The Army's solar array at Fort Carson, Colo., is part of the Army's largest microgrid installation. The array is a 2 MW system that covers 12 acres and produces 3,200 MWh of energy annually, and is part of an overall strategy by the Army to use solar power to cut costs and for other tactical purposes. (Source: US Army/Department of Defense)
Thank you, bobjengr. When reporting these stories I don't always get to hear real-world perspective and it's really good to hear about your friend's grandson and to know that these inventions are relieving the burden for soldiers, and actually working well.
Actually, @shehan, the point of the solar chargers is that they reduce the weight soldiers carry. They need less batteries this weigh. They themselves I don't think are very heavy--less than the weight of all the batteries a solider would carry anyway.
The reality was that generating power from noise was not at all efficient, and probably could not ever be useful. It was presented as an interesting thing that somebody discovered.
And in another area you will find that officers DO NOT carry artillary shells, and probaly never carry amunition for other than their own use. There are a few exceptions, of course, but not very many of them. There are a whole lot more folks in the infantry and the support parts of the service who do that hard and dirty stuff.
And how far could you sprint with a hundred pounds or so on your back? In the thick of combat those burdens can be quite a handicap. It can be done when the stress level is high enough, but it burns one's energy just the same. So sometimes a lot of stuff does wind up being left behind.
The solar power system is a good idea but it may not be a good choice for those in the thick of the action.
I think that I may have rambled a bit in that third paragraph. Sorry about that.
@pubudu – yes not every camp can use this as a power source, some of them face winter where the sun light might not be sufficient for charging. In such situations the solar chargers would not help much.
@shehan, Well, that's a good question. I saw the report on Bloomberg business news awhile back. It's one of those shows they run on weekends and holidays when the markets are not open. They showed other methods that Israel uses to reduce dependence upon oil.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.