Competition Highlights New Battlefield Energy Sources.

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* An Army competition seeking technology from startups discovered a pair of new power sources that may help soldiers lighten their loads in battle zones.

The office of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology sponsored the xTechSearch contest and awarded $1.5 million in development funds at the Association of the United States Army's annual conference in Washington, D.C. The goal was to find new capabilities that could contribute to the Army's modernization priorities.

One of the 12 prize winners was an ultra-lightweight rechargeable battery developed by Cuberg of Emeryville, California. It uses a new electrolyte formula to create a battery, which affords it an increased energy density while helping cells maintain thermal stability, Richard Wang, co-founder and CEO of Cuberg, said during the conference.

The company received $2 million of seed funding from the Boeing Co. last January and finished developing its first prototype cells this past September, he added.

Another energy source showcased during the competition was a portable power generator made by Mesodyne--a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup.

The wearable generator uses thermophotovoltaic energy conversion, which transforms fuel to electricity with heat and light as intermediaries, to power devices, said Veronika Stelmakh, CEO and co-founder of the company.

It "reduces battery load by 75 percent, enabling the soldier to carry two gallons of water, more ammunition, or simply improving mobility," Stelmakh said. Similar to Cuberg's product...

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