General Dynamics, NextEnergy, TM3 Demonstrate Microgrid Technology


STERLING HEIGHTS — General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center (mc2), NextEnergy, and TM3 Systems recently completed a successful microgrid technology demonstration.

The collaboration used a General Dynamics Land Systems’ Electric Drive (eDrive) 8×8 armored vehicle and a Tactical Modular Mobile MicroGrid power system from Royal Oak-based start-up TM3 Systems to enable remote power generation and distribution. In the demonstration, the eDrive vehicle’s propulsion system generated electricity that was exported to a modified prototype microgrid system built by TM3 Systems. The microgrid system then stores, converts and distributes the appropriate power output required to support remote military installations and disaster relief efforts.

“Since 2012, NextEnergy and mc2 have collaborated on a number of activities to accelerate innovation of vehicle development for defense applications,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., we established a new program to integrate the TM3 Systems technology with the eDrive vehicle to accelerate the delivery and improve management of grid quality power.”

“General Dynamics’ Maneuver Collaboration Center is about firsts: First in collaboration and first in innovation,” said Sonya Sepahban, senior vice president, engineering, development and technology for General Dynamics Land Systems. “This initiative between a small startup, a not-for-profit and a large defense contractor – to integrate an energy-conserving technology on an accelerated development schedule – is certainly a first for the community and a great business model that we intend to replicate.”

“This collaboration was a great opportunity to demonstrate what can happen when an industry leader like General Dynamics Land Systems leverages the unique capabilities of mc2 to collaborate with innovative organizations like TM3 Systems and NextEnergy,” said Nate Lowery, CEO, TM3 Systems. “We were able to leverage the strengths of all parties to demonstrate a sophisticated solution in a short period of time and are grateful to the MEDC for its support and to NextEnergy for bringing the team together.”

In addition to the demonstration at General Dynamics Land Systems’ facility, the team successfully powered a command center during the 100-year anniversary of Camp Grayling in July in Grayling. Camp Grayling provided an ideal environment to showcase the mobile microgrid capabilities and demonstrate how the product can help minimize logistics within deployments and support critical humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.

The team plans to build on this demonstration with the goal of making this capability available for use in the field.