Archive for the ‘Power’ Category

Widget Wednesday:  Power on-the-go

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Many Special Operations units today are making increased use of LTATV’s and other agile off-road vehicles that enable rapid ground mobility and support with a smaller logistics footprint.


This increased agility and flexibility comes at some cost though.  Such vehicles are usually not equipped with line-of-sight radios, mesh networks, or other C4I capabilities that are often included on larger standard platforms.


Many of the smaller, more agile vehicles also don’t have mil-standard power output ports either. This creates challenges for units that want to have the ability to charge batteries, power equipment and maintain constant operability of critical electronics – on the move and off-the-grid.  Fortunately, PTX power management systems have the built-in flexibility, adaptability and ruggedness to address these capability gaps.


We have helped many Special Operations units use their SPM-622 kits as a universal power hub for on-board equipment, on-the-go battery charger, and to provide additional operational capabilities while using ATV’s and other mobility platforms.


SPM kits have also proven their utility as an on-board power hub for field-assembled C4I networks, using the vehicle’s cigarette plug or battery contacts as the power interface. The VPM-402 Vest Power Manager also delivers this same flexibility and adaptability for individual ‘man-worn’ systems, and the rugged ABC-812 can provide the same degree of bilk-charging capability out in the middle of nowhere that it delivers back at the FOB.


Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us through or or +1-508-508-9960.

Widget Wednesday:  Universal Power for EOD Teams

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The PTX Universal Power Kits, based around the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, dramatically reduces the weight and clutter of batteries, chargers and power adapters for EOD teams.

The EOD Universal Power Kit includes an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager as well as accessories that support the Minehound® and other metal detectors, DeWalt® and Snap-On® tool batteries, the MMX X-Ray viewer, the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, the Smart Ray Vision (SRV) system, and other EOD-specific equipment.

Each Universal Power Kit also includes a foldable solar blanket and the cables and accessories for charging batteries and “scavenging” power from military and civilian trucks, car batteries, and the local AC grid. The kits are delivered as a rugged “roll kit” to keep gear organized and ready for use, while decreasing volume and weight.

The original SPM EOD kit was developed in partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) and Navy EOD Training & Evaluation Team Two in 2014. They reported a reduction in battery charger equipment weight from 45-lbs. to 9-lbs.!  This 5x reduction in weight also came with a significant improvement in the amount of space taken up in their vehicles by the old gear!

Hundreds of these units have since been proven in-theater with US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and international EOD teams.

Visit the PTX team this week at ADS Warrior East, booth #103 (Protonex Technology Corp.) to learn more.

For information about the different applications that PTX systems support, visit

Ballard Subsidiary Protonex Receives Further $1M Power Manager Order for US Army

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced that the Company’s subsidiary, Protonex, has received a further $1 million order for the supply of SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kits to support U.S. Army brigades that are being deployed overseas.


“The U.S. Army’s focus on providing power management solutions for deployed forces shows how ‘power’ has become just as important as water, food and ammunition in the modern operating environment” said Ray Summers, Protonex Director of Military Sales. He continued, “Having an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kit is like having a multi-tool for power in your rucksack. With such a system, troops can easily scavenge power from any DC source to keep their batteries and devices constantly operational – no matter where they are.”


The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager intelligently manages energy between batteries and electronic equipment. It works as an intelligent power harvester and scavenger, an automatic voltage converter, a universal power hub, and it’s safe and easy-to-use.  It is also robust and waterproof to support missions in harsh environments with extreme temperatures and no infrastructure.


The Squad Power Manager has proven itself as a mission-essential tactical tool because it reduces a units’ battery burden, while increasing up-time and operational effectiveness.  The SPM-622 supports a wide range electronic systems, including solutions for; Medical / Prolonged Field Care; Explosive Ordinance Demolition; Unmanned Air and Ground Systems; HF / UHF Radios and SATCOM Terminals; Recon, Surveillance and Targeting; Smartphones, Tablets and Computers; and more…


The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager system is manufactured Protonex’s facility in Southborough, Massachusetts. The PTX series of Power Management Systems are in operation with United States, NATO, and Other Partner Nations forces around the world.

For further information about PTX Power Management Solutions from Protonex, go to  If you’re attending Warrior East on the 11th and 12th of July, visit the PTX crew at Booth # 103.

Goal Zero – Yeti Home Integration Kit

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Even though SSD’s primary focus is PPE, we do discuss power systems, and occasionally prepping. Considering the number of storms and other unforeseen circumstances which knock out power, everyone should consider alternatives to the shore power we all enjoy here in the front country.

Goal Zero explains that when access to the power grid goes down, the flow of power to your home’s electrical system from the distribution transformer is interrupted. Once installed, the Home Integration Kit acts as a switch between two power sources, the main source being the distribution transformer and the secondary source being the power station.

When installed with a Yeti portable power station, the HIK allows you to provide backup power for up to four 120V circuits in your house. Determining which circuits those should be isn’t an exact science and will vary from household to household. Keep in mind that, due to the inherent risks involved in working with your electrical system, you must get the HIK installed by a certified electrician.

Generally, there are a number of circuits that tend to be well-suited for backup power across a variety of home setups. We recommend the following:

• Run a light or two in your most important room(s). This could be a centrally-located living or family room where there is space to gather and wait out the storm, as well as a highly-utilized room like the kitchen or bathroom.

• Power your garage door opener. In the event of an emergency, people often think about hunkering down and staying inside. But what if you need to get out? Making sure you have enough power to easily get out of your house if need be is important.

• Power your fridge in order to keep food fresh.

• Back up an outlet that supplies power to your WiFi router so you can stay connected and keep in touch through a storm.

Once you have selected your circuits and had the HIK installed by an electrician, it’s quite easy to use. The HIK is simply plugged into the AC output of a Yeti power station via an extension cable and you are able to flip the switches for each circuit from the grid to Yeti power in an outage. An informative display on the Yeti allows you to monitor runtime, input/out, and battery levels. If your Yeti is mobile app enabled, you can even monitor power usage from afar.

In the event the power grid is unavailable, the Yeti portable power station can be recharged via solar panels.

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 or 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.


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’.


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.


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.


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


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.


For further information about our full range of power management solutions, visit 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.


Friday, June 1st, 2018


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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: or on 508-490-6690.