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SatCon Wins Army Contract for Integrated Starter/Generator for Hybrids

The US Army has awarded SatCon Technology, a developer and manufacturer of power electronics and motors for alternative energy markets, a contract to develop an Integrated Starter/Generator (ISG) for hybrid powertrain military vehicles. SatCon currently sells a line of subsystems to hybrid vehicle integrators such as Azure Dynamics, among others (earlier post).

This award expands SatCon’s portfolio of vehicle power technologies with the development of an integrated starter/generator based on an advanced permanent-magnet motor.

This work is a direct follow-on from research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the automotive sector, and previous SatCon work supporting the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR traction motor development program.

SatCon will leverage its prior Partnership for the Next Generation Vehicles (PNGV) development work and Advanced Integrated Power Module (AIPM) technology to provide the mating drive for the ISG. This is dual-use technology—applicable to both military and civilian hybrid electric vehicles—and will be designed to function as an ISG and/or traction motor.

SatCon’s Applied Technology division is currently developing DC/DC converters (pulse power and battery chargers), starter generators, auxiliary power units, and main generators for hybrid electric vehicles for U. S. Army advanced technology vehicles.

A week before this award, Satcon won a contract to develop an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for military tactical vehicles.

The SatCon APU can be configured as a standalone unit or geared to the main engine, employing either liquid or air-cooling. The APU combines a high speed permanent magnet (PM) generator with a novel power circuit and controller design that provides 270VDC, 28VDC, and 120VAC power ports.

The baseline configuration is targeted as a 4kW APU for the Abrams tank. As a dual-use opportunity, this technology is also applicable to providing auxiliary power outlets on hybrid electric commercial and passenger cars and trucks.


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