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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H020543/1
Title: Sandpit: The Solar Soldier
Principal Investigator: Gregory, Professor DH
Other Investigators:
Tsekleves, Professor E Holderbaum, Professor W Wijayantha-Kahagala-Gamage, Professor U
Hall, Professor PJ Ding, Professor Y
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 11 December 2009 Ends: 10 June 2012 Value (£): 652,717
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optoelect. Devices & Circuits Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
In this age of stealth jets, nuclear munitions and guided weapons the infantryman still remains the most important weapon system. It is the infantryman who looks in the foxhole or immobilized tank to establish that the enemy is defeated. Wars end when soldiers beat down the door, not bombs. Against enemies who shelter in difficult terrain where military vehicles cannot operate easily (inaccessible to so called 'medium' and 'heavy' forces) and hide behind civilians, it is the infantryman who will effectively utilise the resource available to overcome the enemy. The infantryman has similar power requirements and expectations to his civilian counterpart, albeit his equipment is different and the environment in which he operates is far more challenging and hostile. The critical difference is that, to the soldier, loss of portable power might place his life at risk. Without power for communications, GPS, thermal imagers and other portable surveillance equipment, he is left blind and deaf to all but his immediate environment; cut off from the wider network and consequently vulnerable.Unfortunately, today soldiers heavily rely on batteries for power requirements which constitute up to 25% of their overall load (including lethal, survival, and communication). This effectively reduces their manoeuvrability, operational range and adds a significant weight and stress burden. The situation not only limits their capabilities and but also increases competition for key resources such as food and ammunition. Increasing technical capability will only increase the demand for power (it is projected that power demand will increase ten-fold by 2020).Therefore, there is a pressing need for making batteries that powers soldiers' portable electronic equipment, as light as possible. Advances in technology must be directed to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce the need for batteries. Numerous solutions such as miniature fuel cells and ammonium borate based hydrogen generators are currently under consideration. However, it is clear that most of these investigated technologies do not provide an energy sustainable solution. In addition, novel solutions must meet criteria of light-weight, flexibility, climate resistance, robustness, improved energy density/extended life, improved ergonomics and reduced encumbrance. Recognising the nature of the challenge we propose an integrated device that couples photovoltaic cells (PV) with thermoelectric (TE) power. This project will develop an integrated photovoltaic and thermoelectric power generation device on flexible substrates which work in all weather conditions. The final aim is to incorporate this flexible power generating device into the uniform of infantryman allowing IR masking capability.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk