What wins wars? Fuel. Have you ever seen or read the investigation titled “Guns, Germs, and Steel?” It’s all about how the most common root between all successful societies is climate zone, the ability to grow crops and settle have made all great groups prosper. Here’s a microcosm of that – US Marines using solar panels, cutting their fuel consumption by 90 percent. You think groups with fewer resources have the same ability to save energy? There’s a plateau these troops have reached that just make them better, isn’t there? The fuel they’re saving is diesel fuel, and the place they’re sitting is Afghanistan.
This 5th Marine Regiment has been using a program by the name of Experimental Forward Operating Base, aka ExFOB. This program uses an array of panels that can absorb solar power, then they’ve got equipment that can transmit that power to the equipment they use daily, this process saving them a MINIMUM of 8 gallons of diesel fuel a day. That’s a lot considering the tinyness of a single regiment. Think of this program applied on a large scale.
Staff Sargent David Doty notes, “Our generators typically use more than 20 gallons of fuel a day. We are down to 2.5 gallons a day. The system works amazing. By saving fuel for generators, it has cut back on the number of convoys, meaning less opportunity for one of our vehicles to hit an IED.” The array consists of flexible/portable panels that are both carried by troops and placed over tents during the day, each of them efficient enough to power four computers at once.
[Via Good Clean Tech]