Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Army Working on Hybrid Humvees at Illinois Institute of Technology

Expand Messages
  • Remy Chevalier
    Monday, September 8, 2008 Army Working on Hybrid Humvees http://dodenergy.blogspot.com/2008/09/hybrid-humvee.html Picture above is an XM1124 Hybrid-Electric
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2009

      Monday, September 8, 2008

      Army Working on Hybrid Humvees

      Picture 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:
      • 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
      Acronym translation for the org that's working on this - RDECOM/TARDEC: 
      • RDECOM = Research, Development and Engineering Command
      • TARDEC = Tank, Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
      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.
      U.S. Army Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1/501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), point out features of the power distribution system and wheel-drive motors of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting earlier this month. U.S. Army photo by Gary Sheftick
      Sunday, April 26, 2009

      Ordnance Soldiers Save "Skunk Werks"


      Jesse James (center, w/coveralls) watches as service members work on a hybrid humvee at the "Skunk Werks" welding shop at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Iraq, December 2005. The mechanics were challenged to create a unique humvee for the popular Discovery Channel show, Monster Garage.

      Apr 25

      By 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

      JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - When Soldiers of the 602nd Maintenance Co. leave Iraq this summer they'll be taking a piece of history with them: the "Skunk Werks" welding shop from here.

      Starting in 2003, the "Skunk Werks" was one of the first locations where Level II up-armor kits - more commonly known as "hillbilly armor" - were installed on military vehicles. It's because of this historical significance that Mr. Richard Killblane, the transportation corps historian, plans to move the "Skunk Werks" to the transportation museum at Fort Eustis, Va.

      "'Skunk Werks' was at its peak before all of the factory-made armor had made it into the system," said Master Sgt. Scott W. Berndt, support operations maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge, 259th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

      Berndt's former unit, the 457th Transportation Bn. (which was part of the 3rd Corps Support Command at the time), ran the welding shop in 2004 and 2005. "We spent many long days and nights fabricating armor for anyone that would come in," he said.

      Before 2003, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lee A. Rowland, the current officer in charge of the "Skunk Werks", said he did not believe Soldiers in his career field got a lot of the recognition they deserved; there was even talk of slowly phasing the job out of the Army altogether.

      Operation Iraqi Freedom changed all that, he said.

      Welders suddenly found themselves fabricating improvised armor for humvees, trucks and armored personnel carriers; cutting patterns out of Armox ballistic steel (or sometimes even salvaged metal); and figuring out the best way to protect Soldiers.

      "Now our mission has changed, but back in the day we actually provided a lot of protection for Soldiers," said Rowland, who remembers up-armoring vehicles himself during his last deployment to Mosul, Iraq. "Saving lives was the ultimate goal."

      The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade has since taken over the responsibility of up-armoring military vehicles. The "Skunk Werks" returned to its primary mission as a simple welding shop, making everything from radio mounts to shelves to satellite dish brackets.

      In 2006, the "Skunk Werks" was featured in the season finale of the popular Discovery Channel show Monster Garage, hosted by Jesse G. James. A crew of handpicked Soldiers and Airmen were given a timed challenge to create a humvee hotrod, complete with custom-made 28-and 26-inch wheels.

      The show's crew added their signatures to the shop's walls, another reason why they're being preserved. Ironically, as Rowland pointed out, James's signature, which was written on the concrete portion of the wall, may not make it to the transportation museum with everything else. Only the temporary walls made out of wood will be torn down and moved, not any part of the permanent structure.

      Although no longer involved in the up-armor process, Rowland said his unit is still proud of being a part of the shop's legacy, and they strive to maintain that reputation by doing the best work they can.

      Preserving the "Skunk Werks" is important, he said, because it's a piece of history. A different kind of history most people might not be aware of, he went on to say.

      "Protecting our troops is what 'Skunk Werks' was designed for," Berndt said. "Provide armor, even if it was makeshift, for our troops on the road. In my eyes, that's what needs to be preserved."

      Spc. Jared L. Mauer, of Miami, Okla., uses a MIG welder to fabricate a lockbox for sensitive items at the "Skunk Werks" welding shop at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, April 9. While the shop was once well-known for up-armoring vehicles, nowadays the "Skunk Werks" occupies most of its time making more mundane items, such as retention rings and this lockbox.   By: Spc. Kiyoshi C. Freeman.
      A mechanic works on part of a hybrid humvee at the "Skunk Werks" welding shop at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Iraq, December 2005. The mechanics were challenged to create a unique humvee for the popular Discovery Channel show, Monster Garage.

      Posted by MsMarti - on Sunday, April 26, 2009

      Photo credit Bill Dowell

      California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center National Automotive Center Director Paul Skalny discuss an XM-1124 Hybrid-Electric Humvee at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2009 World Congress in Michigan April 20.

      The Hybrid-Electric Humvee has a diesel engine and electric motor generator which are combined to create a series hybrid that uses two traction motors to drive the front and rear axles.

      The system has the capability to allow the user six hours of silent watch and up to six miles of silent mobility using its battery system. Additionally, this vehicle can export up to 30 kW of power to external sources.

      The theme of this year's Society of Automotive Engineers 2009 World Congress in Michigan this week is "Racing to Green Mobility," and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center's display features alternative energy sources it has been developing.


      Leading presidential candidate Barack Obama earmarked $1 million for research on turning Hummers into hybrids. The earmark money will go to the Illinois Institute of Technology (Obama just happens to be the senator from Illinois) for the development of a cost-effective hybrid conversion kit. These kits could turn the army's gas guzzling Humvees into fuel efficient hybrids and would be a real endorsement for hybrid conversion in general.

      The military is very interested in electric power trains because they offer
      many advantages on the battlefield like shorter supply lines and quiet operation. Obama has also been a very big supporter of hybrids even calling for every single government car to be a plug-in hybrid when it becomes possible. While, technically, GM can hybridize their Hummers and celebrities like Paris Hilton are willing to voice support for such a plan, GM probably won't make a hybrid Hummer.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.