FRIDAY 10 AUGUST, 2012 |
Lockheed Martin To Develop Solar Powered Fuel Cell Technology
The U.S. Office of Naval Research has awarded aerospace giant Lockheed Martin a $3 million contract to develop solar power/fuel cell technology
for the U.S. Marines.
The company aims to build a solid oxide fuel cell generator, which will be
powered by solar panels, capable of reducing overall fuel usage required for
tactical electrical generation by 50 percent or more.
Diesel-powered generators are currently the biggest users of energy in the
field the company says, powering everything from computers to satellite radios and command systems.
Not only is diesel expensive to transport into battle zones, delivery of
the fuel can be a deadly business.
"Lockheed Martin shares the U.S. Department of Defense's top goals of increasing the safety of our troops and reducing operational
costs," says Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin.
"Alternative energy solutions, such as the fuel cell we are developing for the Office of Naval Research, can help mitigate these challenges, advancing the strength and flexibility of our military operating in some of the world’s toughest
The multi-kilowatt JP-8 compatible Fuel Cell Efficient Power Node uses a chemical reaction to convert fuel to
electricity more efficiently than a combustion engine, dramatically reducing the amount of fuel consumed.
With prices for diesel in remote regions of Afghanistan reportedly reaching nearly $105 per litre, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) is determined to make the most of renewable energy
The DoD has set a target of sourcing 25% of its total energy needs from
renewables by 2025.
Earlier this week, the U.S Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for $7 billion worth
of locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements which would see the DoD buying
clean electricity from a variety of different solar, wind and geothermal suppliers.
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