Next Generation Army Power System Combines Wind and Solar Energy

U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, located at Fort Monmouth, N.J.Tony Bui is an engineer with the Army Power division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, which is located at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

There’s a lot of good stuff here at the C4ISR Symposium in Baltimore. We’re presenting at a track session today – our topic is “Power source options for the Brigade Combat Team Modernization Soldier” – and we’ll be conducting a media roundtable, Thursday, 11:45-12:30, on the same topic.

Yesterday, we talked about the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS), one of our efforts to provide Soldiers with renewable energy solutions, which is a critical focus for CERDEC Army Power. Renewable energy is convenient and sometimes essential when Soldiers are operating in areas that are far removed from main power distribution lines. It also addresses rising fuel costs and the security risks associated with delivering fuel.

As a follow-up to REPPS, CERDEC Army Power envisions the next generation of photovoltaic systems to use wind power generation as part of a hybrid system for larger-power demand applications. We call it the Reusing Existing Natural Wind and Solar system, or RENEWS.

The concept combines wind generation and solar harvesting components to collect energy and store it in a battery bank for future use. Embedded AC/DC outputs would allow military devices to connect to the system for power. Applications that can benefit from this type of system are re-transmission sites, battery charging and command posts.

RENEWS falls into this category of higher power production.  Once fully developed, the system is designed for two-man lift that provides higher levels of power and energy storage for use with communications and surveillance in a forward-based environment, where vehicular and/or utility-grid power is not always available.

CERDEC Army Power will be delivering 125 systems as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program.  The system is still in development, and more information on the final system design will be available in the upcoming months.

What are your thoughts regarding alternative and hybrid power solutions? Do you have recommendations or lessons learned? If so, visit Army Power or contact CERDEC Public Affairs: (732) 427-1594. We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, check out some articles regarding renewable/alternative energy solutions and the work we’re doing at CERDEC Army Power. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Renewable energy rodeo

Moving power closer to the edge

US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

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