A new lab for developing military technology opens in Mich.
Detroit Free Press
WASHINGTON – A new lab, where technology for the next generation of ground vehicles for the U.S. military will be developed and tested, officially opens today in Warren, as the Obama administration and its Defense Department unveil new programs to promote fuel savings and alternative energy.
The new Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab, or GSPEL, will be opened at an event this morning at 10 at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, as well as Joseph Westphal, undersecretary of the Army, will be on hand.
Administration officials on Tuesday released information on other programs to be announced as part of the opening, including a $30 million reseearch competition to develop improved batteries and other energy storage devices. Funded by the Energy Department, the competition will include improving hybrid energy storage models being developed for the Defense Department.
The Defense Department is also increasing a commitment to generate power, adding the Army and Air Force to a previous promise made on behalf of the Navy, to generate a total of 3 gigawatts of energy — enough to power 75,000 homes — through solar, wind, biomass and other means of renewable energy by 2025.
About $30 million in federal funding — including $15 million from the 2009 stimulus legislation — paid for the 34,000-square-foot lab in Warren, which increases the available lab space at TARDEC for the development of new engines, fuel cells and energy storage devices.
Levin’s office said the facility is “unique in that it brings together a number of high-technology testing capabilities in a single facility that can test vehicle components, systems and full vehicles, which will enable TARDEC to increase its collaboration with the Department of Energy, industry and academia.”
An article from last year on TARDEC’s website said the GSPEL centerpiece is its Power and Energy Vehicle Environment Lab, which includes one of the world’s largest environmental chambers, allowing research to test vehicles in extreme temperatures with various wind, humidity and solar conditions.
The Army also plans to announce what it’s calling a Green Warrior Convoy for next year in which it will road test — and exhibit — advanced energy technologies and systems developed at the new lab.
Distributed by MCT Information Services