May 10, 2012 - Soldiers stationed in remote combat outposts face logistics and safety challenges to power their radios, laptops and GPS units.
U.S. Army scientists are researching methods to harness the sun and wind to ease the burdens associated with transporting fossil fuels to dangerous areas.
Marnie de Jong, an electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, is helping to develop renewable-energy based microgrids that work independently of traditional grid power.
Microgrids help to integrate different sources of energy for more efficient use and storage, she said.
"There has been a larger demand from the field for fuel reduction and power in remote locations," de Jong said. "As that demand has increased, we have increased our focus in those areas.
"Microgrids will be able to take solar, wind and batteries and use them together. You can use solar when there is no wind available. Different pieces of the puzzle work better in different places. By making this a solution set, you can take what you need given your location." read more>>>