final phase seeks proposals for combining the programme’s Task A’s component technology investments into a fully integrated undersuit system and its subsequent implementation. Warrior Web Task A: Warrior Web Alpha produced a mix of core component technologies that can be worn at the ankles, hips, knees and upper body, for direct reduction of injury causing factors and the easing of physical burdens through augmentation of the work done by soldiers’ muscles. DARPA Warrior Web programme manager

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