10. Hybrid Vehicles
The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has developed two concept hybrid Clandestine Extended Range Vehicles, or CERVs. With a silent run capability of eight miles, each CERV can ascend to a 60 percent grade and has a torque rating of 5,000 pounds. They also boast a 25 percent fuel savings compared to conventional vehicles.
9. Hybrid Humvees
The military is also currently developing a pair of solar-powered hybrid Humvees called the FED Alpha and FED Bravo. “Each vehicle will be important to the FED team’s mission — to improve mpg by about 70 percent compared to a current M1114 HMMWV and reduce the Army’s thirst for fuel on the battlefield,” Carl Johnson, FED team leader at TARDEC, tells MGS Tech.
8. Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS)
The Army's use of battery charging kits that run on renewable energy like the REPPS combine solar panels, connectors and adaptors for increased charging options in the field. The 10-pound device is portable and uses a flexible 62-watt, anti-glint solar panel, and can charge the most common military battery types in five to six hours.
7. Solar-Powered Tents
Harnessing energy from the sun makes a lot of sense when access to energy is scarce in remote deserts in Afghanistan. Solar-powered tents can provide power for communications devices as well as laptops and other electronic equipment. The US Army has developed variations of the tents referred to as the Power Shade, the TEMPER Fly and the QUADrant.
6. Mini Dragon Runner, IED Detector
Qinetiq North America launched a smaller, lighter version of its Dragon Runner military robot that can be thrown into hostile environments to protect first responders. Controlled with a wearable interface with sensors that allow it to operate day and night, the DR10 can carry out IED disposal missions and conduct surveillance.
5. Solar Powered Water Purification Systems
In Iraq, solar power water purification systems are doing more than just helping American soldiers, but also providing clean drinking water for local civilians. The US Military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) has deployed several of the WorldWater systems to sustain clean water in many areas, reducing the risk of diseases. The 2KW of solar arrays can also provide extra energy to power appliances and telecommunication devices.
Scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas and Virginia Tech have developed robotic jellyfish, one foot-long submarines powered by hydrogen from seawater, for the US Navy to use on spy missions. Using hydrogen and oxygen vs electricity or batteries, the submarine drone can constantly refueling itself while performing surveillance.
Transporting fuel to typical diesel-powered generators comes at a significant financial and military cost as many fuel convoys are targeted for attack. As part of its mission to reduce energy-related vulnerability in Afghanistan, the Army has installed microgrids at many bases to pave the way for the use of renewable energy, reducing the need for fuel resupply.
2. Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System (SWIPES)
Arotech's SWIPES integrates force protection electronics and communications equipment with an advanced battery source. The Zinc-Air batteries allow for extended mission times without the burden of power source swaps or power source charging due to their high energy density, which also reduces battery weight soldiers carry by up to 30 percent.
1. Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System (GREENS)
Attacks on fuel resupply convoys accounted for over one third of US Army casualties in Afghanistan in 2007, according to the Council on Renewable Energy. Employing renewable and energy efficient technologies that significantly cut diesel use is imperative in reducing the number of convoy trips—and the potential for ambushes or roadside bombs.
GREENS is a portable hybrid photovoltaic/battery power system developed for the Marine Corps. Its stackable 1600-watt solar arrays and rechargeable batteries provide 300 watts of continuous electricity for Marines in remote locations. The units can be rapidly deployed and transported by Humvee. Training to operate the system takes only about an hour, and they pay for themselves within a matter of weeks from the money saved in cutting fuel convoys.
"The cost benefit can be measured in dollars and cents, but really how we measure is the ability to take fuel tanks off the road,” Project manager Michael Gallagher told In Depth. “That allows us to protect the Marines and not have them exposed to as many of the explosive devices over there."