Victoria-based company QinetiQ has won a $5.4 million contract to develop an innovative, deployable micro-grid that will help address an increase in the demand for power in the modern battlefield.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the contract was awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub (DIH), one of the Government’s leading innovation programs.
She said the technology had the potential to provide a globally deployable power solution, and could also be used for applications outside Defence, including humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, emergency services and remote mining work camps.
“The Government recognises the ingenuity within Australia’s innovation sector and is delighted to partner with organisations that can bring these ideas into reality,” the Minister added.
QinetiQ said the Defence Innovation Hub funding has been awarded for the second phase of development for the Deployable Adaptive Smart Grid (DASG).
According to the company’s statement, DASG will provide the energy storage systems, electrical distribution infrastructure and centralised control necessary to improve the efficiency, resilience and power quality of the ADF’s deployed three phase power systems.
“DASG incorporates distributed generation and energy storage systems to remove single points of failure and automatically adapts the control algorithms to match the grid layouts of different operational scenarios,” reads the statement.
Supported by the University of Melbourne, QinetiQ Australia will develop and test the Deployable Adaptive Smart Grid technology for deployed military camps.
Dr Colin Cockroft said the smart grid technology will be designed to power a NATO standard 250-person camp but will be scalable up to power larger deployments such as Combat Brigade HQs, Deployable Joint Force HQs, Forward Airfields and 1000 person camps.
“QinetiQ studies have shown that it is possible to significantly reduce the amount of diesel used to generate electricity in the field while at the same time improving the reliability and quality of the electricity generated,” he said.
“Our Power and Energy team are working with Defence to make these improvements a reality.”
Prototyping and fabrication are expected to take place at QinetiQ’s Australian Engineering and Integration Facility, with development of the control algorithms taking place at University of Melbourne’s Carlton campus.