U.S. Army Examines Smaller, Flex-Fuel Generators
by Adam Stone (Defense News) The U.S. Army is testing new power packs that could run on virtually any fuel, including gasoline, ethanol and diesel.
Developed by INI Power of Morrisville, N.C., the alternative energy power packs could even run on such nonconventional fuels as grain alcohol and paint thinner, anything that’s 151-proof or stronger.
“Anything that’s flammable is fair game,” said INI Power founder Larry Markoski.
The Army has an interest in such technologies, and is testing INI’s device along with similar solutions through its Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).
The U.S. military mandates that all systems operate on a common fuel, known as JP8. Small power systems have trouble burning such fuel, and the military has been looking for alternative fuels to power small generators that today run on diesel, said Shailesh Shah, CERDEC Fuel Cell Technology Team lead.
Fuel problems with the small generators have resulted in some logistical issues. “We’ve come to realize that for the portable power systems, soldiers are often acquiring fuel from other sources other than the Army’s logistics tail,” Shah said. READ MORE