US Army Opens New Energy R&D Complex with Fuel Cell Laboratory

13 Apr 2012

GSPEL

The US Army has formally unveiled a $60 million energy research and development complex in Warren, Michigan, that includes a laboratory dedicated to fuel cells. The Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) at the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre (TARDEC)  houses eight state-of-the-art laboratories to provide unprecedented ground vehicle testing and evaluation capabilities for the Army and its partners.

The work at the facility is intended to make combat vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce the need for fuel convoys which are often targeted for attacks. It will also make soldiers’ loads lighter and minimise their combat risk related to refuelling. The Army wants to increase energy security, improve energy efficiency and reduce the vulnerability of troops in the field.

Research work has already begun, with approximately 120 engineers and technicians assigned to the facility.  Academics and representatives of the automotive industry will collaborate with TARDEC engineers and researchers.

The eight laboratories at GSPEL are:

- Fuel cells laboratory;

- Hybrid electric components laboratory;

- Energy storage laboratory (for development of advanced-chemistry battery packs);

- Power laboratory, to evaluate electrical systems on major vehicles;

- Thermal management laboratory;

- Air filtration laboratory;

- Calorimeter laboratory;

- PEVEL: the building’s centerpiece, the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Laboratory, a unique test chamber which allows for full mission profile testing under various environmental conditions, with various terrains and a wide range of temperatures, humidities and wind speeds. The PEVEL can accommodate hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Reference and Image: TARDEC

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