Energy Efficient Warriors

The debate is increasing over fuel demands on today's high tech and gas hungry mobile military. The blurring of forward and rear areas has meant supply convoys hauling ammunition, spare parts, food, fuel, and other things are being hit hard. The largest component of these convoys is fuel. Fuel to power generators, trucks, tanks, and aircraft. Stepping around the question of increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles (<1mpg for M1A2 tanks?), what if soldiers had their own energy supplies? Hummers were hybrid?

A Canadian scientist has developed a high efficiency infrared solar collector measured in nanometers. These tiny "quantum dots" can be applied through paint or even embedded in clothing. Civilian applications are fairly obvious considering bulky contemporary solar panel options. Consider houses and cars with roofs and siding painted with solar collectors, or cell phones and laptops.

What about these portable renewable energy sources to satisfy increasing requirements for electricty on the soldier (comm, satelleite, IR, flashlights, etc)? Future battery technology is supposed to make a breakthrough in the next eighteen to twenty-four months, the solar application could increase hybrid possibilities. This could be applied to Hummers to power (when possible) comm, increase fuel economy, provide generator capability when parked, etc.

For a military fighting front-less wars with now non-existent rear areas and related supply lines subject to constant harassment, reducing dependency on transported fuels is obviously useful.