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CS Monitor- Amazing portable solar/wind power units the CIA's investing in

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:20 AM
Original message
CS Monitor- Amazing portable solar/wind power units the CIA's investing in
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 10:38 AM by highplainsdem
This is a bit too old to post in LBN, though I haven't seen anything about it before. These portable solar and wind energy units sound like a wonderful advance, and I hope they'll be in wide use soon.


http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1018/p02s01-sten.html


Sci/Tech > Environment
from the October 18, 2005 edition

The latest investor in green energy - the CIA

Within hours, solar and wind energy units can be up and running in war or disaster zones.

By John Dillin | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ARLINGTON, VA. What if you had a power unit that generated substantial electrical energy with no fuel? What if it were so rugged that you could parachute it out of an airplane? What if it were so easy to set up that two people could have it running in just a few hours?

Now there is such a device - built by a small Virginia start-up - and the federal government has taken notice.

SkyBuilt Power Inc. has begun building electricity-generating units fueled mostly by solar and wind energy. The units, which use a battery backup system when the sun is down and the wind is calm, are designed to run for years with little maintenance.

Depending upon its configuration, SkyBuilt's Mobile Power Station (MPS) can generate up to 150 kilowatts of electricity, says David Muchow, the firm's president and CEO. That's enough to power an emergency operations center, an Army field kitchen, or a small medical facility.

<snip>



In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm set up by the CIA, is now investing in SkyBuilt.

The article mentions how useful these could be in disaster areas and war zones, but my first thought was the incredible impact these could have if they could be produced cheaply enough to be used widely. (I don't know the current cost, but assume it's pretty high.)

There's a photo of one of these "plop and drop" power centers, which come in standard size freight containers, 10-40 feet long, with the interior usable for storage after the center is set up.

*******


Editing to add more info from a press/photo release I just found:


http://www.primezone.com/newsroom/news.html?d=87993

<snip>

One of SkyBuilt's innovative systems is the Mobile Power Station(tm) (MPS), the world's first plug and play, modular, containerized, mobile power system, with over 100 patent claims filed for its revolutionary drop and operate design. "The PC revolutionized the computer industry and made computers mobile and plug and play. Now the MPS can do the same thing for renewable and other energy systems," according to David Muchow, President and CEO of SkyBuilt.

The MPS sets up in hours and is a complete power system prepackaged in a standard freight container that can be shipped easily worldwide by sea, air, truck and rail. SkyBuilt's vice president, Scott Sklar noted that, "The MPS operates in any climate, needs no fuel, is very low maintenance, rugged, and can be remotely controlled. It can provide power from 3.5kW to 150kW or more at much lower fuel and maintenance costs than traditional fuel-based systems. It can use any combination of off the shelf components and provides more reliable power than most other systems on or off the power grid -- and, the MPS can run for decades with relatively little maintenance."

About SkyBuilt Power(r)

SkyBuilt Power(r) provides simpler, smarter, and more reliable energy solutions for military, homeland security, and commercial power needs worldwide. SkyBuilt's team includes experts in solar, wind, fuel cells, batteries, electricity, fossil fuels, engineering, telecommunications, law, utility and energy regulation, and other disciplines to provide better energy solutions. http://www.SkyBuilt.com .

About In-Q-Tel

In-Q-Tel is a private, independent, not-for-profit venture group established by the CIA. Launched in 1999, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States' national security interests. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint that defines the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, established companies, researchers and venture capitalists to deliver technologies that pay out in superior intelligence capabilities for the larger Intelligence Community. Learn more at http://www.in-q-tel.org .

<snip>

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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. CIA has a venture capital firm?
I think the CIA should have to rely on Congress for all its $$$.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. And what if the CIA inc. goes belly up? n/t
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I have a feeling the taxpayers are their safety net.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:30 AM
Original message
When can I get one at a big-box warehouse store?
I'm sure those would sell quickly, particularly in areas damaged by Katrina/Rita/X storms.
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Well Costco does do solar panels...

...but they aren't on the shelves, just the online catalogue.

Though you can get some cheap solar outdoor lights there, which effectively double as emergency lanterns and battery chargers.


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
10. I agree they'd sell quickly.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Couldn't these also be used in neighborhoods?
As a supplemental power source and emergency backup? Thanks for posting this.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. I think they'd be ideal for all sorts of uses, all over the world.
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. But, but...I thought renewable energy sources were un-American!
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. No, renewable energy sources are anti-big energy.
we could have been well on our way to fixing our country's current energy woes if we had taken the cash streaming into Iraq and invested in renewables. Of course this misadministration is not interested, their biggest backers are big energy (read: oil).
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Just edited the OP to add more info from a press release.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. Press release about SkyBuilt being invited by the president of Ethiopia
to assess Ethiopian renewable power needs:

http://www.skybuilt.com/pr.htm (It's the last press release on the page.)

No details, other than that "SkyBuilt is exploring solar and wind energy solutions for village water pumping and other projects in Ethiopia."
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kicking for the evening crowd...
:kick:
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