There are several military use cases for rugged battery energy storage systems, including:
- Mobile Power Generation: Rugged battery energy storage systems can be used to power mobile generators used in military operations. These batteries can provide a reliable source of power for field operations and help reduce the need for fuel resupply.
- Tactical Communications: In military operations, it is important to maintain reliable communication systems. Rugged battery energy storage systems can be used to power tactical communication systems, such as radios, satellite phones, and other communication equipment.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): UAVs are becoming an increasingly important tool for military operations, and they require reliable power sources to operate. Rugged battery energy storage systems can provide the necessary power to keep UAVs operational in the field.
- Ground Vehicle Power: In addition to powering mobile generators, rugged battery energy storage systems can be used to power military ground vehicles, such as tanks and armored personnel carriers. This can help reduce the need for fuel resupply and provide a more reliable source of power.
- Portable Power: Rugged battery energy storage systems can be used to provide portable power for soldiers in the field. This can include charging personal electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, or powering other equipment, such as night vision goggles or GPS devices.
Rugged battery energy storage systems provide a reliable and flexible source of power for a variety of military applications.
While battery energy storage systems (BESS) have many potential benefits for military use cases, they can also pose some risks. Here are some potential risks to consider:
- Safety Hazards: BESS use high-energy density batteries, which can pose a safety hazard if not designed, installed, and operated correctly. If a battery is damaged, overcharged, or overheated, it can lead to thermal runaway, which can cause a fire or explosion. It is crucial to use a battery chemistry and technology which is proven to withstand extreme heat and shock. Also, make sure the batteries are not dependent on a cooling system which requires too much maintenance and can break down, causing downtime or thermal runaway.
- Environmental Impact: BESS use a variety of chemicals and metals in their construction, which can have negative environmental impacts if not disposed of properly. This is particularly important for military operations in sensitive environments, where spills or leaks could cause significant damage to the ecosystem. Lead acid and Lithium NMC (Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt) batteries are not recommended.
- Cybersecurity Risks: BESS are increasingly being connected to networks and other devices, which can create vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. If a BESS is compromised, it could potentially disrupt military operations or compromise sensitive data. Find vendors who prioritize smart sensors, encrypted asymmetric communication, advanced access control solutions, and AI to automatically detect anomalies in the data flow, where the entire technology is protected by industrial cyber threat intelligence as well as an Operational Technology Deception Network (honeypot network to emulate the real infrastructure).
- Maintenance and Repair: BESS are complex systems that require skilled technicians to maintain and repair. If the military does not have access to these technicians, it could lead to downtime or reduced performance. Systems must be low maintenance, for example without a liquid cooling system. A stackable, scalable system, where parts (battery cells, inverter) can be isolated and quickly exchanged in case of malfunction, is preferable. The battery system must be designed for at least 10,000 cycles, as long life batteries tend to be more rugged, require less maintenance.
- Supply Chain Risks: BESS rely on a complex supply chain, which could be disrupted by geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, or other factors. If the military does not have access to the necessary components, it could impact operations. The Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry, and its variations, are less dependent on rare elements, since most of the material in the cells is iron, which is abundant. The battery energy storage system must be inverter agnostic. If the BMS technology can accommodate different battery chemistries, cells can be replaced in the future fairly easily as new technologies emerge.
It’s important to note that these risks can be mitigated through proper design, installation, and operation of BESS, as well as regular maintenance and testing. However, it’s important for military planners and operators to be aware of these risks and take steps to manage them effectively.
Solarsenal’s SMARTESTORAGE rugged battery energy storage systems are built specifically for such environments.