HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force demonstrating hydrogen as alternate fuel source

25 passenger bus powered by a hydrogen fuel cell

This 25 passenger crew bus is one of the vehicles powered by a hydrogen fuel cell used at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in a demonstration of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. (U.S. Air Force photo by J. Brian Garmon)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Force is demonstrating hydrogen as an alternate fuel source at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

In a recent visit to JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, members of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Energy and Operations directorates were given a tour of the installation’s hydrogen production facility and shown several of the vehicles that use this alternative fuel. This project, with assets housed at the 647th Logistics Readiness Squadron and with the Hawaii Air National Guard, is part of a cooperative agreement between the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies. This state organization supports the Hawaii ANG, the National Guard Bureau, and the U.S. Air Force. It is tasked to demonstrate hydrogen technology and its potential applications within the Defense Department.

In areas like Hawaii, where renewable energy resources account for a large portion of the grid’s total electrical capacity, intermittent renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, become less desirable. Continual sources of renewable energy, such as hydrogen, become an important focus in the shift towards cleaner, cost-effective energy. This is due to the need for a consistent supply of power to meet electrical load demands.

This hydrogen project has been in place for over a decade, originally installed in 2006 as a mobile hydrogen production, compression, storage, and dispensing unit, and was upgraded in 2010. Both systems were set up to support all DoD hydrogen vehicle testing, to include both hydrogen internal combustion and fuel cell vehicles. Some of the hydrogen vehicles currently supported by this station include a 25 passenger crew bus, a MJ-1E fighter weapons loader and a U-30 heavy aircraft tug.

“HCATT’s partnership with AFRL, AFCEC, NGB, HIANG, and the invaluable support from Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, are key to the program’s success in demonstrating the versatility of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles within DoD,” said Stan Osserman, HCATT director. “These proofs of concept not only provide alternate vehicle choices for the Air Force’s flight line of the future, but also will help the state of Hawaii in its effort to increase hydrogen usage across the islands."

This project not only supports the Air Force’s goal of increasing its renewable energy usage, but also aligns with the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, launched originally in 2008. HCEI seeks to achieve the nation’s first 100 percent renewable portfolio standards by 2045 and to reduce petroleum use in Hawaii’s transportation sector.

"AFCEC is extremely interested in developments in clean and efficient energy production and storage that may enhance energy resilience for critical Air Force missions,” said Mike Rits, AFCEC subject matter expert on renewable energy and energy resilience. “Efforts to test and expand that portfolio, such as this one, help the Air Force make the most lifecycle cost-effective decisions toward that end."

In a hydrogen electrolysis unit, water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. This hydrogen is collected, compressed and stored for fuel while the oxygen is either released into the air or can be collected and used in other applications. In many cases, excess electricity created during peak production by other renewable sources, such as wind and solar, can be used in this process to reduce cost and provide nearly emission-free fuel for the fuel cells.

The collected hydrogen can then be used in hydrogen fuel cells to create electricity as needed. The hydrogen enters the fuel cell, where it has its electrons stripped by a chemical reaction. These electrons then travel through the circuit in the form of electricity and finally return to the cell, where they combine with oxygen entering from the air and the hydrogen ions created from the initial reaction. The only byproduct of this reaction is water, which then drains from the cell.

“Hydrogen fuel cell use is growing exponentially worldwide in the private sector,” added Osserman. “The DoD could benefit, on many different levels, by embracing the adaptability and scalability of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.”

Engage

Twitter
Modernizing our fighting force! #AimHigh #InnovativeAF https://t.co/pEQUJdqYFE
Twitter
#DYK The 563rd Rescue Group directs flying operations for the #USAF's only active duty rescue wing dedicated to Com… https://t.co/QYDiSZ50qe
Twitter
Another day at the office. Can't comPLANE. 😉 ⚡ #LoveThisJob #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/7Vjemy7gP7
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Blinded by the light 😎🔆 @TeamFairchild is taking #innovation to another level by setting the standard for Project Tesse…
Twitter
Defense data for academia! 🎓 “Digital engineering isn't a fluke … It is our future.” - Dr. Will Roper, assistant… https://t.co/NQsFQpmu2N
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Dr. Anderson participated in Global Thunder, US-Stratcom’s annual NC2 exercise while traveling to Minot. This exercise i…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Laid a wreath at the American Cemetery in Münsingen, Switzerland, which hosts the gravesites of 61 U.S. Army Air Forces…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: ASKED/ANSWERED. Friday, a @usairforce U-2 spy plane updated code during flight--a military first! Update #2 improved automat…
Twitter
Who doesn't love a little bit of range time? Maintaining our culture of readiness with the @USArmy and our… https://t.co/J54FE1TPXp
Twitter
We train like we fight! ⚔️ Airmen from the 179th Security Forces Squadron practice fire & maneuver ops at the… https://t.co/b40GK1VRtV
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: What an honor & privilege to host a virtual discussion with two #TuskegeeAirmen & @usairforce cadets today. I’m grateful…
Twitter
Looking right into Lightning ⚡ An F-35 Lightning II approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over @CENTCOM. The F-35 Light… https://t.co/Kwa3JoSx19
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Had a great opportunity today to speak with @usairforce leaders in ISR, Cyber and IW at their Virtual Summit. These #Airm
Twitter
Reflecting on the Fortress 🏰 The reflection of a B-52 Stratofortress can be seen in SSgt Brandon Toth's lenses as… https://t.co/lh6jhq18Th
Twitter
Falcons get thirsty too. ⛽ F-16 Fighting Falcons fly over the @CENTCOM area of responsibility. The F-16 is a comp… https://t.co/EBSfhjHhjh
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Mark your calendar for the 2020 Exceptional Family Member Program virtual Summit happening Oct 21 at 9 a.m. CDT. on the Dep…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you #Switzerland for longstanding cooperation & partnership in technical excellence. The @USAirForce values Switze…
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 fighter aircraft, supported by E-3 airborne warning and control system and…
Twitter
RT @AFEnergy: DYK our engine sustainment initiatives can reduce fuel use by 2-3% AND increase engine performance? #EnergyAbleMissionCapab
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Great coverage of the upcoming @AFRSO Advanced Manufacturing Olympics set for next week in @Forbes. Don't miss this exciting o…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,295,609
Follow Us