US Military Developing Futuristic Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Tank
The US military is developing a next-gen version of the M1 Abrams battle tank that runs on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Due to the ever expanding requirements of onboard computing power the use of a fuel cell would potentially provide far more electrical power than the current diesel engine/alternator set up that is currently used. As an added bonus the tanks electric motors would run in almost complete silence, making the snapping of twigs and grass the only sound the tanks would make as they passed by.The current generation Abrams uses a 1,000+hp multi fuel turbine engine that makes enough noise to alert enemy combatants from miles away. The hydrogen would be extracted onboard from JP-8 diesel fuel, meaning that current refueling infrastructure would remain in place.
“Currently it (fuel cell technology) is only being tested in a lab but it is being designed for the Abrams,” said Steven Eick, a chemical engineer at the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. Eick said Army engineers are also experimenting with fuel cell technology for “non-combat vehicles”.