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Archive for the ‘Power’ Category

Widget Wednesday: Using Solar Power

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Last time we looked at ways that troops can harness power from vehicles either while on the move or stationary. There may be times though when a vehicle or vehicle battery isn’t available, or when the tactical situation requires noise discipline that prevents running a vehicle engine.

Besides the audible signature, a running engine also produces a significant thermal signature – and it requires fuel of course as well. Using a field generator also incurs these same drawbacks, as well as the fact that it needs to be transported out to the location in the first place.

To get around all of these drawbacks the military has been a leading accelerator of portable solar power solutions. Solar power is free, plentiful, and safe and easy-to-use. Because of all this, a lightweight, folding solar blanket is included with every Nett Warrior system, and all PTX power management kits also include a solar blanket as a standard item as well.

There are nonetheless a few techniques and procedures to bear in mind. First; when connecting a solar blanket to the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, make sure to plug it into Port #3 or #4 (a sun burst icon is printed on the case next to those ports for extra clarity); then connect a rechargeable battery to Port #1, #2, #5 or #6.  On the PTX VPM-402 Vest Power Manager, the solar blanket is connected to Port “S” and the rechargeable battery to Port “B”.

Why does a battery need to be connected as well? Because the sun’s power constantly varies but phones, radios, and laptops require steady power, the Power Manager requires a battery in order to “even out” the power generated by the solar blanket. The best battery to use is one that you would want to keep charged anyway – such as a BB-2590 or a Conformal Wearable Battery.

Furthermore; a solar blanket or panel only works in direct sunlight, even a slight amount of shade (or passing clouds) can severely limit the amount of energy the solar blanket can produce. Try to aim the blanket directly at the sun, or to drape the blanket over something to get the best angle on the sun. When the solar blanket is generating at peak output the PTX Power Manager will automatically divert any excess energy to keep the battery charged. If the power output from the solar blanket dips, the Power Manager will automatically pull power from the battery as needed.

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us through www.PTXnomad.com or Teamroom@Protonex.com or +1-508-508-9960.

Widget Wednesday – Power Scavenging

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Seventy-four years ago the province of Normandy France erupted as the greatest airborne, amphibious, and special operations campaign in history was launched. Heavily-armed, and carrying as much ammo as they could stand up with, “Little Groups of Paratroopers” (and Commandos) swarmed over the beaches and countryside. Taking out lines of communication and holding strategic locations, they spread the “fog of war” and created havoc and confusion behind enemy lines – tying down enemy armored units that otherwise could have succeeded in pushing the invasion back into the English Channel. The ultimate victory they ensured came at a heavy price, and with a fair amount of havoc and confusion on the friendly side as well.

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Fast forward to the conflicts of today and we have made great strides in developing technologies that penetrate The Fog of War. But this capability has also come with the added weight penalty of lots of batteries – what we call ‘The Battery Burden’.

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Finding ways to reduce the number, variety, and weight of batteries that troops have to carry has been a multi-faceted effort across different Services and industry partners. Replacing non-rechargeable batteries with rechargeable ones has helped; replacing heavy, bulky standard batteries with slimmer, lighter, flexible Conformal Batteries has helped; and replacing up to 35 pounds of battery weight with a couple of pounds of Power Management Kit has helped tremendously as well.

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An SPM-622 Squad Power Manager and a few cables is like having a multi-tool for power in your rucksack. With such a system, troops can “scavenge” power from vehicle batteries or power-out ports and from solar panels or blankets to recharge their batteries anywhere. Our rugged ABC-812 Adaptive Battery Charger and pocket-sized VPM-402 Vest Power Manager also have a scavenger mode as well. Having this power-scavenger ability gives small units flexibility, logistical independence, and increased operational effectiveness.

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The PTX range of vehicle power scavenging solutions include the following:
• NATO Slave Connector – 12V to 33.5V at 10A charge and discharge
• ‘Cigarette Plug’ – 10V to 14.4V at 5A charge and discharge
• Alligator battery clips – 6V to 55V at 20A discharge

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An important fail-safe measure is also pre-programmed into the system – when scavenging power from a vehicle battery with the engine switched off, the system monitors the battery’s state of charge and will automatically shut off before it’s drained beyond its capacity to restart the vehicle.

