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What alternative energy technologies do you think the military should consider to provide portable power to soldiers?

Discussion Leader: 
HDIAC Staff
Posted Date: 03/21/2016

Army scientists are developing the Energy Harvester Assault Pack, which will help provide power for equipment soldiers must carry. 

Photo Credit: Kathryn Bailey, CERDEC CPID  - The Energy Harvester Assault Pack, or EHAP, consists of a rack and pinion generator with a spring-loaded, double-frame suspension system attached to a standard military rucksack. With each step a Soldier takes, the rucksack glides up and down while the generator captures small amounts of kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost and converts it into usable electrical energy.

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Comments

Alternative energy resources are dependent upon geography. For instance, arid climates, solar power is a capability that can be utilized. However, the cost of implementation of solar energy technolgies can often impede progress. A more benefical and cost effcive way to utilize existing energy sources with alternaive energy sources is a modification or hybridization of existing technologies.

Building upon the post above, there are new and emerging technologies involving fabrics with integrated solar cells or solar cell fibers. Building rucksacks and military uniforms to incorporate these materials would be beneficial to forces in sunny environments without additional weight.

In order to effectively provide portable power to the warfighter, small and lightweight energy storage systems are also required. Keeping the weight and size of these storage systems may prove difficult in systems that must also remain rugged and reliable in extreme environments.

Nanotechnology is developing quickly and nano solar cells would provide a great option for solders on the go. The nano solar cells can be added to clothing or gear and provide portable power for any need.