Army Working on Hybrid Humvees at Illinois Institute of Technology
Monday, September 8, 2008Picture above is an XM1124 Hybrid-Electric Humvee on an M1113 Humvee chassis powered by a diesel-series hybrid featuring an all-electric drive train. The Army's been working on again/off again on getting better mileage out of its tactical vehicles. Do a search and you'll see it has terminated as many efforts as it's started. Well, that's research and engineering for you. The performance requirements for a Humvee are a bit different than for a Prius. Not more stringent, necessarily, but definitely different. Think: survivability. Here you'll find a smart video on Engineering TV explaining how the hybrid power sytems work on this beast. Two details jumped out from this video for me:
Acronym translation for the org that's working on this - RDECOM/TARDEC:
- It can do 6 miles silent patrol mode before the engine has to kick in
- 15 Kw generator provides silent power for sensors/comm gear
TARDEC has a conference coming up shortly on tactical hybrids and other approaches to squeezing more miles out a gallon of fuel. You could say their job is to turn GPM vehicles into MPG vehicles. Keep an eye on here for info on the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator and the upcoming industry day on 30 Sep 08 in Michigan.Enthusiastic Prius geeks know about a little something called "stealth mode," in which the driver applies a light touch or "feathering" in order to keep the gas engine off and the electric motor powering the car. But the U.S. Army's hybrid Humvee has what Prius owners really want: a switch for running on "stealth mode," which gives the driver some 10 kilometers of TOTALLY SILENT OPERATION. The Army has a non-moving version of "stealth mode," which they call "Silent Watch" -- the massive electric motor battery is used to silently power surveillance and communications equipment.
- RDECOM = Research, Development and Engineering Command
- TARDEC = Tank, Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center