31 Aug '12, 1pm

Tapping the Power of 100 Suns: Concentrated solar power will keep future armies on the march

Kirkpatrick considered the needs of the end user—the soldier. He noted that each electrical gizmo offered a different-size area for placing solar cells. This would make it possible to put more cells on bigger gadgets and use them to charge up other gizmos, such as flashlights, which have very little real estate. But that was a risky strategy, because the failure of one piece of equipment would put the others out of commission, too. Therefore, Kirkpatrick decreed that each piece of gear would have its own solar power, limiting the solar module’s area to 10 square centimeters and setting cell efficiency at a minimum of 50 percent. The only other key specification for the module was power, which had to be at least 0.5 watts to recharge the batteries of the more common gadgets in an acceptable time.

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/tapping-the-pow...

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