Power Systems for Remote Sensors on the Northern Border

Lin Simpson, Alicen Kandt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with DHS to field sensors that accurately track different types of transportation on the U.S. northern border. To do this, the sensors need to be placed in the most advantages geographical locations, often where no power is available. This enables the sensors to detect and track aircraft/vehicles even though natural features (e.g., mountains, ridges, valleys, trees) often prevent standard methods (e.g., monostatic radar or visual observers) from seeing them. Without grid power, intermediate sized portable power systems were used to provide between 80 and 500 W continuously, even in bitter cold and when buried under feet of snow/ice. NREL provides details about the design, installation, and lessons learned from long-term testing of an initial set of novel power systems that used flexible photovoltaics, lithium ion batteries, and fuel cells that provided backup power to achieve over 95% up-time.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 26 Aug 2015
EventIEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2015 - Waltham, United States
Duration: 14 Apr 201516 Apr 2015


ConferenceIEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-63194


  • fuel cell
  • lithium battery
  • photovoltaics
  • Remote portable power supply


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