The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is reportedly investing in a power unit that can generate substantial electrical energy without using any fuel.
The units manufactured by a small Virginia start-up company -- SkyBuilt Power Inc. -- are so rugged they can be dropped by parachute from an airplane and operate so simply, two people could have a unit running in just a few hours, the Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.
The generators are fueled by solar and wind energy, with a battery backup for use during the night or when winds are calm. And the units are designed to run for years with little maintenance, the newspaper said.
Depending upon its configuration, SkyBuilt's Mobile Power Station can generate up to 150 kilowatts of electricity.
And now privately owned, SkyBuilt has a new investor -- In-Q-Tel -- a venture capital firm owned by the CIA. The "Q" in In-Q-Tel is a reference to the fictional character "Q" who supplies James Bond with scientific gadgets.
Although no models for homes are yet available, SkyBuilt says its mobile power station can help meet critical power needs, such as during disasters, terrorist attacks, military operations or meteorological emergencies.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International