Bourne Energy Develops Military Version of its Backpack Power Plant

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Bourne's military version of its Backpack Power Plant hydrokinetic system measures only three feet in length and weighs less than 25 pounds. It is a self-contained power generator capable of operating in a wide variety of climates, terrains, temperatures, altitudes and corrosive environments. It can bring high quality power to remote military bases that are situated near potential hydropower sites.

Bourne has completed a new version of its Backpack Power Plant (BPP-1) hydrokinetic system, a zero-fuel continuous 24/7/365 power generator that is ultra-portable. The original 30-pound, 500W BPP-1 has garnered considerable interest for applications ranging from rural electrification to powering remote farms, ranches as well as for emergency power. Bourne's militarized version has been entirely redesigned for the more challenging military environment. This unit must be able to be carried into remote areas where the size, depth and current speed of a river is virtually unknown. The unit must be robust, tolerant and capable of operating in a wide variety of climates, terrains, temperatures, altitudes and corrosive environments. The units must be extremely stealthy during operation and able to be installed and uninstalled in minutes. The units may also require suitable armor.

Bourne's militarized Backpack Power Plant-Type 2 (BPP-2) measures only 3 feet in length and weighs less than 25 pounds, approximately 10% lighter than the original BPP-1. Like its civilian predecessor it is self-contained with its own integrated power, control, cooling and sensor systems. The unit collapses into three major parts which slide into a large backpack. The BPP-2 produces up to 20% more power (600W) and can be set up singularly or in arrays of over 20 kW. The BPP-2, which operates silently with no heat or exhaust emissions, is 40% less visible during operation and can also be bottom mounted to be totally invisible.

The BPP-2 can be transported by Humvee, mule, man or even air-dropped into rugged, remote areas and quickly set up (50% quicker than the BPP-1) in small steady or seasonal rivers and streams using Bourne's novel submerged horizontal mooring system. Its high mobility and rapid installation and dismantling allows the user to move the unit on a daily basis if necessary. The BPP-2 can operate in a wider range of current speeds, and can carry an optional lightweight armor package.

The BPP-2 Series can bring high quality continuous power to remote military bases as well as larger bases which are close to potential hydropower resources. It can be combined with solar panels or wind generators to form a hybrid renewable power system. The Backpack Power Plant-Type 2 brings the energy intensive tools of the modern world - lights, refrigeration, computers and communications for homes, schools and clinics to the local population markedly improving living conditions.

Bourne is currently adapting what it has learned from the military version into a new micro-version of the BPP capable of operating in river depths as low as two feet like those encountered in the shallow river rapids common in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bourne Energy has also developed river, tidal, wave and ocean current systems up to 3MW.


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C. Catlin
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