Adapting Cleantech can create a quieter, more energy-efficient army

The climate crisis is radically changing the tactical, operational, and strategic environment facing the U.S. military, creating complex national security challenges. Despite these impacts, the Department of Defense (DOD) still emits more carbon dioxide than many industrialized nations. This realization has reached the highest echelons of the military—finally—and clean technology adaptation and innovation are beginning to appear on more Defense Department desks as the climate crisis becomes clear.

Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14008, Combating the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. It puts the climate crisis at the forefront of foreign policy and national security planning, committing the US to work with other countries and partners, “both bilaterally and multilaterally, to put the world on a sustainable climate path.” The order pushes the US to take swift action to build resilience to the effects of climate change.

The Defense Department’s Climate Adaptation Plan in Action

The Ministry of Defense’s climate adaptation plan was approved by the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Budget Management. The Department of Defense identifies climate change as the most important national security issue in the plan. “Climate change will continue to increase operational demands on forces, degrade equipment and infrastructure, increase health risks to our service members, and may require modifications to existing and planned equipment,” the plan says.

These predictions quickly became the basis for a number of cleantech adaptation areas moving from research and development to implementation.

The Department of Defense has significant science, research and development capabilities to accelerate deployment technologies needed to build resilience and improve climate adaptation and mitigation capabilities. Special attention is now being paid to cooperation with other agencies and industry in the field of dual-use technologies.

Complete Life Cycle Cost Analysis and whole systems design methods become the standard for all investments related to installation and infrastructure.

Ministry of Defense Instrument for Regional Sea Level (DRSL). allows DoD planners and managers to understand and evaluate a range of specific scenarios of future sea level rise and extreme water level conditions for 3 time horizons: 2035, 2065 and 2100. The scenarios can be adjusted to account for local conditions of future sea level change and storm surge. The DRSL database contains a graphical user interface that provides users with access to scenario information for tidally affected DoD military facilities worldwide.

The Ministry of Defense is conducting an assessment viability of operating equipment work in extreme climatic conditions. They identify opportunities to implement new technologies to improve performance or adapt existing equipment that can meet new climate-related requirements. They also assess the climate performance of future weapons systems.

Greater situational awareness for industrial control systems The combined technology capability demonstration provides Industrial Cyber ​​Security Management System and reduces the adversary threat to the country’s critical infrastructure.

The Ministry of Defense agrees with the Ministry of Defense efforts to improve supply chain sustainability specifically to support key climate resilience and mitigation technologies.

They act to encourage the deployment of climate mitigation technologies such as microgrids and energy storage if such items meet DoD mission requirements.

They are pioneers in the use carbon-absorbing construction technologiesexploring the potential of major suppliers for to disclose greenhouse gas emissionsviewing vulnerability to climate change as a “material weakness” on financial statements and pending liabilities public reporting on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects of their business operations.

Case study: Cleantech Anti-Idling Technology

Did you know that the US Department of Defense accounts for more than half of the federal government’s carbon footprint?

One of the clean technology adaptations to reduce carbon emissions noted in the Defense Department’s Climate Adaptation Plan is the introduction of new technologies that reduce fuel consumption. This could add capabilities such as improving the mission’s operational capabilities without using the main engine – such as a silent clock – while reducing logistics requirements.

An example of reducing fuel consumption is the adaptation of clean technologies with anti-idling technology. While military vehicles are idle, soldiers still depend on their vehicles to provide power for radio communications, air conditioning, electronics and other essentials. The technology could reduce waste by turning off the engine when the vehicle is stationary. Such a conversion to clean technologies would reduce fuel consumption overall by 20%. Using less fuel means less fuel delivery through hostile areas.

This anti-idling technology can have a big impact on the climate. Pentagon planners want a quieter and more economical armed forces. “If you look at each vehicle, it might not be a lot of fuel, but if you look at the forces deployed, it can be really significant,” said Joe Bryan, the chief sustainability officer at the Department of Defense.

The Humvee will soon be retired and replaced by a next-generation vehicle known as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV. With an eventual fleet of 60,000 JLTVs, hoping for just one-fifth less fuel will make a big difference.

And the clean-tech conversion could serve as a pilot program for other vehicles.

“The purpose of the warfighter and the view of climate as a national security challenge are perfectly aligned in cases like this,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said, as reported Washington Post. Hicks was on a tour in the Pentagon courtyard of a climate technology exhibit, including prototype cars with anti-idling technology.

However, adapting clean technologies for idling protection is not as easy as it might seem. Of course, automatically turning off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop is a step that many car companies adopted years ago. But military equipment has higher requirements for insulation and technology. The military-grade anti-idling system relies on additional lithium-ion batteries that are slightly larger than those used in conventional vehicles. And it gets optional hardware to automatically engage the engine whenever extra power is needed. This means that every few minutes the car briefly comes back to life.

At the same time, soldiers can use their radios and other communication devices, as well as air conditioning or heating, without the engine constantly idling.

So far, only a single prototype JLTV with anti-idle technology has been built, but the Pentagon said it hopes to include it in a new round of 16,000 vehicles it will award a contract for early this year. It is also considering upgrades to the existing vehicles at a cost of $50,000 each, said Michael Sprang, who heads the Pentagon office overseeing the JLTV design. The conversion kit weighs about 190 pounds.

The Pentagon wants to establish a reliable supply of lithium and other battery ingredients. He also admits that he can never match the scale of the private sector. Powering the armed forces with alternative energy sources and technologies is critical to creating an adaptive and capable force ready for climate change, so work toward access to battery components, lower fuel consumption, and a host of other DoD clean technology adaptations continues.




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