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ZPN Energy | #INEED 2024 (Part 2)

Updated: 5 days ago


INEED 2024  was well-attended by a diverse range of energy and emobility companies from across the globe, many of which presented to the audience, and others who presented their businesses in our showroom. This event gave energy management and emobility companies the opportunity to promote their own brands, while learning from and networking with other companies within the sector. 


These attendees comprised high-profile automotive brands such as Tesla, Polestar and Toyota, as well as electric energy supplier E.ON, electric vehicle hire and subscription services Zimbl and EZOO, and other companies with a focus on effective energy management. 


In this blog, we will summarise Glenn Brown’s (Tactical AI) presentation on power on the tactical edge, which constituted how power is used on the military frontlines, and how ZPN Energy’s energy storage systems can be harnessed to give the British military a tactical advantage. 


Military: Glenn Brown, Tactical AI

Glenn Brown began by giving a brief introduction to the current military climate with regards to the war in Ukraine. 


This included how the demand for power on the tactical edge had increased exponentially over time. To put this in perspective, Glenn Brown gave a brief timeline of how technology has developed in the UK military:


  • Crimean war (1853-1856) - First use of DC power - Telegraph outposts used in command centres and headquarters in Crimea

  • WWI (1914) - First emergence of wireless telegraphy (radio), developed by Guglielmo Marconi. First radios were taken into the trenches and used to pass orders instead of carrier pigeons. DC power was also used in flashlights, used for sending coded messages. 

  • WWII (1939-1945) - Batteries enabled soldiers to carry radios on their backs - Royal signals nicknamed ‘Scaleybacks’ due to chemical burns from leaking battery acid. Handheld radios invented in 1937, and widely used in British military by 1942. 

  • 2001 - 9/11 and counterinsurgency - Smart devices and electrical devices requiring battery power issued to forces on the tactical edge. Soldiers needed a wide range of technologies on their person, such as hearing protection, ear protectors, digital scopes on rifles, night vision goggles and thermal image scopes. 

  • 2004 - British Army digitised - Smart devices incorporated into soldier as a system, and from soldier to soldier. These systems were tied together by radio - data passed over combat radio tactical networks

  • 2011 - Robotics and autonomous systems introduced for experimentation. 

  • Contemporary age - special military operation in Ukraine - British army learning from Ukrainian innovations on the tactical edge, using commercial off-shelf technologies


With this in mind, Glenn then went on to cover some of the challenges currently faced by the British military, namely, the surge in demand for electrical power and technological innovation. 


One common theme was the need to overcome detection by drones. Drones are not visible on radar, and can easily pick up heat noise and electrical signals from power generators, making bases with electrical generators an easy target. This poses two significant challenges for the military: preventing bases being targeted by enemy drones, and difficulty locating and shooting down enemy drones. As electrical generators pose a great risk to the bases, soldiers are currently traveller to the generators at night with their technology to charge to avoid detection, which is a high-risk strategy. Generators are also difficult to transport due to their size and weight, and can be a challenge to disguise from drones flying overhead. On top of that, drones are invisible on radar. As such, the Ukrainian military are locating drones using an app on mobile phones to detect the audio signal. 


Another common theme was the large amount of DC power required on the tactical edge. DC power is required for communication, including WiFi capability. Electrical power IS also essential for military technologies such as night vision goggles, mine detectors, chemical, biological and nuclear sensors, counter UAV and spectrum analysers used to detect drones. Our own drones all need batteries, which need recharging regularly. In fact, Glenn disclosed that as many as 40 drones can be used in just one day, which shows the scale of power needed for military operations. Our current generator system does not have the capacity to support the level of power needed. As such, the Ukrainian military has been buying individual camping and solar power packs, however, a single unit will go through one entire power pack each day, making logistics challenging. 


Glenn concluded by addressing how ZPN’s energy management systems may be an asset to the British military. This included two goals: electrifying military vehicles and using electrical energy to recharge equipment. By electrifying vehicles, soldiers will no longer need to carry diesel to the frontlines in jerrycans, instead using electrical energy which is more lightweight to transport and highly efficient.


Using ZPN’s energy storage systems would eliminate the need for energy generators, which would prevent headquarters from becoming a large target for drones. ZPN Energy’s Rapid and Ultra-Rapid charging systems would enable soldiers to get the energy they need and quickly, minimising the risk of attack. 


Story by ZPN Energy

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