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For further information about our full range of power management solutions, visit www.PTXnomad.com or contact the Team.Room@Protonex.comand see us next week at Eurosatory with our French allies PROCOMM-MMC, on booth B697 in Hall 5A.

TARDEC SURUS

Friday, June 1st, 2018

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SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) is a collaboration between the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and General Motor’s Hydrotec.

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SURUS is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, offering low temperature, silent, zero-emissions operation. Additionally, it can be configured for autonomous operation with LIDAR sensors embedded at the sides.

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This Gen 2 fuel cell system combines a Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range with a Lithium-ion battery system, offering Exportable Power Takeoff (EPTO) where high-voltage DC from the fuel cell stack could be converted to both high- and low-voltage AC to power tools or equipment.

SURUS features two advanced electric drive units along with Four-wheel steering to get in and out of tight spaces.

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While configured here as a cargo carrier, there are other modules such as weapons stations, troop carriers, medical, and even hydrogen power generator sets which offer up to 100kW of portable power. Additionally, a cab can be fitted for manned operation as a more traditional cargo vehicle.

Widget Wednesday – DeWalt Battery Adapters

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Many SOF elements deploy on foreign missions for an indefinite period of time in austere environments. The need to be self-sufficient also often includes having to build the infrastructure they need to for accommodation, training, and operations. To get this job done, commercially available power tools are in common use.

Commercial power tools are also necessary for the maintenance of Indigenously Owned Vehicles (IOV), Non-Tactical Vehicles (NTV), and Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles (NSTV) as well and are a ‘must have’ on any extended operations with such vehicles.

Finally, much of the specialized equipment used by forces with specific, unique mission sets such as breaching, demolition, and EOD uses commercial power tool batteries as well.

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Until now, the ability to keep these batteries charged in environments with unreliable or non-existent AC power infrastructure has been a significant challenge – to say nothing of the extra space and weight taken up with their special wall charger units.

Thanks to our recently developed DeWalt Tool Battery Adapters for the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, units can now keep all of their batteries charged up no matter how austere the AO. Our SPM + DeWalt Adapter combinations also enable units to get double-duty of their DeWalt batteries by using them as a power source for their other gear as well.

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DeWalt Batteries currently supported by the SPM include the 14.4V, 18V, and now the 20V – with the slide-on Adapter as well. DeWalt Tool Battery Adapter’s for the ABC-812 Adaptive Battery Charger are also in development and will be released soon.

For pricing and availability, please contact the PTX team at:  team.room@protonex.com or on 508-490-6690.

Widget Wednesday: PTX “Y-Wing” CWB-MBITR Power Assembly

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

We are constantly working to provide increased mission capability with a reduced battery burden. Recently, we worked with special operations end-users to develop a streamlined, vest-worn, power solution based on the issued Conformal Wearable Battery.

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The Conformal Wearable Battery, or CWB, is a thin, lightweight, flexible Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery that integrates with the end-user’s load carrying equipment.  It reduces the number of spare batteries the operator needs to carry, it enables the sustainment of dismounted operations in remote / austere environments, and features a state of charge indicator for quickly checking its remaining power capacity.  The CWB is much safer than other common Lithium-Ion batteries – it can even be shot without bursting into flames or blowing up – and operates at temperatures ranging from -20 degrees C to 60 degrees C.  The Conformal Wearable Battery was developed as part of the Nett Warrior program and is now in use with many units.

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The PTX “Y-Wing” CWB-MBITR Power Assembly connects two MBITR PRC-148 or PRC-152 radios to a single CWB integrated into the user’s plate carrier or load carrying vest. Our system greatly increases radio mission time – 3x longer than a 50Wh MBTR Battery and 2x longer than a 70Wh MBTR Battery – and eliminates the additional cost of an additional hub or extra radio batteries. It also contributes to a lighter and more streamlined load carriage set-up.

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If you’re at SOFIC come see the system at our booth – #2232. Otherwise, for further information contact us at Team.Room@Protonex.com

Widget Wednesday – PTX RQ-11B Raven Austere Power Solutions

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

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The AeroVironment RQ-11B Raven® is the most widely-used low-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) asset among US and Allied Forces today. On a single battery charge, the Raven® can typically fly up to 6.2 miles (10.0 km) at speeds of 28–60 mph (45–97 km/h). Now, thanks to the PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager and ABC-812 Adaptive Battery Charger, RQ-11B Raven® operators can unplug themselves from the wall socket charger, harvest / scavenge power from any available source, and keep flying for longer – anywhere.

