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Hybrid Generators for the Military Could Cut Fuel Use By 70%


This summer, frontline troops in Afghanistan will begin using two diesel-battery hybrid generators that could cut fuel use by 50 to 70 percent.

The diesel generators currently used at military camps waste a lot of energy because there’s no way to store excess power that’s being produced, but not used.  The new hybrid generators, built by Virginia-based Earl Energy, will not only satisfy energy needs for the camps, but store energy in a bank of lithium-ion batteries.

The diesel generators run until the batteries are fully charged and then the generators shut off and the batteries provide the power instead.  The new generators can provide the same amount of power from running for three to four hours as the old generators would by running 24 hours straight.

The new systems will each consist of an 18-kW diesel generator paired with a 40-kWh bank of batteries.  The system also features a 10-kW solar PV system to cut fuel use even further.

What’s even better is that from a cost perspective, the new systems aren’t that much more expensive to buy, costing over $100,000 each, while the same size diesel generator would cost from $80,000 – $100,000.  The systems are expected to pay for themselves in fuel savings within a year.

via MIT Tech Review

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