They may look like circus tents set up in the middle of extremely remote locations, but they’re actually a new string of solar cell systems designed by the U.S. Army.
Since July 2010 soldiers from the Kansas National Guard stationed have been using solar powered tents to survive the hot and harsh climate in Djibouti. These tents were originally created for a military pilot project, but their awesome ability to reduce fuel costs and provide clean energy has prompted the Army to think about including them in domestic equipment.
One of the most amazing features of the solar powered tents is how much money they have already saved on fuel costs. Since the solar cells are connected to a system of storage batteries, less money is spent on vehicles driving back and forth to transport fuel. That also means spending less money on replacement parts for vehicles that can break down during these fuel runs.
The tents also provide “solar shade,” a shade that blocks 80% of the sun and is much cooler than traditional tents. Because of this fewer air conditioners need to be run, which also cuts down on energy consumption.
Other cool features of the solar powered tents include:
- They are more quiet than regular generators.
- They produce 2 kilowatts of energy per day, which is enough to run fans and hand held radios.
- Power can be used at night as long as energy is stored in the four Hawker High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle batteries.
To date the tents have saved over $230,000 in fuel costs. Because of this great feat they have been nominated for the 33rd Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards.