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Fuel Cells Develop as Military Solutions

Transportation is changing from the ground up. And down. When the military innovation machine targets a problem, rapid development and commercialization is sure to follow rapidly.

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The U.S. Army is constructing a new Department of Defense's Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL), a one-of-a-kind research and testing laboratory complex.

Eight different labs will be housed in the 30,000-square-foot facility and they are being designed as the cornerstone for the Army's next generation of power and energy initiatives. The facility will provide scientists and researchers with the ability to integrate hybrid-electric and fuel cell technologies into advanced military vehicles.

Fuel Cell Solutions for Vehicles, APUs, UGVs, UAVs and Submarines

The Army, with the world’s largest vehicle fleet, has been working on fuel cell auxiliary power units (APUs) for vehicles, to reduce the amount of gas and diesel they use to power on board equipment and electronics. This laboratory will help further development and demonstration of APUs and fuel cells for propulsion.

The Army has also been testing fuel cell powered Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and they aren’t the only branch interested in the technology. The Air Force has been working with private companies to develop fuel cell powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), both for surveillance and operational missions. The Army and Marine Corps are funding projects for portable soldier power and the Department of Defense has been deploying fuel cells to provide electricity for barracks, camp operations and officer’s quarters since the early 1990s. The Navy is also researching fuel cell-powered submarines.

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Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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