Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR AUG 2015 Contents 17
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 12 | AUG 2015
Cooling supplies to treat
the system is stored on the outside of
a vehicle or in a cargo area.
An integrated solar panel can also be used to
recharge batteries and extend the HARP’s runtime, whilst
also acting as a shade for the unit. The fabric used to
construct HARP is coated with a newly developed infra-red-
The HARP is also capable of being broken down and
configured as a man-transportable load within minutes,
while still maintaining its cooling capacity. Compatibility with
Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, including
integrated shoulder straps, allow the bag to be worn like a
backpack or attached to and carried on another pack.
The REF received the four HARP prototypes eight
months after the need was stated, on 20 May, with another
four systems scheduled to be provided to the US Army
Medical Materiel Agency for user evaluation aboard medical
– Ian Bostock
The HARP unit enables medical
supplies, such as IV fluid and
water bottles, to be cooled in the
field to improve the immediate
treatment of soldiers suffering
from heat-induced injury.
Images: US Army
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US start-up Open Water Power has developed a novel
very high-density energy technology for underwater power
generation that may have potential for improving the
endurance of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), manned
submersibles and sensors.
The technology harnesses the significant electrochemical
energy inherent in aluminum metal, which has traditionally
been difficult to access. Open Water Power claims to have
overcome the various mechanical and materials-based
hurdles to produce a patent-pending technology, developed
at MIT, which delivers a power system with 10 times the
energy density of competing lithium-ion systems.
With current UUV use restricted by the need for manned
surface and submarine support vessels for deployment,
operation and retrieval, a significant increase in the range
of UUVs could make launch of UUVs directly from shore
feasible. The Open Water Power technology is not suitable
for extremely high sustained power systems such as
In addition to improved energy densities, the aluminum fuel
cell technology is inherently safer and more stable than many
other battery and fuel cell chemistries. Prior to activation, the
new system is chemically inert, with no risk of explosion and
a virtually unlimited shelf life. Once activated with water, their
safety profile is similar to that of household alkaline batteries.
Preliminary safety testing conducted recently by the Naval
Surface Warfare Center at Carderock found the technology
to be inert over a range of abusive conditions that would
typically cause lithium-ion and even silver-zinc batteries to fail
dangerously. Further testing by the US Navy is planned.
Still in development, the company considers the new
technology to be at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6
on a cell level and TRL 4 on a system level. Specifically, test
cells currently operate on the benchtop using lab-grade
pumps, electronics and monitoring equipment, but with real
seawater, realistic temperatures, flow rates and operationally
relevant power levels. Cell-level energy densities in excess of
3.0kWh/litre and sustained power densities of up to 35W/
litre have been generated, with higher power available in
bursts. Large-scale cells have been run continuously for more
than a week and smaller-scale low-power cells for months.
Open Water Power is currently seeking government and
corporate partner funding to take the technology to TRL 6 on
the system level by demonstrating it in an in-water vehicle or
– Matthew Mendenhall
New fuel cell for UUVs
Open Water Power’s aluminium-water fuel cell technology holds
potential to significantly extend the range and endurance of
UUVs. Image: Open Water Power
The US Army’s
has developed a
system to aid in the
initial treatment of heat-
related injuries amongst
The Heat Ailment
Recovery Pack (HARP)
works to maintain medical supplies
at the appropriate temperatures and keep
potable water cool until medical attention can be
administered to soldiers with heat stress and heat stroke.
An initiative of the Joint Foodservice Engineering Team
(JFET) within the Combat Feeding Directorate of NSRDEC,
work on the HARP began after an approach by deployed
Joint Special Operations Command Africa Command (JSOC
AFRICOM) personnel for a means to cool water and medical
supplies in the field to treat affected soldiers.
The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) provided funding
to enable four HARP prototypes to be produced from scratch
for testing and evaluation.
JFET had already helped operators in the field cool
water with the Beverage Cooling Unit and maintain water
temperature with the Insulated Container for Bottled Water.
JSOC AFRICOM wanted JFET to combine the two concepts,
providing a means to not only maintain the temperature of
medical supplies and bottled water, but to cool them on
demand, when necessary and under harsh environmental
The result was a 580mm wide by 660mm long pack that
weighs up to 27kg when fully loaded with medical supplies
and water. The enclosed micro refrigeration unit is powered
by a BB-2590 lithium ion battery that can be run continuously
for three hours in temperatures up to 48° Celsius.
The HARP is able to cool its contents down from 48°
Celsius to a more useable temperature of 36° Celsius in
just 15 minutes. Alternatively, an intravenous (IV) bag, for
example, can be brought down from 48° Celsius to around
10° Celsius if the unit is left running for several hours.
Using its remote control and monitoring system, the HARP
can keep an IV fluid bag constantly usable (below 36°
Celsius) for 100 hours in 48° Celsius temperatures, all while
being monitored and controlled from a distance of up to 30m.
Remote monitoring and control is considered essential when
TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN. WARFIGHTER FOCUSED.
The Beverage Cooling Unit (BCU) has been developed by Natick Soldier Research, Development
and Engineering Center’s (NSRDEC) Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) – Systems Equipment and
Engineering Team (SEET) to give Warfighters the capability to rapidly cool their potable water
Average ambient temperatures in places such as Iraq can be anywhere between 95°F to 125°F.
In these conditions, Warfighters may be required to remain static inside their tactical vehicles
from 6 to 48 hours or mobile outside in the high ambient temperatures. Such extreme operating
environments can lead to heat induced ailments such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke and
dehydration. These factors can reduce the combat effectiveness of the Warfighter, which can be
detrimental to mission requirements. Reports have demonstrated that troops will drink more water
if it is cool and palatable. To combat the effects of extreme heat on the Warfighter, the BCU is
capable of directly cooling the Warfighter’s drinking water and has been independently tested and
developed by the SEET team.
The tested cooling system is comprised of a micro vapor-compression refrigeration system with
quick disconnect fittings which allow the system to connect to a
standard 5-Gallon water container. Utilizing an extremely efficient
design in a small footprint, the cooling system is capable of chilling
water in a standard water container a minimum difference of
40°F in 25 minutes in ambient temperatures up to 145°F.
Cooling performance also improves as ambient temperature
increases, providing quicker cool down
rates at increased starting water
temperatures. Based on Warfighter
water consumption rates, the BCU is
capable of providing a platoon sized
force with consumable cold water
for as long as power is available.
In current configuration, the BCU
is designed, but not limited to
operate either inside an HMMWV
cab or in the HMMWV bed. No daily
maintenance is required except for
a daily cleaning which requires the
user to circulate a provided non-
toxic food grade cleaning solution
through the system. The BCU has
also been vibration approved to MIL
The BCU is compatible with two
other newly developed items that also aid in providing cooled palatable water to Warfighters in
the most efficient way possible. One of these items is a newly updated Insulated Bag for the 5
gallon water container (IC5) that is capable of keeping the chilled water at a palatable temperature
in the container for over 24 hours. The second item is the High Strength Collapsible Water Bag
(HSCWB), designed to alleviate current issues with the traditional 5 gallon container: poor pouring
characteristics and cap design (water loss/leakage/contamination), damage during resupply
BEVERAGE COOLING UNIT
REV 10-24 -12 | OPSEC U09-727
The Beverage Cooling Unit
(above) and the Insulated
Container for Bottled Water
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