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Innovative power sources may help soldiers lighten their loads in battle zones. The new capabilities that could contribute to the US Army’s modernization priorities were showcased during a technology contest organized by the office of the assistant secretary of the US Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.
An ultra-lightweight rechargeable battery developed by Cuberg was one of the 12 prize winners. It uses a new electrolyte formula to create a battery, which affords it an increased energy density while helping cells maintain thermal stability.
Another energy source showcased during the competition was a portable power generator made by Mesodyne. The wearable generator uses thermophotovoltaic energy conversion, which transforms fuel to electricity with heat and light as intermediaries, to power devices. It reduces battery load by 75 percent, enabling the soldier to carry two gallons of water, more ammunition, or simply improving mobility.
This technology, too, was designed to provide an alternative to traditional lithium-ion batteries, which can pose safety issues for the military. The finalists will be given six months to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their technology. The winner will receive a $200,000 prize, according to nationaldefensemagazine.org.