The U.S. Army demonstrated a proof of concept for a smart grid that could support tactical operations this summer at its integrated capabilities testbed at Fort Dix, N.J.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics RD& E Center, or CERDEC, powered portions of a Tactical Operations Center and used the event to gather data and lessons learned that would help inform/support Department of Defense efforts to develop a solution that will reduce the number of generators needed, prevent overloads and grid collapse while reducing the number of generators needed, manpower requirements for grid operation and fuel consumption by 25 percent.
“The Army has traditionally addressed power generation through a collection of application-specific, stand-alone solutions. But no matter how good the individual technology, variations in loads lead to inefficiencies during operation. It’s nearly impossible to keep generators operating at peak efficiency when they are operating by themselves. That’s why the right solution is a mix of all technologies,” said Marnie DeJong, an electrical engineer with CERDEC’s Command, Power & Integration directorate.
Microgrid systems are currently the only solution that allows the incorporation of multiple technologies, such as renewables and energy storage systems, to supplement traditional power generation techniques, DeJong explained.