FTL Solar is the world's first developer and manufacturer of lightweight, flexible, tensile fabrics and structures embedded with Ascent Solar thin-film solar cells. The Texas-based company's products can be scaled to shelter and power a range of mission-critical applications; in remote regions, these power-generating shelters eliminate the need to transport and burn fossil fuels.
The PowerMod is a 20ft x 20ft tensioned PV fabric power supply structure supported by a single, guyed pole. It is the fastest portable kilowatt (1.2 kilowatts) of solar power available, and is structurally engineered to resist wind loads for temporary and interim installations.
It can provide sufficient electricity from sunlight to power lighting, fans, cell phones, iPods and laptop computers for a squad of solders. Alternatively, it can be used to power 12V DC refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. These tent like structures are particularly suitable for the military environment because they significantly reduce the fuel requirement for gas generators thereby reducing convoy risk exposure to enemy threats (IEDs). They not only operate in truly mobile environments they also provide areas of shade and have short ROI due to high cost of providing fuel in theatre.
The folded-up flexible PV fabric top weighs 90 lbs and produces 1.2 kilowatts of power - a total energy output of 4.5 kilowatt hours per day. Multiple PowerMod's can be combined to provide larger amounts of power stored in batteries. The telescoped-down support column and guying kit (including steel anchors) weighs an additional 75 lbs. The structure can be put together with two soldiers in 15 minutes.
Image: FTL Solar
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