US Army develops silent hydrogen fuel cell tanks
U.S. Army military engineers develop new hydrogen-powered combat vehicles, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles..
Scientists at the Center for Ground Vehicles and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory are assessing the prospects for the introduction of power technology using fuel cells and ancillary equipment that will provide a tactical advantage for land systems.
Hydrogen is the most abundant substance in the universe and is suitable for replacing any kind of carbon fuel, and fuel cells produce electricity quietly and efficiently. However, any water-based liquid can be used to feed them, including alcohol and urine. What’s more, hydrogen can also be recovered from existing fuels such as gasoline, propane and natural gas..
However, the military was more interested in the peculiarities of the functioning of fuel cells: the absence of noise, smoke, odor and excess heat..
Currently engineers are developing a new platform and hydrogen powertrain that will provide a number of advantages for future tanks, including high torque, which will quickly overcome uneven terrain and steep climbs; noiseless movement; lack of thermal signatures; reducing the weight of the combat vehicle, as well as the ability to use fuel from several sources.
Future tanks are planned to be equipped with a special module that will use electrochemical reactions and highly compressed H2 to power batteries and electric motors. It also envisages many options for hydrogen production, depending on the operating scenario and available local resources.
The Monster hydrogen fuel cell truck – Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 was developed with the U.S. Army Tank
In parallel, the US Army is developing high-energy lasers, which it plans to equip its Stryker wheeled armored vehicles with by 2022.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Jacqueline M. Hames, testtanksite