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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

02 June 2015

ISDEF 2015: Reliable Off Grid Power for Border Protection Equipment

Modern surveillance and defense systems are becoming even more power-hungry. More and more defence and protection devices are operated in the field.

Conventional solutions are limited: Batteries alone cannot meet the requirements in multi-day missions, forcing soldiers to carry large and heavy spare batteries – weight and volume not available for water, food or ammunition. Generators require maintenance and produce detectable signatures. Solar modules are weather dependent. SFC power supplies with fuel cells are a silent, lightweight, non-detectable alternative. They produce no detectable signatures.

Fuel cells recharge batteries fully automatically. Thanks to the high energy density of their fuel (30 times higher than that of lead acid batteries and seven times higher than that of Li-ion batteries) soldiers can carry along much power at minimum weight and volume. Intelligent power management enables hybrid operation with other energy sources, e.g. solar panels.

Power for Fielded Missions and Military Vehicles - EMILY Fuel Cell

Surveillance and border protection equipment is often situated in locations difficult to access. Frequent site visits for battery exchanges cause cover loss and costly logistics. EMILY provides silent, undetectable power as a field charger. It recharges batteries automatically on demand, 24/7, in any weather, without user attention. EMILY can also be used as on board power supply for equipment in military vehicles.

EMILY Cube as a power supply for ground surveillance radar. (Photos: SFC Energy)

Intelligent Power Management - SFC Power Manager

In the field soldiers want to use any available power sources to operate any kind of device they need. This requires intelligent power management. The SFC Power Manager can be integrated into existing systems to simplify power logistics and reduce overall weight while increasing operation efficiency. It enables use of any power source including batteries, vehicle power, solar, and fuel cells. The configurable system automatically adapts output voltage to the connected systems. Use the Power Manager for recharging batteries or for directly operating devices.

JENNY 600S and the SFC Power Manager in a functional power network – the network can power devices such as ruggedised laptops and radios directly and charge batteries simultaneously.

Portable Power - SFC Energy Network

Fuel cells enable 80% weight savings in fielded missions. The SFC energy network consisting of the portable JENNY 600S fuel cell and the SFC Power Manager is a man portable, flexible off grid power system. It supplies 24/7 reliable power without emissions or detectable signature. It powers electric devices directly. Operation in combination with the SFC Power Manager enables use of different power sources and charging batteries.

SFC Energy fuel cell products are used by numerous international police, defence, and intelligence organisations. SFC Energy has been cooperating closely with the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and the US Army for over 10 years. It is the world’s first company with a fuel cell approved for use by the Bundeswehr, according to SFC Energy. The US Army Test and Evaluation Command uses SFC fuel cells on their test ranges to power instrumentation. SFC Energy has sold over 33,000 fuel cell systems in defence and security, industry and consumer applications worldwide.

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