Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Army positioned to save tens of millions of dollars with new mobile cannon system!

The FCS Non-Line-Of-Sight cannon will help the military not only in lethality,
deployability, and protection but also in fuel savings. Below is a link that
shows the specs of the vehicle that the new cannon system is replacing.

Cruise Range 186 miles
Fuel Capacity 133 gallons

This is the link for the NLOS-C that is replacing the Paladin
30 km/20 miles (objective)
30 km system demonstrator

Assuming all of the Paladins are replaced fuel savings could be as high as 24.5 million dollars in four years. My fuel savings calculations come from assumptions, that once I find the data I will hopefully back up. The Paladin has a fuel efficency of about 1.5 miles per gallon assuming every paladin drives 2500 miles yearly, the cost would be 26,664,000 dollars. The NLOS-C vehicle on the other hand has a fuel effiency of 20 miles per gallon, assuming the same amount of driving the costs would add up to 2 million dollars. And this is just for one vehicle! Every vehicle in the FCS Combat Vehicle Program will have a hybrid electric drive system, and those vehicles will be lighter then the cannon, so one could expect greater fuel savings with those vehicles. Another thing that adds to those vehicles potential efficiencies is that battery technology will be much improved by then and they are coming out later then the NLOS-C vehicle therefore lessons learned from the NLOS-C vehicle might go to improvements in the latter released vehicles. And yet another factor that adds to more fuel savings is that a lot of the other vehicles will be procured in greater amounts then the NLOS-C and most likely will have higher op tempos resulting in more fuel savings because they drive more miles per year. I will try and get some more info on the fuel effiency of the other vehicles to see what savings we can expect.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fort Drum saves money on heating

The largest collection of solar air heated buildings in the world can now be found at the military base of Fort Drum, in upstate New York. 50 SolarWall systems (totaling over 110,000 ft2) have been installed on 27 military buildings and will collectively generate over 4MW of peak thermal energy.
The project is extremely significant in terms of the sheer magnitude of energy and CO2 savings, and shows the tremendous potential for solar thermal when it is deployed on a large scale.

By using the free energy of the sun - instead of burning fossil fuels for heating purposes - the base will displace over 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide each and every year at one of the coldest locations in the United States. The base is also projected to realize fuel savings of 44 billion BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year.

The SolarWall air heating system heats the ventilation air that is required in commercial and industrial buildings using a patented transpired solar collector developed by Conserval Engineering. Ventilation heating is typically one of the largest single energy requirements for these types of buildings, which is why solar air heating can generate such significant overall energy savings.

One of the SolarWall systems
(4,100 ft2) on Building 91 is
currently being monitored by
NREL (National Renewable Energy
Laboratory). The preliminary
results from one month of
monitoring were calculated as
• Building 91 @ $0.90 /therm,
• Boiler efficiency 70%
• Solar energy gain - $36/day
• Natural gas savings for the
one SolarWall system for one
month were approximately

Assuming this is true for every solar wall system installed, their saving about 600,000 dollars a year, which means they will recoup their investment costs in about five years. The website mentions that good places to install this technology are on garages, hangars, warehouses and mainentence facilities. In addition to Fort Drum, eight other bases use this solar wall technology. Its encouraging to see the military thinking green and saving a lot of money in the process. Efforts like and similar to these are key to bringing the military's budget under control. And will only help in lowering our defecit and debt.