The U.S. Army reported May 7 that it has demonstrated a military microgrid with open architecture and plug-in and play ability that will help soldiers meet growing demand for energy in the battlefield.
The demonstration took place last month at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
The microgrid provides power for soldiers during 24-hour operations, both in night-time housing and day-time field exercises.
The Army calls the unit an ‘Energy Informed Operations’ (EIO) microgrid. It includes technology that lets soldiers monitor and manage power supply to ensure energy is available for mission-critical systems. A dashboard interface shows grid status for easy troubleshooting.
During the demonstration, the microgrid responded to changes in power demand as the soldiers pursued various activities.
“During early morning activities, there were instances where power demand reached 90 percent of a generator’s capacity,” said Garret Clarke, an engineer with the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “To compensate for the demand, the microgrid turned on a second generator and shared the loads between two generators.”
The military microgrid is part of a larger sustainability project to reduce fuel resupply by 25 percent, reduce water resupply by 75 percent, and decrease waste generation for back haul by 50 percent at base camps.
In a future test, the EIO team plans to demonstrate intelligent load shedding of environmental control units and user defined prioritization of loads.
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