Electric lawnmowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions | military scene

The Space and Missile Defense Command is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on military bases by using autonomous electric lawn mowers.

Deputy Command Chief of Staff Engineer Weldon Hill leads pilot study of SMDC self-contained electric lawn mowers in support of Army goals to reduce greenhouse gas pollution of greenhouse gases by 50% by 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Federal agencies have been tasked with developing action plans and initiatives that address adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change,” Hill said. “The Army’s first line of effort strategy is to improve the force’s energy capability and efficiency by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

In the spring and fall of 2022, Husqvarna’s 550 Exact Positioning Operating System autonomous electric lawn mowers will be used at Redstone Arsenal Command Headquarters as part of the study.

“Autonomous electric mowers are programmed using GPS technology and tied to specific work areas,” Hill said. “The mowers operate the same as a self-contained indoor vacuum, like a Roomba, and move at slow speeds. Built-in safety features allow the mowers to change direction when they encounter an object or boundary , and the blades stop automatically if the mower is lifted or turned over.

These mowers use satellite systems and a nearby reference station to automate its operations, eliminating the need for boundary wires, and are virtually silent, capable of operating 24/7/365, pose no risk of pollution from indirect spillage and do not produce no direct GHG emissions or particulate pollution. They are equipped with a traceability system, and their operation will be managed remotely by people from SMDC.

Hill said while lawns, grasses and green spaces don’t get the same attention as traditional transportation, the landscaping industry is a big contributor to climate change. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline annually for lawn care and also spill an additional 17 million gallons.

Small engines used in landscaping equipment produce twice as much pollution as personal vehicles: one hour of gas-powered lawnmower use is equivalent to driving a Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, while a hour of using a gas snowblower is equivalent to driving the same Camry 1,100 miles.

The initiative enables an alternative approach to landscape management that uses cleaner, more reliable energy sources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. One of the mowers in the pilot study will be solar-powered, allowing SMDC to increase its operational electrification using renewable energy.

Hill said the study will provide measurable public and environmental benefits to people in the military and contribute to SMDC’s success in achieving climate change mitigation goals. The use of autonomous electric mowers for landscape management promotes environmental stewardship with innovative technology and is one of many initiatives DCSENG proposes to integrate into SMDC operations to combat climate change.

“Health benefits would be expected for the workforce through the reduction of several types of local pollution such as noise, particulates and spills, and would contribute to a productive place to work and live,” said said Hill.

According to Hill, the use of autonomous electric mowers will help command reduce its dependence on controlled, finite resources, such as gasoline and diesel, without mission degradation.

“The pilot study will analyze performance metrics to determine the feasibility of implementing autonomous electric mowers as a climate change initiative at command sites around the world,” Hill said.

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