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What would be special power generating techniques that are of special interest to communications and military applications?

unclejed613

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is appropriate because it has no moving parts and requires no maintenance and is better than solar cells when it comes to space.
but you wouldn't want this on a battlefield, if it got blown up, the plutonium in it would contaminate the area and the people around it.

geothermal energy is only good for fixed installations such as an air force base or early warning radar station.

for military power sources, they need to be 1)portable, 2)durable (soldier proof durable), 3)reliable, 4)easy to operate 5) mass produced, 6)simple to maintain. exotic power sources and fuels are a no-go, because, when the chips are down, the soldiers might need to scavenge fuel from other sources (such as left-behind enemy equipment). radioactive elements are in most cases out of the question because of the same problem mentioned above. a lot of "green" sources such as solar panels and wind generators don't make sense because they have to be camouflaged... if you cover solar panels with camo netting they don't work well.... if you cover a wind generator with camouflage it won't turn (or it will rip the netting to shreds). if you can meet the 6 or so criteria, you may be able to get a project considered. look at items in the military supply system, and if you think you can do better, go for it, but remember logisticians will be looking at supplying fuel, parts, accessories for this. remember the criteria i listed are very important... great firearms with groundbreaking innovations have been rejected for not being easy to maintain, or something breaking because it was too fragile for battlefield use.
 

unclejed613

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
don't they use depleted uranium in shells?
yes they did, but that's a low level alpha emitter, the plutonium in a TEG has a half life of 80 years, and so is VERY radioactive compared to DU which has a half life of 4 billion years.
 

sram

Member
but you wouldn't want this on a battlefield, if it got blown up, the plutonium in it would contaminate the area and the people around it.

geothermal energy is only good for fixed installations such as an air force base or early warning radar station.

for military power sources, they need to be 1)portable, 2)durable (soldier proof durable), 3)reliable, 4)easy to operate 5) mass produced, 6)simple to maintain. exotic power sources and fuels are a no-go, because, when the chips are down, the soldiers might need to scavenge fuel from other sources (such as left-behind enemy equipment). radioactive elements are in most cases out of the question because of the same problem mentioned above. a lot of "green" sources such as solar panels and wind generators don't make sense because they have to be camouflaged... if you cover solar panels with camo netting they don't work well.... if you cover a wind generator with camouflage it won't turn (or it will rip the netting to shreds). if you can meet the 6 or so criteria, you may be able to get a project considered. look at items in the military supply system, and if you think you can do better, go for it, but remember logisticians will be looking at supplying fuel, parts, accessories for this. remember the criteria i listed are very important... great firearms with groundbreaking innovations have been rejected for not being easy to maintain, or something breaking because it was too fragile for battlefield use.
Point taken into consideration. I didn't specifically say that radioisotope thermoelectric generator should be used in the battle field. I'm just saying that some ways to get electricity are better than others depending on the situation. The Riteg is good for satellites. That means there is a use case for it. There might be some other ways that are particularly good for the military and I'm asking about them.

But I understand your point. The thing need to meet the criteria, otherwise it will get rejected even if it was a genius idea.

Thanks.
 

sram

Member
Talking about tegs, when is it preferable to use them with satellites and not use lithium ion batteries? I'm reading on the matter and most websites are talking about normal but high quality batteries for satellites. I think the longer the length of life of the satellite, the better it is to use radioisotope tegs in it, right?
 

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