Recharging in the Field

Here at the Soapbox, I try to talk logistics when I can. While it’s not as sexy as a cool new fighter jet or carbine optic, logistics is a vitally important part of keeping an army going. Today we’re going to look at a few different ways to provide power to all of the electronic devices of the modern soldier.

The SPM-622 is an army-issue battery pack. It weighs one pound, and measures 1.2″ x 3.4″ x 3.2″. It has six bidirectional ports for charging devices or charing the SPM itself. It can be used to charge a wide variety of commercial and military batteries, and it can also directly charge a variety of military radios. As you might expect, it’s also weatherproof and rugged. The SPM even comes with an LCD display to show the status of its battery, plus those of any connected devices.

REPPS (Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System) is a 62 watt solar cell “blanket” that folds up into a convenient backpack. It weighs about ten pounds and is a good choice for light infantry units. In hostile terrain, moving fuel for generators is expensive, difficult, and dangerous. REPPS reduces the need for fuel convoys.

The Marines wanted something a little bigger than the backpack-mounted REPPS, and developed GREEN: the Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network. It consists of rigid solar cells, stored in protective cases; a power controller; and an array of batteries. With batteries and solar power, GREEN provides a continuous 300 watts. Each solar cell is stored in a 67″ x 36″ x 12″ case, and the cell and case together weigh 145 lbs. The power controller is 23″ x 17″ x 8.5″ and weighs 60 lbs. The batteries weigh 38 lbs. each and measure 13″ x 16″ x 7″. Interestingly, this bigger system is more suited to vehicular carry, and for setup in a more permanent sort of base.

Leave a Reply