U.S. Military Going Solar

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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In recent years, with all the cut backs of U.S. military and rising oil prices, “The U.S. military, across the board, has decided that energy is a strategic issue that affects their operations and budget in profound ways,” said former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry. “When oil goes from $60 to $100 a barrel, the amount that the Air Force and the Navy have to spend on fuel goes up dramatically…. A spike in the price of oil means fewer airplanes they can buy.” He added, “From an operational point of view, getting fuel to a site in Afghanistan is very expensive.”  With the cost-conscious Pentagon and Department of Defense, there had been many projects in the U.S. military, aiming to rely on renewable energy sources for 50% of their power by 2020.  Besides the Navy’s pledge to have a “Green Strike Group” by 2012 (using biofuels and nuclear rather than fossil fuels), Army being the biggest purchaser of electric cars in U.S., and U.S.Army working on “zero-footprint” camps (using self-sufficient vehicles and base camps), it is clear that renewable energy and many of its applications are simply more cost effective and safer in many ways than fossil fuels.

According to Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus,  “Fossil fuel is the number-one thing we import to Afghanistan, and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.” The convoys delivering fossil fuel are often targets of insurgent attacks, which can impair both the delivery system and the lives of civilians and soldiers–a study found that roughly one civilian or soldier is killed for every 24 fuel convoys sent (New York Times). And given that fuel often makes up, 30%-80% of every convoy’s load, that’s a lot of danger.

Among its many renewable projects that will prove safer and more cost effective: such as portable solar panels; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields providing shade and electricity;solar chargers for computers and communication equipments, etc. These flexible, portable, lightweight photovoltaics, the solar-powered tent structures converting light energy into electricity, would remove the need to haul

Using flexible photovoltaics, this solar tent/shade can generate up to 2 kilowatts of electricity from the sun (Credit: U.S. Military)

U.S. Military Solar Panel in Afghanistan (Major Paul Greenberg-U.S.M.C.)

large amounts of fuel or heavy generators.

 

 

 

 

 

As these military projects continue to evolve, I would like to share with you several of these that will likely make its/their way into civilian/main stream applications in the future.  Can you visualize yourself camping out in the forest in one of these tents some day:

Mobile Home Design of the Future-Solar Tent...all started from U.S. Military

As our society becomes even more mobile or if you belong to the group of modern and dynamic people who wants to move from one place to another to avoid boredom, or if you prefer to live close to the nature, then this mobile solar tent/home design may be what you are looking for.

Below, you will see a video clip of such a summary by some one who share the same view as I do :


I would like to share another interesting item in our next post, also resulting from initial military needs, but have proven to meet the needs of many.

 

Mobile Home Design Concept (solar powered, at night) (Credit:U.S.Military)

Until we meet again, I wish you will

~ have a bright and sunny day~

researched, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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