Remote Power Systems for Sensors on the Northern Border

Lin Simpson, Alicen Kandt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [1] to field sensors that accurately track different types of transportation across the northern border of the U.S.. To do this, the sensors require remote power so that they can be placed in the most advantageous geographical locations, often where no grid power is available. This enables the sensors to detect and track aircraft/vehicles despite natural features (e.g., mountains, ridges, valleys, trees) that often prevent standard methods (e.g., monostatic radar or visual observers) from detecting them. Without grid power, portable power systems were used to provide between 80 and 300 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 deployment of a second-generation of novel power systems that used adjustable-angle photovoltaics (PV), lithium ion batteries, and fuel cells that provide power to achieve 100% up-time.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2017
Event2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2017 - Waltham, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 201726 Apr 2017


Conference2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-68064


  • Fuel cell
  • Lithium battery
  • Photovoltaics (PV)
  • Remote portable power supply


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