QinetiQ has won and started to deliver on a £3.5m contract to investigate how the generation and distribution of electrical power on defence vehicles can be improved by using 610 Volt technologies against a background of ever increasing demands for electrical power. QinetiQ has established and leads a team including BAE Systems and Provector Ltd to deliver this contract. The programme runs through to the end of 2009 and will demonstrate improved electrical power capability in Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs).
Awarded by the MOD Future Business Group, this Technology Demonstration Programme will see the existing 28 Volt system uprated in a demonstrator Warrior 2000 AFV to one that can generate and safely distribute electrical power at 610 Volts for high demand loads, yet still deliver 28 Volt supplies to existing equipment.
Today in addition to the standard vehicle electrical equipment, driveline, management systems and communications kit, most AFVs and Protected Patrol Vehicles will include advanced situational awareness, sensors, personnel and vehicle cooling systems, various other power-hungry systems plus a growing array of future technology – all of which place an increasing burden on the existing 28V generating systems. This high voltage architecture and system is also directly applicable to the wider military vehicle fleet and will be used to inform the development of power generation and distribution systems for future vehicles.
The programme builds on QinetiQ’s extensive vehicle electrical power and propulsion research and development experience and its expertise in the design of high efficiency permanent magnet electrical machines. This expertise will be used to 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.
“This team will deliver a best-in-class solution within a demanding timescale,” explained Chrys Stevenson QinetiQ Platform Systems Sales & Marketing Director. “A significant milestone has already been achieved as the programme 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.”
David Wragg, the BAE Systems’ IPT Leader for Emerging Programmes supported this and added: “This is an exciting programme that will demonstrate how technology insertion can sustain the growing electrical power requirements for both new and existing land platforms plus contribute to setting the design standards for future vehicles and requirements.”
Jim McMenemy, Project Manager within the MOD Future Business Group concluded: “I am very pleased with the progress already made by the team on this very important project. The output will inform vehicle IPT’s of the potential introduction of this technology which could dramatically improve the overall electrical power capability of our vehicles.”