Thursday, August 27, 2009

Convoy-Free Electricity Ready for Prime Time?

I'm not saying this company's solutions are ready to put old-fashioned field generators out of business. But I am suggesting that, for some applications, its mobile "Titan" and "Mojo," in individual and tandem configurations, begin to offer commanders a path away from the current, convoy-dependent status quo. Actually, with these solutions, unless the equipment is airlifted, one convoy is required to deliver the systems to station. But the beauty is, once it's on the job, it requires zero diesel or J-P8 to operate.

Had the chance to speak with an executive at mobile energy provider, White Door, and learned about the company's offerings and what these guys are up to. Founded 7 years ago to make self powered sensor platforms, mobile energy generation on a larger scale is now their goal ... and their offerings show they're beginning to reach it. Not only do these integrated wind, solar, battery and fuel cell systems provide reliable, nearly silent, low-heat signature power, they have a new unit that generates as much as 30 KW.

One potential weakness that would immediately give DOD planners pause would be the systems' dependency on intermittent energy sources. Well, it appears that White Door has tackled that problem. The executive said they purposely "over-engineer" each systems' energy storage, providing 5+ days of back-up capacity should the wind cease to blow and the sun cease to shine for that long. There's also an option for a fuel cell back-up should the 5-day capacity still cause concern.

The Marines are field testing these units right now. More info is available here.

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