The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Defence is mandated by a 1964 Act of Parliament to produce materiel for the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies. The Act further empowers the Corporation to use its excess capacity to produce a wide range of civilian products. Such excess capacity has been used to provide engineering and power solutions to mitigate challenges in critical national sectors. The challenge of power supply poses a critical problem to any nation. Several measures are been taken to mitigate the challenges posed by lack of power supply globally. DICON embarked on a research effort to tackle the problem of power especially for use in operations by evolving the Mobile Solar Power Generator (MSPG).
The need to maintain secrecy in operations cannot be overemphasised. Most alternative sources of power are prone to giving away the position of friendly forces by the virtue of the noise they produce. The research effort therefore sought to balance the need to generate power with the requirement for the elimination of noise using solar medium. This was equally considered in line with the mobile nature of operations which demands a mobile means of power supply without loss of momentum in dynamic operations
MOBILE SOLAR POWER GENERATOR In fulfilling these objectives, DICON designed and produced a renewable energy contraption MSPG. It is to solve the perennial energy crises for troops on operations and other outdoor training exercises. This contraption can further be used for civil purposes. The main advantage is the elimination of noise which can give away own position to the enemy. The other advantages are easy mobility, zero maintenance cost and the ability of the device to self-charge itself for extended period of time.
The first prototype was exhibited at the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2016, Gusau where it became the cynosure of all eyes and caught the interest of the distinguished guests. It was further exhibited at the maiden seminar of the Nigeria-South African Defence Exhibition, Abuja.
The technical details of the MSPG-16/2 is as follows:
a. Application. The MSPG–16/2 finds application in the provision of lighting, power and charging of communication devices during FTXs, CPX, MOOTW, military check points, IDP Camps, training camps, NYSC Orientation Camps, remote primary health care centers, farms, etc. The generator can comfortably power three (3) single phase water pumping machines.
b. Main Characteristics. The MSPG-16/2 is designed and built to withstand tough environmental conditions. It can be towed cross country over long distances and it is adaptable for most terrains in Nigeria. It has double-eye lift spring for better suspension and easily deployed.
c. Performance Specification. The power generating capacity of the device is 8400W (10.5 KVA) at 240 volt alternating current per day. It has 9 x 250W mono crystalline solar panels as well as 14 x 200 amperes hour (ampH) deep cycle, long life, maintenance free batteries. The Gross weight is 4000kg with dimensions of 3590m x 1790m x 1740m (in motion) and 3590m x 5090m x 1740m (in motion) and 3590m x 5090m x 1740m (fully deployed).
d. List of Accessories. The MSPG has the following accessories:
(1) Spare tyre.
(2) Tool box.
(3) 4 x supporting rods.
(4) Bolts and nuts.
(5) Fire extinguisher.
DICON has designed and produced a renewable power solution that is of immense tactical advantage to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. With this innovation, it is equally possible to address the challenges of power supply in remote places. Going by its noiseless characteristic, the MSPG is not only apt for military operations, it is highly suitable for hospitals, offices and areas that requires the reduction of noise to the barest minimum. The MSPG has been mass produced and is equally available for public use.