Travel takeaways: What we're seeing, from Indy to Abu Dhabi

We’re wrapping up our year in travel here at APS, with nine shows from Indianapolis to Abu Dhabi in the books for 2019.

With so many miles behind us, we’re taking some time to consider what we’ve learned. Here are three key power trends we see and serve around the world.

1. Prevalence of silent watch and corresponding power needs. Despite technological advances in long-distance tools such as satellites, an increasingly common option our US military uses for reconnaissance is silent watch: This type of operation brings a team of soldiers with a vehicle close to a target to gather intelligence. The vehicle, loaded with complex equipment such as sensors, imaging tools and targeting systems, serves as a temporary home and a remote working base. While this scenario has the potential for risk, it offers the unique benefit of staging a team in an ideal location if the intel they gather indicates the need for action.

On silent watch, soldiers need ample power to energize the equipment and systems that allow them to collect information and stay safe, plus more to charge their personal electronics and regulate cab temperature for their own comfort and to protect certain electronics. Meanwhile, reducing emissions, conserving fuel, and remaining difficult to detect in terms of noise and heat are all important.

APS continues to provide industry-leading solutions to meet the unique demands of silent watch, including direct replacement high-output alternators, dual alternator kits, high idle kits with dash-mounted switches, and scalable, automotive industry-grade lithium-ion energy storage solutions.

2. Speaking of lithium-ion … Demand for military batteries is expected to grow worldwide by 31 percent over the next several years. Traveling the world and in discussions with industry partners, we see this trend in action, spurred by increased interest in unmanned vehicles loaded with power-hungry equipment. Lithium-ion is the watchword here.

The same is true in the world of fleet-based commercial enterprises and public services (police, fire, ambulance).

Replacing heavy, expensive, short-lived lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion solutions provide benefits for manned and unmanned applications alike. For our team traveling abroad sharing information about li-ion, their biggest job has been industry education.

Our li-ion solution originated in the automotive industry and uses the same chemistry as Chevrolet. It passes the same rigorous seven layers of testing required by automotive OEMs. With a wide operational temperature range and a blast-proof structure for additional safety, the APS solution has been in applied use for five years—much longer than many options on the market today. And while the initial investment into any li-ion solution is generally higher than a tradition system, the lifetime cost of the APS system is lower.

3. Ample power for real-world applications. We continue to hear regularly from clients and potential partners that their vehicles’ power systems could use an upgrade. With increasingly complex aftermarket systems and equipment that help get the job done in almost every sector, the demand for on-vehicle power only continues to grow.

At APS, our focus is applications engineering—it’s truly the heart of our expertise. We design for real-world scenarios, and our solutions work because our team’s vision is informed by nearly two decades of shared experience building power systems that deliver on the road, in the field and anywhere work happens.

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