Print 40 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Jul 14 at 5:17 PM

  (Source: Elite Nomads)
Army looks for ways to use fuel cells with non-petroleum sources

The United States Army has started the development and application of hydrogen fuel-cell technology to their vehicles. The first vehicle to receive this technology will be the workhorse M1 Abrams battle tank. This type of tank requires vast amounts of onboard computing power for sensors, computing equipment, battle command technology and other electronic equipment, so using fuel cell technology would be able to provide greater electrical power than the current setup, which is a diesel engine/alternator arrangement. 

In addition, the use of a fuel cell would make the tank's motor run in near silence. This is a particularly helpful feature since enemy combatants can hear the current model's 1,000+hp multi fuel turbine engine from miles away, and with a silent engine, the tank can sneak into certain territory relatively unheard. 

The use of a fuel cell would be convenient as well because the hydrogen would be extracted from JP-8 diesel fuel onboard and converted into electricity, meaning that "the current refueling infrastructure would remain in place." 

As of now, the testing of fuel cells in tanks exists only in the laboratory. The idea is to find a way to power multiple fleets of military vehicles with fuel cells "that use non-petroleum sources." There have been problems with having to deliver fuel through dangerous war zones and across two large countries. Providing security for the transport vehicles to assure that they get to the desired destination in order to fuel the tanks has become more than a thorn in their side, and fuel cell technology could possibly eliminate these worries. 

This isn't the Army's first effort toward greener technology, though. In May of this year, HP was in the process of developing a "Dick Tracy-like" watch that uses solar panels for the U.S. military. Also, a new hybrid Army aircraft that resembles a blimp and can travel for three weeks at a time unmanned, was designed and will be sent to Afghanistan by mid 2011. 


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By Lord 666 on 7/13/2010 12:42:10 PM , Rating: 0
With all of this development, it should be obvious that Uncle Sam knows something that is not being fully shared; petrol resources are running out much sooner.

For National Security reasons, this is a very prudent thing to move forward on. However, from everything that is public knowledge, the research is far behind on scalability purposes.

Unless there is a drastic R&D (Prius and Volt are not good enoug), there will be madatory petrol rationing in our life time.

By knutjb on 7/13/2010 4:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm.... you're wrong. With our coal supplies alone we could be independent for a very long time, well past several generations. Coal based synthetics for jet and diesel are very competitive when oil is above $40 a barrel, its around $78.

Back in the 70s when R&D on shale was getting very close to moving into production OPEC suddenly increased production to avoid competition. In 81 the Saudis flood the market with inexpensive oil to force price cuts. The estimates of our recoverable oil shale reserves are three times larger than all of the oil in Saudi Arabia.

Our natural gas reserves our the largest in the world.

We have been finding oil in places never seen. I know of an oil discovery in South Dakota found when drilling for water, they were at 400 feet.

Don't forget all of the oil sitting of the coast of CA that could be reached on-shore or very shallow waters. Instead we just let it seep up through the side walks in Santa Clara. The single largest source of the oil on the beaches in Ca comes from nature, outstripping man by a long shot.

In North Dakota they have had the greatest jump ever in millionaires from oil discoveries.

Nope the politicians keep preventing people from accessing it or push them way out in the ocean where its not so safe. I hold the Feds and Environmentalist just as responsible for the Big Leak as I do BP.

How many politicians have the slightest bit of energy knowledge? Very few they are mostly lawyers.

Turn off the fiction TV and get out of Mom's basement.

By eddieroolz on 7/13/2010 11:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
In addition, don't forget about Canada! We have massive reserves of oil in the oilsands that can supply the United States for decades.

By knutjb on 7/14/2010 2:32:50 AM , Rating: 2
Except the Chinese just bought the rights from Conoco to run the operation.

By LeftFootRed on 7/13/2010 5:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
Unless there is a drastic R&D (Prius and Volt are not good enoug), there will be madatory petrol rationing in our life time.

Rationing only occurs if price controls are implemented.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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