Putting Sugar in Your Tank

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants Leave a Comment

The United States military fields soldiers bristling with not only weapons, but batteries.  The average war fighter in Iraq or Afghanistan, for instance, lugs around a 16-pound flak jacket, a sizeable weapon and gear – 20 to 40 pounds of which are batteries for communication, navigation, and powering monitoring and surveillance devices – to sustain life and links on a 72-hour mission.  The military wanted to reduce the enormous and literal burden it puts on its foot soldiers and held a competition in 2008 to find a 4 kilogram (8.8 pound) portable power supply that could provide 20 Watts for 96 hours (1.92 kilowatt hours) of energy.  Christopher Hurley, an engineer with the Army Power division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, …