Marching soldiers to produce electricity
Engineers at Leeds are trying to develop a way to capture the kinetic energy that is produced when soldiers march so that it can be used to power their equipment. This new system when developed will help the troops reduce their weight by at least 10 kilos. Hi-tech ceramics and crystals will be used as piezoelectric transducers in order to convert mechanical stress into electrical energy. This project has been designed keeping in mind the troops that are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Heavy packs severely limit the soldier’s mobility and also long term health problems. The typical weight of a back pack carried by a trooper is around 75 kilos because it will have a torch, radio, the Bowman communications system, electronic counter measures, and batteries weighing 10 kilos and water and ammunition.
This is a two year project that is bound to start in September this year and will involve the brains from Bristol, Essex, Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton and Cranfield Universities. The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.