September 27, 2021

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DOD Demonstrates Mobile Microgrid Technology > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Defense Department News

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Truck sits in a desert.

The Place of work of the Undersecretary of Protection for Investigate and Engineering and the Department of the Army just lately shown a cell, rapid-forming, protected and smart auto-centric microgrid prototype that will energy following-generation warfighting capabilities and joint warfighting concepts.  

Integrating electrical power technology right onto tactical motor vehicle platforms, VCMs are developed to offer on-the-move energy for up coming-technology warfighting abilities, this kind of as directed electrical power and missile defense devices. VCMs also help a fast forming and resilient microgrid ability that will ability potential command, control, communications, computer systems and intelligence units.

Frank Bohn and Dean McGrew, the venture sales opportunities for the Army Futures Command, Army Fight Abilities Improvement Command Command, Communications, Computer systems, Cyber, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center and the Floor Car Units Center, highlighted some features of the VCM. “Producing 100 kilowatts per car and capable of supporting equally static and on-the-move functions, VCMs improve our lethality and survivability in contested environments,” McGrew claimed.  

Conforming to the Tactical Microgrid Regular, VCMs can distribute electrical power concerning vehicles and connect to other TMS-compliant power technology, storage and distribution techniques below growth by the DOD. “It truly is not only a microgrid, it can be also a intelligent grid,” Bohn said. “A centralized controller can enhance or lower the quantity of run vehicles automatically for ideal effectiveness/resilience across the microgrid.”

VCMs align with the Joint Workers Joint Warfighting Concept’s emphasis on contested logistics to streamline the DOD’s capability to deploy and sustain the joint pressure. This functionality provides a pathway to improved logistics and a lot quicker set up, transport and redeployment of ability technology programs, he mentioned.  

“The shown prototype decreases [the] DOD’s total power footprint, minimizing contributions to local weather modify by coupling a more successful power technology approach for expeditionary forces with reduced logistical necessities to deploy and maintain it,” Bohn claimed. To notify capability needs for multi-domain functions, Military Product or service Supervisor Command Publish Built-in Infrastructure is equipping an operational battalion with elements of the VCM prototype for experimentation in operationally relevant disorders this summer season.  

McGrew noted that there are enjoyable opportunities for VCMs beyond battlefield applications, these types of as humanitarian support and disaster relief functions. For case in point, the National Guard is interested in using the engineering for responding to normal or male-produced disasters. Two VCM-equipped automobiles could deliver 200 kilowatts to energy a community of up to 75 residences, McGrew mentioned.

In the future, McGrew thinks that 10 to 20% of tactical cars will have VCM capacity.

By teaming with the OUSD (R&E) Speedy Response Technological know-how Business, Devcom and the Missile Protection Agency’s Project Supervisor Terminal High Altitude Region Defense were capable to jumpstart VCM prototype growth. Growth of the VCM would not have been possible devoid of the capacity for innovation delivered by RRTO, Bohn mentioned. 

“Within just 120 times of the Military team’s original engagement, RRTO had authorised the undertaking, and funds were relocating. RRTO’s potential to present in-yr investment drastically accelerated the shipping and delivery of this capability in a way that is exceptionally tricky to reach by way of common acquisition pipelines,” Bohn explained.

Jon Lazar, director of the RRTO in the Directorate of Protection Analysis and Engineering for Superior Capabilities, mentioned: “Our organizational society is based mostly on working with modern prototyping processes that rapidly acquire and transition new abilities. But it is however truly interesting to see a novel idea like this improve so promptly from a slideshow to a capability on its way to the warfighter.”