Are You an Inventor Looking For a Challenge?
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has recently announced the creation of a new DDR&E competition, titled the “Wearable Power Prize.” The goal of the competition is the development of a wearable power system that lasts four days and reduces the weight of the battery load typically carried by those in the U.S. military, although such a system has obvious uses in the civilian field as well (ever wanted to take your laptop on a hike?). The competition is open to individuals and teams who are up to the inventive challenge.
The complete power system must weigh 4kg or less and provide a minimum of 1920Whr. The power system must operate continuously for 96 hours. During the 96 hours of operation the system must operate: (1) continuously (i.e., 24 hours a day); (2) at partial power; (3) for a number of periods of high power of up to 200W for 5 min; (4) in a non-air breathing mode in a sealed container for a time to be determined; (5) be attitude or vertical orientation and motion independent; (6) provide output voltages of 14V and 28V. The system must attach to a vest and operate while worn. The U.S. government will provide connectors for the equipment on the course with additional cables, outlets, etc.
The winning system will be the lightest under the 4kg maximum and will complete the full competitive demonstration. In the case of systems with identical weights, a secondary “wearability” criterion will used. Wearability is measured by the maximum thickness of the system as it protrudes from the body when attached to a garment. The thinnest system wins the tie-breaker.
If you have an interest in wearable power systems, and/or feel up to the challenge, registration opens October 8, 2007. By the way, did we mention that the top prize is $1 million?
Further commentary on this prize may also be found here at Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log.