Guest “No Schist Sherlock” by David Middleton
U.S. Army still relies on carbon-based fuels, report says
The U.S. Army still relies on carbon-based fuels, which will likely remain the primary fuel, according to a report released by Dr. David J. Gorsich and Dr. André Boehman.
Army’s chief scientist for ground vehicle systems Dr. David J. Gorsich and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, director of the university’s Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory André Boehman noted in its report that the Army’s requirement calls for the highest energy-density fuel combined with the lowest mass and volume—and gasoline and diesel still win over alternative energy.
Army scientists’ report examined why isn’t the U.S. Army using alternative forms of energy and powertrains more extensively to reduce fuel usage for its vehicles?
Tesla is building large semitrucks, and UPS and FedEx are starting to order these vehicles for delivery operations. It seems the entire automotive industry is migrating toward electrification as battery costs have dropped dramatically and recharge times and range have improved accordingly. With all of the major automobile manufacturers moving toward hybrids and electric vehicles, it’s easy to get confused and wonder why the Army is so far behind.
The reality is that the Army is not behind. It has experts in all of these fields who have been conducting research on alternative energy sources and hybrids for military vehicles for more than 20 years.
However, the bottom line is that there is a good reason the Army hasn’t unilaterally decided to switch to alternative fuels. The Army has a unique set of operational requirements, and no current fuel source meeting those requirements contains as much energy, by weight, as diesel or gasoline.
This analysis focuses on energy density (the amount of energy stored in a system per unit of volume), conversion of that energy, as well as mass and volume requirements, to determine how they compare to current sources.
They needed a report for this?
Although… The Army could save a lot of money on night vision gear if they went to 100% solar power… 😉
In other news…