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Will US Soldiers Be Equipped With Solar Panels?

It will not come as a surprise to you to read that soldiers in the US army that venture out on combat duty in the front line carry a significant amount of equipment. This can include such things as a rucksack, weapons, ammunition, water and food.

Will US army soldiers have solar panels incorporated into their uniforms?

However, you may not have been aware that they are also equipped with batteries that can weigh 10 pounds plus. These batteries are used to provide the power for electronic equipment such as a radio and night vision goggles.

The batteries are a significant weight and may prove restrictive when it comes to a soldier being able to get about is concerned. Obviously this is far from ideal and anything that can be done to improve the mobility of soldiers is to be welcomed.

Therefore, you may be interested to read that, apparently, the US army are looking into a couple of things that may help reduce the weight of the batteries their soldiers need to carry on the battlefield. They are investigating the viability of providing special knee braces and solar panels.

The knee braces would be capable of utilising the energy produced whilst the soldier is on the move. This energy would then be used to help re-charge the batteries that each weighs 2.2 pounds that power some of the soldier’s electronic equipment. It is believed that instead of carrying 4 or 5 batteries a soldier would only need to carry a couple thus reducing the weight they need to carry when on combat duty.

Solar panels may also be incorporated into the uniform of a soldier during manufacture to take advantage of daylight to provide power to be utilised by the various electronic equipment. The designers would obviously need to come up with a way of removing the possibility of the panels reflecting the light as this would make them potentially more visible to the enemy. This may further reduce the requirement for the number of batteries to be carried to as few as one.

These are interesting developments and we will keep you updated about them.

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