RENEWS will act as a standalone power system for communications and can power two or three laptops continuously, as long as electricity is generated by its renewable energy source. (Source: US Army RDECOM)
It's good to know the military is investigating portable renewable energy sources. This may help speed development of same in the commercial sector. Regarding energy harvesting materials, like clothing, several fabrics are in R&D, such as PowerFelt http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=239901 but they don't yet produce enough for portable electronic systems such as those soldiers use. These systems Elizabeth's article describes look to be a big improvement.
Given its relatively heavy weight, I'm assuming this design isn't meant to be carried around by soldiers in the field, but rather, to man some remote field station. Looking at the pic, (which is hard to interpret BTW), got me thinking that this looks a lot like fabric, maybe not for uniforms, but for a tent or some other mobile structure. That got me thinking why couldn't clothing or canvas be the so-called "canvas" for a renewable energy source???
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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