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Drawing power from solar panels / blankets, vehicle power outlets, vehicle batteries, and military or commercial rechargeable batteries, Raven® operators are able to maintain full, constant operational capability in even the most undeveloped environments.

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And thanks to our ground-breaking smart cable technology, Raven® aircraft batteries can also be connected to the SPM-622 as a power source to run other essential equipment such as radios, GPS devices, tablets – or even medical equipment for casualty treatment. This not only helps units simplify logistics and reduce their battery burden, it could even save a life.

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The SPM-622 RQ-11B Raven® Austere Power Kit includes a Squad Power Manager, a flexible solar blanket, vehicle and battery power scavenging cables, and all connectors and accessories needed to charge the aircraft battery, Ground Control Station, and Toughbook® simultaneously.

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The ABC-812 RQ-11B Raven® Bulk-Charging Kit enables users to charge up to 8 Raven® aircraft batteries in dual battery adapters simultaneously.  Alternatively, users can charge 2 Raven® batteries and up to 6 other batteries as needed.  The ABC-812 also incorporates 4 USB ports for concurrently charging Smart Phones, Tablets and other end-user devices.

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Come see the PTX team at SOFIC next week at booth #2232 to learn more about the full range of PTX Power Management Solutions – or visit the website anytime at www.ptxnomad.com

Tectonica Launches The Next Generation Soldier Worn Power Scavenger

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Tectonica’s launches its latest BANTAM product, the Power Scavenger. It sets a new benchmark in soldier worn equipment with its novel “soldier centric” design.

Unlike common power hubs the BANTAM Power Scavenger does not have cables protruding straight out. It has a unique, and patented ‘Z’ shape design that arranges 3 ports around the ‘Z’ in a way that cradles bulky cable connectors and gets rid of uncomfortable protrusions. Even when fully connected, the design ensures that the Power Scavenger keeps an incredibly slim profile improving the way it’s integrated onto the soldier.

Tectonica worked closely with active soldiers to develop the BANTAM Power Scavenger. It has been designed specifically for the soldier that needs a power management capability but doesn’t need a multi-port power manager and USB hub.

It enables the connection of a central battery to provide up to 100W power, which will power your Combat Net Radio, GPS receiver, and an Android or Windows End User Device with lots of power to spare.

A built in Maximum Power Point Tracker ensures you can recharge the central battery from a solar matt, vehicle, primary or rechargeable batteries, mains power, basically any power source available on the battlefield. Simultaneously powering and charging the main battery greatly improves operational readiness by eliminating the need to disconnect equipment when recharging.

This highly efficient power scavenger has a negligible heat signature, even when operating continuously in desert conditions of 55°C (131°F). And at less than 150g (5.3oz) the BANTAM Power Scavenger delivers big on capability for a very small weight burden.

www.tectonica.net

Widget Wednesday: PTX FIRSTLOOK UGV FIELD-CHARGING KIT

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

One of our latest developments, the SPM-622 Field-Charging Kit for the Endeavor Robotics FirstLook® keeps your robot fully operational in the field.

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The lightweight, rugged, throwable, FirstLook® UGV provides tactical situational awareness while allowing personnel to maintain a safe stand-off position. With the SPM-622 Field Charging Kit, FirstLook® users can harvest / scavenge power from any available source to ensure your FirstLook® always remains operational – no matter where you are.

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FirstLook® Field-Charging Kits include an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, a flexible solar blanket, vehicle and battery power scavenging cables, and all connectors and accessories needed to charge a robot, a controller, and a radio simultaneously.

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The SPM-622 system charges the FirstLook® in the same amount of time as a standard A/C wall charger (approx. 3 hrs.) – it can also charge up to 4 robots in less than 6 hours.

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The kit can also be customized to include additional cables for other equipment if needed as well.

For further information about our full range of power management solutions, visit www.PTXnomad.com or contact the Team.Room@Protonex.comand come see us at SOFIC on booth #2232.