It is a known fact that army battalions, depend hugely on the heavy duty batteries for their operations in the battle field. For most of their equipments, they need to carry this huge bundles of batteries, that enables a smooth and effective running of their devices, especially the ones that has to do with surveillance and communication. But, now with this new wearable solar cell technology, soldiers will be able to power up their Soldier Integrated Power System (SIPS), in a rather convenient manner. Developed by the Australian Nation University (ANU), this is a very significant invention in the field of military warfare.
Project Development Manager, Dr Igor Skryabin, said, “ Much of the equipment carried by Australian soldiers require heavy battery packs, such as night-vision goggles, lights, GPS devices and communication systems. Currently, soldiers depend on conventional batteries to power these devices.” He further adds, “the trials were performed by soldiers in a real mission environment with normal usage of power. In overcast conditions the ANU flexible panels produced sufficient power to maintain battery charge. In sunny conditions the panels charged the batteries. Based on the success of this demonstration, ANU will be commercializing the project outcomes with industrial partners.”
Developed at a budget of $2.3 million contract under round 15 by the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) Program, and managed by the Defense Science and Technology Organization, this portable chargeable system will give the soldiers the much needed pump of power back in days together. In a battle field, where strategy and communication is key, this wearable device, would make sure the soldiers don’t get disconnected or their device like night vision equipments, GPS etc. are supplied with power uninterrupted.
One of the greatest advantages of wearable solar cell technology is its sustainability. Also, the fact that it is derived from silver solar cell technology, the benefits rise manifolds. The Director of the ANU Centre of Sustainable Energy Systems, Prof. Andrew Blakers claims that it would have not been possible to develop such an efficient, rugged, flexible and light weight portable module without these cells. The cells are very thin. The thickness doesn’t go beyond that of paper-sheet or a human hair with a energy to weight ratio of more than 200 watts per kilogram.