Navy SEAL training (via US Navy)
When it’s time to bring the fight to the enemy the US SOF community uses the best gear they can get their hands on to gain an edge. This summer the men being deployed in the US Navy SEALs will be outfitted with $2,000,000 US worth of brand new high-tech gear that will not only give them the upper-hand in a combat environment but will also be friendly to the planet. No it’s not a new SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle) sub, assault rifles or invisibility cloaks (not yet anyway), but rather solar technology. As part of the US Navy’s efforts to reduce its carbon foot-print, the deploying Team (known as the ‘Green Team’ which is not part of DEVGRU) will be using solar arrays, solar battery chargers/generators and water purifying equipment to help them with their ever-changing mission set. This naturally makes sense as most of their operations require that they be out in the field for extended periods of time. It’s not always feasible to get resupply helicopters or vehicles into remote locations to bring needed supplies, which can cost lives. The US Marine Corps has been using portable solar arrays called the ‘Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) in Afghanistan for the last year or so and it’s been proven a remarkably effective in remote outposts (FOBs Forward Operating Bases).
Mobile solar deployment (via EarlCon)
So what solar technology will the SEALs be using on their deployment? Your guess is as good as mine as most information about any SOF group is usually classified. However, I’m leaning towards either the ONR’s (Office of Naval Research) GREENS modular/scalable solar-array system or Earl Energy’s FlexGen or EarlCon systems. The EarlCon system is a modular solar-array which provides 4.8kW capacity (per panel) that can be modified based on the needs of the mission set which can also include a mini wind-turbine for redundancy (see picture). The power collected is stored in Earl Energy’s battery ‘packs’ which use a AGM VRLA (Absorbed Glass Mat Valve Regulated Sealed Lead Acid) battery array capable of 88 kWh per charge. The solar array can be offset with their FlexGen diesel ‘Tactical Quiet Generator’ system which uses energy stored in lithium-ion batteries to minimize the generators fuel consumption much like a hybrid car. This is just a guess, as Earl Energy was founded by retired Navy SEAL Doug Moorehead who’s company was awarded contracts for both the Navy and Marines, but I could be wrong. Still, with the inclusion of solar technology into the folds of the SEAL’s ever-growing arsenal it does indeed make them ‘lean green fighting machines.'