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Hvac Systems in War Zone

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Submitted By jbrockvaughn
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The Future of Heating and Cooling for our troops in Afghanistan

As you can see from the topics mentioned previously in this project, the heating and cooling of our troops in Afghanistan is taken extremely seriously. The amount of thought that goes into this process is almost unbelievable. With that being said, the United States Military has no plans to stop the advancements in heating and cooling. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The Military has many goals for improving the comfort and convenience of our troops as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the heating and cooling process. For example, there are many ideas that can help to lower the cost of heating and cooling which will help not our troops but also our environment. The military is also putting much thought into energy management and the continuation of standardized shelters.

Lowering the costs of heating and cooling of our troops is a primary goal for our military. However, they do not want to just simply lower the cost of heating and cooling by making our troops have to deal with the hot days and sometimes cold nights. The military is in the process of testing new systems that will actually make the heating and cooling better as well as cut expenses. For example, they are working to develop solar covers constructed from highly porous fabric. These solar covers will help to block the harsh solar loading found in the desert. The porous fabric will help to keep a good airflow and reduce heat buildup. Another possible idea is to augment the shelters with a series of internal liners. These liners will help to reduce the HVAC requirements and therefore lower expenses. The ultimate goal is to have self-sustaining shelter. Frank E. Kostka, director of shelter technology, engineering and fabrication at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (RDEC), said that all of these evaluations are under way at a training center in Fort Irwin, California.


This illustration shows the concept of a military tent covered in a camouflage colored material that uses solar power to provide electricity to the structure.

Frank E. Kostka said today’s primary focus in shelter development is energy management. This is because the extreme environmental conditions found in Afghanistan that causes shelters to be both heated and air-conditioned. “As we expand efforts in Afghanistan, it becomes more complicated to move fuel into remote locations,” said Kostka. This quote explains the importance of energy management and shelters being able to be self-sufficient. HDT Engineered Technologies, an Ohio-based manufacturer of shelter systems, is helping to accomplish this by looking for alternative energy sources. For example, HDT developed solar shades that have solar panels integrated into the fabric. These solar shades are actually placed on the top of the shelter and capture energy. The energy that is capture is used to offset the load that is put on the generators that run the heating and cooling systems.

DHS Technologies, based in New York, makes Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelters (DRASH), which provides war fighters a shelter with lighting, heating, cooling, and power integrated into one system movable by a trailer. Ron Houle, DHS vice president, said “There is no match between the supply of power and demand of power. This means that once you turn your generator on, it is on full power. When your generator is off, it is completely off. The generator could be putting out 10 kilowatts but you may only need 5 kilowatts. This is a lot of wasted power. DHS is working on ways that will better manage the supply with the demand. “This will result in better fuel economy and improvements in reliability and durability.” This is something that is way past due in society, as generator technology has remained somewhat unchanged for 70-80 years. DHS Technologies is also working on a liner for soft wall and rigid shelters. This liner will provide a 12-inch gap between the inside liner and cover for insulation. Insulation helps to keep the shelters cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.


This is a 422 sf Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH). Systems can be set up or taken down by as few as four people in minutes. Include a generator and HVAC system.

The United States Military is striving to continue and spread the use of Standardized Shelters. This could be quite the challenge due to all of the advancements that are taking place in the shelters to help the efficiency of heating and cooling. However there are several advantages to having a standardized shelter system. One advantage is that if there are only a few different types of tents, it will be easy for our military to set up, take down, and transport from one location to another. This means that they will not have to use temporary tents, without top of the line heating and cooling techniques, while they spend days setting up their major shelters. Another advantage of a standardized shelter system is that it makes sure all the tents meet certain requirements. For example, the Department of Defense established the Joint Committee on Tactical Shelters in 1975. This committee still meets twice yearly to review and update heating and cooling requirements of the shelters for our troops.…...

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