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Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL)

When the doors to the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) opened on April 11, 2012, the U.S. Army and its collaborative partners received an up close look at a new, unmatched tool in achieving our common energy and mobility goals.

At 30,000 square feet and containing eight state of-the-art power, energy and mobility laboratories, the GSPEL provides unprecedented capabilities to effectively test, optimize and integrate vehicle propulsion, power generation and energy storage systems for current and emerging vehicle classes. The laboratory complex allows for testing of power and mobility systems — from the component level all the way up to platform integration — in a variety of environmental conditions.

More than just an Army asset, the GSPEL offers shared access with industry and academia to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas as they collaborate to develop emerging energy technology solutions and validate ground vehicle systems — research that could help the nation achieve its short- and long-term energy security goals.

Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Laboratory

The GSPEL's centerpiece lab facility is the PEVEL, one of the largest environmental chambers in the world.

The chamber enables testing at temperatures from -60°F to 160°F and humidity levels from 0 to 95 percent relative humidity, making it possible to produce real-world comparisons of vehicle performance and capability.

The dynamometer and environmental chamber combination allows full mission-profile testing of any wheeled vehicle, manned or unmanned, in the military inventory in any environmental condition.

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Fuel Cell Laboratory

The Fuel Cell Lab tests a variety of future fuel cell capabilities for tactical vehicles. Lab technicians develop and evaluate fuel-cell components and systems, including systems to reform Jet Propellant-8 fuel, various fuel-cell media and power conditioning.

This technology will help vehicles run more silently and efficiently, bringing the ability to provide longer duration “silent watch” capabilities even closer.

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Power Laboratory

The Power Lab is devoted to evaluating major vehicle electrical systems to include charging systems, air conditioning systems, hydraulic systems and associated components. The lab's two explosion-proof environmental chambers allow for expanded, in-depth technical research capabilities in a safe, controlled environment.

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Energy Storage Laboratory

The 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. The lab also enables evaluation of high energy density systems to include battery packs composed of many types of materials and electrochemistries.

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Electric Components Laboratory

The Electric Components Lab evaluates hybrid-electric powertrains with a principal focus on developing hybrid motor technology that contributes to increased vehicle electrification.

One technology being researched is internal permanent magnetic motors that result in better motors requiring less fuel. Equipment used in this lab also regenerates 80-percent power back into the building, making it possible to re-use the electricity generated.

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Air Filtration Laboratory

The Air Filtration Lab tests the air flow characteristics of various-sized media at four different flow benches utilizing varying flows from 250 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM): 2,000 SCFM, 5,000 SCFM and 12,000 SCFM.

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 equipment/components.

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Thermal Management Laboratory

Work performed in the Thermal Management Lab consists of testing thermally managed mechanical and electrical components in varying environments.

The lab contains a wide variety of chiller and heater systems for use with test bench heat exchanges for evaluating breadboard components and systems.

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Calorimeter Laboratory

The Calorimeter Lab features the world's largest calorimeter, capable of testing radiators, charge air coolers and oil coolers individually or simultaneously.

The lab conducts performance and durability evaluations on the military's largest, most powerful vehicle cooling systems.

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