U.S. Army’s newest laboratory complex to open April 11

U.S ARMY DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — The U.S. Army will open its new com­plex, the Ground Sys­tems Pow­er and Ener­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry, dur­ing a grand open­ing cer­e­mo­ny at the Detroit Arse­nal at 10 a.m., April 11, 2012.

The Army’s new Ground Sys­tems Pow­er and Ener­gy Lab opens April 11, 2012, just north of Detroit
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The eight-labs-in-one Ground Sys­tems Pow­er and Ener­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry, or GSPEL, facil­i­ty offers numer­ous test­ing capa­bil­i­ties and an unmatched com­bi­na­tion of resources in a sin­gle lab. The GSPEL is part of the Army’s Tank Auto­mo­tive Research, Devel­op­ment and Engi­neer­ing Center’s, or TARDEC’s, lab­o­ra­to­ry system. 

While closed to the pub­lic, the grand open­ing is expect­ed to draw top gov­ern­ment and indus­try lead­ers — many of whom are or will soon be GSPEL’s col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ners. GSPEL offers shared access to indus­try and acad­e­mia to facil­i­tate the exchange of infor­ma­tion and ideas to devel­op emerg­ing ener­gy tech­nolo­gies and val­i­date ground vehi­cle sys­tems — research that could help the nation achieve ener­gy secu­ri­ty goals. 

GSPEL gives the Army over­ar­ch­ing, full-spec­trum test­ing and eval­u­a­tion capa­bil­i­ty,” said TARDEC Inter­im Direc­tor Jen­nifer Hitch­cock. “The GSPEL’s unique facil­i­ties will allow the Army to dri­ve inno­va­tion for tomorrow’s ener­gy solutions.” 

TARDEC research sci­en­tists, engi­neers and tech­ni­cians are already mov­ing into the 30,000-square-foot facil­i­ty. The eight indi­vid­ual labs are: 

— Pow­er and Ener­gy Vehi­cle Envi­ron­men­tal Lab, the cen­ter­piece lab fea­tur­ing one of the world’s largest envi­ron­men­tal cham­bers for test­ing at tem­per­a­tures from minus 60°F to 160°F, rel­a­tive humid­i­ty lev­els from 0 to 95 per­cent, and winds up to 60 mph. The lab’s dynamome­ter and envi­ron­men­tal cham­ber com­bi­na­tion allows for full mis­sion pro­file test­ing of every ground vehi­cle plat­form in the mil­i­tary inven­to­ry in any envi­ron­men­tal condition. 

— Air Fil­tra­tion Lab is capa­ble of test­ing the air flow char­ac­ter­is­tics of var­i­ous-sized media at four dif­fer­ent flow bench­es using vary­ing flows up to 12,000 stan­dard cubic feet per minute. Each flow stream is equipped with an auto­mat­ed dust feed­er enabling sim­u­la­tions from zero vis­i­bil­i­ty to four times zero vis­i­bil­i­ty for eval­u­a­tion of air fil­ters, clean­ers and oth­er components. 

— Calorime­ter Lab is the world’s largest and is capa­ble of test­ing radi­a­tors, charge air cool­ers, oil cool­ers indi­vid­u­al­ly or all three simultaneously. 

— Ther­mal Man­age­ment Lab tests ther­mal­ly-man­aged mechan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents in vary­ing envi­ron­ments. A vari­ety of chiller and heat sys­tems for use with test bench heat exchanges are used to eval­u­ate com­po­nents and systems. 

— Pow­er Lab eval­u­ates major vehi­cle elec­tri­cal sys­tems includ­ing: charg­ing sys­tems, air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems, hydraulic sys­tems and asso­ci­at­ed com­po­nents. The lab’s two explo­sion-proof envi­ron­men­tal cham­bers allow for expand­ed tech­ni­cal research. 

— Fuel Cell lab tests future fuel cell capa­bil­i­ties for tac­ti­cal vehi­cles. The lab enables the devel­op­ment and eval­u­a­tion of fuel cell com­po­nents and sys­tems, includ­ing sys­tems to reform JP‑8 fuel, var­i­ous fuel cell media and pow­er con­di­tion­ing, help­ing vehi­cles become qui­eter and more efficient. 

— Hybrid Elec­tric Com­po­nents eval­u­ate hybrid elec­tric pow­er­trains with the empha­sis on devel­op­ing hybrid motor tech­nol­o­gy and increased elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of vehi­cles. Equip­ment used in this lab will poten­tial­ly regen­er­ate 80 per­cent pow­er back into the build­ing, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to re-use the electricity. 

— Ener­gy Stor­age Lab makes it pos­si­ble to safe­ly test and eval­u­ate advanced chem­istry bat­tery vehi­cle mod­ules. Explo­sion-proof bat­tery test cham­bers enable safe test­ing of 10–60 kW advanced chem­istry bat­tery packs. 

U.S. Army 

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