Army Testing Tents With Solar Panels

The U.S. Army has been greening operations on a number of fronts, and the latest is a solar-powered shelter that pops up directly over a tent. A number of these shelters–which make use of flexible, thin film solar panels–are currently undergoing testing in places such as Afghanistan.

These shelters are designed to allow expeditionary units to deploy with transferrable, exportable electrical power for batteries, computers and other essential gear without needing fuel or a generator . This also is helping the Army meet its ambitious goal of being a net-zero operation by 2030.

Army Solar Tents

image via U.S. Army

Shelters currently undergoing testing are the TEMPER Fly, a roughly 16-by-20-foot tent structure able to generate 800 watts of electricity; the QUADrant, a smaller variant of the TEMPER Fly, able to generate 200 watts of power; and a number of Power Shades, ranging in size and capable of generating up to 3 kilowatts of exportable electrical power.

Katherine Hammock, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, said, in a statement, “The durability of the tent covers has evolved to a point where we would like to see more of them deployed.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.