The Air Force Advanced Power Technology Office at Robins AFB, Ga., is working with Ohio-based Battelle on the use of a hydrogen fuel cell to power such things as bare base airfield lights and light carts, or anything that currently uses a portable diesel generator. A recent test showed that a hydrogen fuel cell would power halogen light units without producing harmful emissions or a foul odor and with little noise. The same equipment powered by a diesel generator produced toxic emissions, a powerful stench, and a lot of noise. However, hampering full use of the hydrogen fuel cell is a lack of synthetic fuel; instead Battelle says it will take another 18 months of development to reduce the sulfur created by using JP-8 jet fuel. Once that is done, the system will be ready for military use with readily available JP-8.
Feb. 26, 2024
Two weeks after the Air Force announced it will expand Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and rename it Airman Development Command, the service says it is in the process of working out what that transition will look like.