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Posted on July 14, 2010 by  & 

Military electric vehicles: US hybrids - part two

Hybrid electric drive systems employ energy storage through high energy and power density batteries to supply vehicle systems and support the main engine at peak operation - for example acceleration.
 
A mild parallel hybrid electric drive system is suited to retrofit applications (KPIT Cummins has these), and allows the conventional military vehicle structure to be maintained. On-board vehicle power may also be supplied through a power take-off, where a permanent magnet alternator is mounted to the main propulsion engine, operating as a generator when the vehicle is stationary.
 
For instance, after focusing on hydrogen fuel cells in its original version of "The Aggressor," a high-performance, off-road Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV) for military ground exploration and scouting missions, the Pentagon is now going the way of the car industry—with batteries. The new, second-generation prototype will still utilize the same basic chassis and exterior design for light-duty capacity. But the Army's auto research arm—part of the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)—has developed a battery-dominant, hybrid-electric drive train with a diesel engine-generator.
 
 
The U.S. Army is testing a new diesel hybrid vehicle called the Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) designed for quick-paced special operations-type missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting--all the while conserving fuel.
 
The vehicle was developed jointly by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide and the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) National Automotive Center, with funding support through the U.S. Special Operations Command.
 
Benefit of scale from commonality
 
Both pure electric vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles AUVs and hybrid electric vehicles are increasingly co-developed for military and civilian use. For instance, in the USA, there is interest in using hybrid platforms common to both civil and military use in order to increase volume and reliability and reduce cost. One result is the MP Hybrid, a multipurpose platform that is easily configurable for a variety of homeland defense, military and commercial jobs. The MP Hybrid was developed by the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center, in conjunction with Quantum Fuel System Technologies Worldwide, Inc., and California Motors LLC.
 
According to Alan Niedzwiecki, president and CEO of Quantum Technologies, "the MP Hybrid is not just one vehicle. It is a modular, easily configurable, light-duty platform that allows a fleet purchaser to define requirements, select from a variety of assemblies and features, and custom configure the body and powertrain to best suit their specific vehicle need."
 
 
The military version of the 45 mph MP Hybrid is designed for non-tactical, medium-speed applications such as military police patrols, base operations, routine personnel transport and remote power generation. It allows existing tactical vehicles like Humvees to be reserved for more demanding missions, increasing their useful lifetimes, reducing their maintenance and decreasing fuel use.
 
About the size of a Jeep Wrangler, the MP Hybrid can carry four adults plus 500 lb. of cargo for a GVW of 3200 lb. The overall length is 150 in., width is 68 in. and wheelbase is 96 in. It rides on 255-70/R16 tires.
 
It has many features to enhance maintainability such as unencumbered access to the engine, electric motor, drivetrain, suspension and wheel area and similar front and rear suspension and wheel subassemblies, as well as the use of other common components. A series hybrid electric configuration where a small diesel engine drives a generator. The front and rear drive trains, each with a 10 hp General Electric motor, are completely independent and managed through an on-board vehicle control system to provide four-wheel-drive.
 
A removable 5 kW auxiliary power unit APU has been designed by Advanced Propulsion Technologies Inc. This lightweight, briefcase-size generator is powered by the company's opposed piston opposed cylinder (OPOC) engine to provide 120/240 Vac electrical power for in-vehicle power needs, plug-in exportable power and soldier-portable battlefield operations. The electric power cell (EPC) plugs into a vehicle's fuel and electrical system to produce quiet exportable power independent of the main engine. The EPC improves the vehicle's overall fuel economy by eliminating idling and reducing emissions, maintenance and engine wear.
 
 
The vehicle can also be fitted with a ballistic lightweight armor package designed by Klune Industries. A logical next step for all military HEVs will be the newer, more powerful batteries and no internal combustion engine but simply a much more reliable Bladon Jets Ltd microturbine that can burn almost any fuel .
 
TARDEC APD
 
APD is the Robotic Vehicle Control Architecture's integration platform. It tests hybrid electric drive and advanced suspension and thermal management systems. It is capable of reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and is helping engineers to develop, integrate and test next-generation unmanned ground vehicle mobility technologies.
 
Hybrid Technologies
 
Hybrid Technologies started out six years ago helping the military with watercraft and submarine power systems and it now provides electric PT Cruisers for base transportation. It converts conventional vehicles to electric and it is working on a stealth vehicle for the US Military.
 
The new IDTechEx report "Electric Vehicles 2010-2020" has a chapter giving extensive coverage of military electric vehicles with ten year forecasts by number, unit value and market value. Electric Vehicles 2010-2020.
 
 
Also attend: Future of Electric Vehicles which uniquely covers the whole electric vehicle market - land, sea, air whether hybrid or pure EV - with emphasis on future breakthroughs.
 
Image: TARDEC APD
Source: TARDEC
 
The new IDTechEx report "Electric Vehicles 2010-2020" has a chapter giving extensive coverage of military electric vehicles with ten year forecasts by number, unit value and market value. Electric Vehicles 2010-2020.
 

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Posted on: July 14, 2010

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