SatCon Wins Army Tactical Vehicle APU Contract

January 23, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

SatCon Technology Corp. has been awarded a Phase I SBIR contract with the US Army to develop an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for military tactical vehicles. As the US Armed Forces transition to "more electric" technology for mobile mission systems, the existing fleet of tactical and support vehicles are increasingly limited by the available on-board vehicle power (OBVP).

The SatCon APU can be configured as a standalone unit or geared to the main engine, employing either liquid or air-cooling. The APU combines a high-speed permanent magnet (PM) generator with a novel power circuit and controller design that provides 270VDC, 28VDC, and 120VAC power ports.

This unique topology affords compact packaging for more practical implementation as a flexible OBVP solution. The baseline configuration is targeted as a 4kW APU for the Abrams tank. The same technology is applicable to generator sets providing a competitive advantage over existing solutions for Tactical Quiet Generator (TQG) sets in the Mobile Electric Power (MEP) and Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS) programs. As a dual-use opportunity, this technology is also applicable to providing auxiliary power outlets on hybrid electric commercial and passenger cars and trucks.

SatCon's President & Chief Operating Officer, Millard Firebaugh stated, "Commercial APUs and gen-sets are bulky and impractical for on-board power. Through the use of high speed PM machinery and SatCon's power electronics and controls intellectual property, we are able to offer a solution that provides flexibility, portability, and affordability. This is yet another example of SatCon's continued drive into the electric power systems and vehicle market."