US Army Tests Fuel Cell Technology for Battle Tanks

22 June 2010 (Last Updated June 22nd, 2010 18:30)

Fuel cell technology that could one day power Abrams main battle tanks is being tested by the US Army. Tests are being conducted on an auxiliary power unit (APU), which is specifically designed to convert JP8 diesel fuel into hydrogen and generate electricity through a fuel cell. <

Fuel cell technology that could one day power Abrams main battle tanks is being tested by the US Army.

Tests are being conducted on an auxiliary power unit (APU), which is specifically designed to convert JP8 diesel fuel into hydrogen and generate electricity through a fuel cell.

US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center chemical engineer Steven Eick said fuel cells involve a chemical reaction that generates electrical current by breaking the hydrogen atom.

"The technology will be installed and tested onboard an actual vehicle following the current lab tests," Eick said.

"Our goal is to generate more on board power to help support radios and other equipment."

The fuel cell technology aimed to provide more electrical power to Abrams tanks and other combat vehicles.

Power generated through fuel cell technology provides the vehicle with the ability to accommodate more on-board electricity including computing, battle command technologies, sensors and other electronics by adding fuel cells.