Defense Media Network

PowerArmor Solar Panels Provide Ballistic Protection Along With Electricity

IDG Europe has introduced a new solar panel system that provides ballistic protection along with electrical power, and is lighter and more portable than current systems, according to a DSM Dyneema press release.

The PowerArmor units from IDG Europe feature low-reflectance solar panels protected by an anti-ballistic surface made in an exceptionally strong unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite from DSM Dyneema.

The composite is based on an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber (UHMWPE) produced by and branded as Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Panels made from Dyneema® also weigh around 20 percent less than aluminum panels of the same thickness, which provide no ballistic protection. The ultra-light, low glare panels in the PowerArmor system provide protection from fragmentation up to high-power rifle ammunition, according to the release.


IDG Europe’s low-glare solar panels are protected by a fiber reinforced composite. DSM Dyneema photo

“Dyneema® offers the lightest armor protection materials in the market,” says David Cordova, Vice President Business Development for DSM Dyneema – Life Protection. “The combination of Dyneema® with the innovative low-glare IDG solar panels provides a unique value proposition to military personnel.”

The two companies cooperated closely on IDG’s development of the dual-purpose system, intended to power electrical and electronic equipment used by armed forces in the field.

“As Defense Forces continue to carry more and more electronic systems into dangerous, inhospitable and isolated places, the need to keep portable electronic devices operable at all times in hostile environments is essential,” says Göran Johnson, CEO at IDG Europe. “With PowerArmor™, we think that we have a winning combination of solar panels that supply power and provide protection. We believe its chances are very good, especially as the two individual products were already being independently considered – and in some cases used in practice – by various Special Forces around the world.”