This week the U.S. military hosted 13 different vendors invited to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California to demonstrate various new clean technologies which may hastily be developed to assist soldiers on the ground in spots like Afghanistan.
This is the third ExFOB event that the military has held. Erstwhile ExFOBs resulted in the Marine Corps acquiring new tools for reducing fuel and water demand on the battlefield. Now ExFOB 2011 has moved the focus over toward two main areas: concentrated solar harvesting technology and tactical vehicle fuel efficiency.
As outlined in a Federal Business Opportunities posting, in the solar category the military was searching for concentrated harvesting systems like lens-focused photovoltaics and solar thermal dishes powering Sterling engines, as well as concentrated passive solar water heating systems. As far as fuel efficiency, it searched for ways to improve fuel efficiency for tactical vehicles while idling or static, including bolt-on auxiliary power units and better engine or power train efficiencies, in concert with “other automotive technologies such as cold and hot weather idle free solutions for vehicle climate control, reduction of parasitic loads, or any other automotive solutions designed to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.”
CoGenera Solar was among the companies which put out word about its involvement in ExFOB 2011 saying that:
“The military is interested in Cogenra’s technology as a means to most rapidly and effectively enhance the self-sufficiency of FOBs roughly the size of a Marine Corps Company (approximately 200 Marines) by utilizing the sun to produce both power and hot water at remote locations…”
International Battery and NEST Energy Systems were two more vendors at ExFOB, which joined forces to demonstrate a system they said reduces fuel consumption in medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) trucks – that use excessive idling as a means of generating electrical energy – by up to 75 percent. The companies said MTVRs are “frequently used to provide peak (2.5 kilowatts) power for ground-based systems, like, laptops, radios, blue-force trackers, etc.” For the purpose of the demonstration, the system was to be paired with a 430-watt portable solar panel in order to charge the unit.