A British research programme is studying the prospects for 610-volt technologies to meet the ever-increasing need for electrical power in military vehicles.
Qinetiq is leading a team that also includes BAE Systems and Provector. The £3.5m contract, awarded by the MOD Future Business Group, runs to the end of 2009. It will see the existing 28V system uprated in a demonstrator Warrior 2000 armoured fighting vehicle to one that can generate and safely distribute electrical power at 610V for high-demand loads, yet still deliver 28V supplies to existing equipment.
In addition to the standard vehicle electrical equipment, driveline, management systems and communications kit, most AFVs and Protected Patrol Vehicles now incorporate advanced situational awareness, sensors, personnel and vehicle cooling systems, as well as other power-hungry equipment, which place an increasing burden on the existing 28V generating systems.
The project team will produce designs for a compact main engine generator and for a completely new auxiliary power unit. Each generator will have an output that is double that of the original Warrior generator – effectively quadrupling the vehicle’s power generation capability, while providing much greater flexibility in power management and control.
Chrys Stevenson of Qinetiq says the programme has already passed its Critical Design Review: "We are now bringing together the equipment necessary to commence integration on a rig prior to installation in to a Warrior-based prototype vehicle later this year. The programme continues to demonstrate the effective working relationships established between the three main companies that builds on their respective technical strengths to quickly demonstrate the potential for this technology."