DoD is spending $6 million to develop energy efficient tents.
The Pentagon is targeting energy-hogging battlefield tents and housing units in its latest round of combat energy technology investments.
“It’s essential that we continue to develop innovative energy solutions to advance our military missions and use our precious resources wisely,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement this morning. “The department is taking the lead on this because saving energy on the battlefield means saving lives and money.”
Although the military doesn’t have hard data on how energy is used on the battlefield, officials say anecdotal evidence suggests large amounts of fuel are poured into generators that heat and cool tents and other units. The structures — which often are little more than pieces of plywood nailed together — tend to be wildly inefficient.
The $18 million in investments announced today will go to six teams throughout the Defense Department, including some that have partnered with Energy Department units. The groups are focused on reducing fuel use for heating and cooling, making structures more energy-efficient, creating a proving ground for battlefield energy measures and hunting for technologies that will reduce energy needs in tropical climates.