Ann Arbor-based Arotech Corp. has unveiled a new portable hybrid (battery-fuel) power management system that has military or other commercial applications to optimize generator usage in potentially remote areas.
The new system reduces generator usage by up to 70 percent, enabling reduced fuel consumption, reduced maintenance burden, and therefore improve logistical support, says Nancy Straight, business development manager of UEC Electronic, a subsidiary of Arotech. It also has the capacity to collect and store solar energy.
“(The) system has done very well throughout the (Department of Defense),” Straight says. “It’s deployed in Afghanistan and Africa. Many of the (organizations using the system) have said, ‘Wow, this is great — we just wish this one was bigger.’ So we built a bigger system that’s still man portable.”
Fitted with solar panels and multiple energy outputs, the system pulls its energy from a generator until completely charged, allowing a generator to then be shut down, providing full battery capacity without running a generator continuously.
The new system weighs 140 pounds and has handles that allow it to be carried by four people, Straight says.
The prototype unit was unveiled earlier this month to the U.S. Department of Defense, however, the technology is also relevant to the commercial world, says Robert S. Ehrlich, chairman and CEO of Arotech.
“There are many commercial applications where providing fuel to generators is problematic which this technology solves,” Ehrlich says. “We believe that our continued investment R&D opens new addressable markets and puts us in a better position for long-term growth and success.”