The new Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL) that opened last week in Warren will transform the US Army into a more fuel efficient fighting force. Located in the same complex as Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) known collectively as The Detroit Arsenal, the new GSPEL facility is will lead the way on testing of new fuel cells and hybrid systems to be used in ground combat vehicles.
The 30,000 square foot facility will be the only one if its kind, enabling the military to do high technology testing of entire vehicle systems, subsystems, and components in all environments. The facility consists of eight separate state-of-the-art laboratories that are not available anywhere else in the world. Within minutes, the climate can be changed to emulate the bitter cold of Siberia or the extreme high temperatures found in middle eastern deserts.
The Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab (PEVEL) can simulate conditions from -60F up to 160F, as well as wind speeds up to 60 MPH and humidity of 95%. It can also simulate any road condition or off-road terrain found anywhere in the world.
The facility is expected to make huge contributions towards the goal of the military to become lighter and more fuel-efficient. However the greatest benefit is expected to be the ability to dramatically decrease the number of soldiers needed to supply energy to combat troops.
“This facility will not only make us more efficient and save resources, but will save lives in combat as well.” said Dr. Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army.
According to MG Kurt J. Stein, Commander of the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, “The testing, knowledge, and technologies that will be developed right here at GSPEL will help reduce Soldier risk and enhance overall vehicle performance. In addition to improving fuel efficiency, this facility will be working hard to reduce fuel consumption, expand our use of renewable and alternative energy, ensure access to sufficient energy supplies, and minimize environmental impacts.”
The eight laboratories within GSPEL are:
- PEVEL (Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab)
- Fuel Cell Lab
- Energy Storage Lab
- Electric Components Lab
- Calorimeter Lab
- Air Filtration Lab
- Thermal Management Lab
- Power Lab
The state-of-the-art facility is expected to improve the fuel efficiency and mobility capabilities of all ground based vehicle classes for all divisions of the US military from right here in Metro Detroit.