Using a Ford Hybrid Escape as the demonstrator platform, the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), with its National Automotive Center (NAC), and industry partner Quantum, is working to pair hybrid electric vehicles with a hydrogen delivery and storage system. Part of the 21st Century Base Initiative, this technology has the potential to offer a cost-effective alternative to full fuel cell powered vehicles.
“Currently one of the biggest vehicle technology focuses for the Army is alternative energy, both hybrid and fuel cell. Although the Army has set standards for Future Fleet hybrid energy use, we [Army] are looking at many industry solutions to infuse into the Current Fleet,” said Paul Skalny, Acting Director of TARDEC’s NAC. “The NAC has numerous agreements with top automotive suppliers and research companies, and we are continually exploring the uses of commercial fuel cell and hybrid platforms for both tactical and combat vehicles.”
Under this collaborative agreement, the NAC and Quantum are developing an advanced hydrogen storage system, a fuel injection system, and electronic controls that are required for the Hydrogen Escape Hybrid. The complete Hydrogen Hybrid package will include: an electronic, multi-point hydrogen injection system; a turbocharger and intercooler for increased performance and efficiency; compressed hydrogen fuel storage modules equipped with a pressure regulation system; and, a hydrogen fuel delivery system that uses hydrogen compatible components.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Army has partnered with Quantum to develop the Hydrogen Escape Hybrid, as we [Quantum] continue our expansion into the hybrid vehicle market,” said Alan P. Niedzwiecki, President and CEO of Quantum. “The U.S. Army NAC is at the forefront of supporting the development and demonstration of advanced technologies to support the needs of our Soldiers, and Quantum is proud to have been their partner on this and other programs.”
Quantum’s HyHauler Plus(TM) will be supporting the Hydrogen Escape Hybrid as a transportable hydrogen refueling station. In the fall of 2006, this infrastructure will be supporting the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Fleet demo program at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Harrison Township, Mich., serving as an interim hydrogen fueling station until their permanent fueling station is complete.
TARDEC is headquartered at the Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich. It is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology. TARDEC’s mission is to research, develop, engineer, leverage and integrate advanced technology into ground systems and support equipment throughout the life cycle. Its technical staff leads research in ground vehicle survivability, mobility, intelligent systems, and maneuver support and sustainment.
Quantum and its subsidiary, Tecstar Automotive Group, are leaders in powertrain engineering, system integration, and manufacturing of packaged fuel systems and accessories for specialty vehicles and applications including fuel cells, hybrids, alternative fuels, hydrogen refueling, new body styles, mid- cycle vehicle product enhancements and high performance engines and drive trains for OEMs and consumers of aftermarket parts and accessories. Quantum also designs and manufactures hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. More information can be found about Quantum’s products and services at http://www.qtww.com/ .
Source: U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center