FirstSpear TV

Soldier Portable Charger

According to a news release from the British Ministry of Defence, a team of energy experts at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and the Integrated Soldier Systems Executive (ISSE) at Abbey Wood have developed a portable energy solution dubbed the Solider Portable Charger. Based on a Urgent Operational Requirement from field commanders in Afghanistan, the system consists of lithium ion power source (LIPS) 11 & 12 batteries, a solar charging mat, and a plug n play battery charger that can be carried by a quad.

The requirement was based on weight. Currently, an eight-man section taking part in a 40-hour patrol currently has to contend with a hefty 60kg burden in batteries alone:

“A major factor in developing this UOR was the weight in batteries required during that 40-hour mission,” explained project manager Peter Flowers. “That’s a ridiculous amount to be added just for power supplies, so we sat down last autumn and worked out how we could do something about it.

“One of the things we discovered was that [the batteries] were saying they were empty even though they may have had between ten and 20 per cent power remaining.

“The SPC takes that energy out and transfers it to another type of battery. That means that if you take rechargeable batteries, you only need one on the radio and one on charge and you can then take four of each type off the patrol.”

Additionally, the new LIPS 11 & 12 batteries were developed based on the 3.75kg LIPS 10. They weigh 1.5kg and 2.25kg and provide enough power for two and four hours respectively:

“We have effectively taken the LIPS 10 and chopped it into thirds,” explained Mr Flowers.

“You can now take the lower-power battery if you need it. We’re not dictating to commanders on the ground what they should use, we’re just putting the right clubs in their bag.”

A total of 4,556 units are being deployed to Op HERRICK, with the first 1,000 arriving in theater this month and the remainder being delivered in batches in August and September 2010.

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