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Marine Corps to Use Renewable Energy During Missions

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Creating a transportable renewable hybrid system that can provide electricity for a 2-weeks marine mission is being developed by the Renewable Sustainable Expeditionary Power (RSEP) program.

RESP is a collaboration between ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism and Sea Warfare and Weapons departments. The product manager, H. Scott Coombe, presents the program as a mean to tackle many of the major challenges related to electricity. It will also help marine corps reach their target of using fuel only for mobility purposes by 2025.

Industries that have developed sunlight, heat and fuel-using systems to create electricity have been called by ONR. They have looked at the use of a satellite-like dish Stirling engine with solar concentrator, as well as solar cells and solid ocide fuel cells that collect sunlight.

The systems that will be used in the new product should be able to independently switch to and from solar power depending on weather conditions. In addition, their size should be small enough to fit in a small trailer, which is a condition current solar concentrators do not meet.

The researchers predict that if the product is successful, it would result in fuel needs reduction by as much as 40%. It is expected to bring down the noise level and should be suited to use biofuels too.

Mike Gallagher, program manager for expeditionary power systems at Marine Corps Systems Command, stated that the RSEP program is a very important initiative that will provide Marine Crops with a system that will cut down the needs for fossil fuels. This new system is fully in line with the energy strategy that the Marine Corps.

The program RSEP has a duration of five years. ONR will conduct annual assessments of the teams and maintain the relations between the different industries. They are also responsible about finding alternative sources for renewable power sources.

Coombe is convinced that the program will be successful and it will combine different approaches to reach the common goal.

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