Clean Energy Technology Demonstrations for US Department of Defense Installations

The Department of Defense (DoD) manages more than 300,000 buildings on some 500 installations throughout the United States. As the nation’s largest single energy consumer, DoD spends close to $4 billion every year on facility energy consumption. The DoD Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Installation Energy and Water program supports the demonstration of innovative technologies to reduce installation energy consumption and carbon footprint, improve energy security, and facilitate water conservation. 350Solutions staff have designed and managed several technology demonstration projects for ESTCP, providing independently validated data on technology performance, impacts, and costs while operating in real-world DOD installation environments.

This project demonstrated the use of solar thermal energy to drive an adsorption chiller to provide comfort cooling and dehumidification in an HVAC system as well as domestic water heating. Quantitative objectives included demonstrating cooling capacity, steam and electrical energy reductions, and associated emissions footprint reductions. The demonstration was conducted over a one year monitoring period and included a detailed assessment of life cycle economic benefits.

The Ener-Core Power Oxidizer (EC250) is a unique power plant that generates up to 250kW of electric power using very low energy content gas or vapor (>15 Btu/scf) while emitting very low levels of atmospheric pollutants. The EC250 was commissioned at the 1st Division Road Landfill at Ft. Benning Georgia – an aging landfill producing and flaring low quality gas. Performance and operations were closely monitored for one year, including an EPA and CARB compliant emissions test. The EC250 met or exceeded specific, quantitative objectives for energy production, NOx emissions, NMOC destruction efficiency and GHG reductions associated with its use.

An Organic Rankine Cycle Engine (ORC ) engine converts low-grade heat (<250 ºF) into electric power. For this project, the ElectraTherm ORC was optimized to utilize waste heat from 1 MW class diesel generator sets commonly deployed in prime power applications at remote DoD sites and forward operating bases worldwide. Baseline and controlled load tests were conducted at the Navy MUSE yard in Pt. Hueneme, CA. The unit was then deployed to Guantanamo Bay Naval Station for further monitoring during extended operation under field conditions. During controlled load tests, the ORC performed as expected, producing a net 40-50 kW at 900 kW generator load under prime, unlimited service – yielding a 4 to 5 percent improvement in fuel economy at constant load. In addition, the reduction in cooling load on the engine due to the radiator improvements amounted to an additional 40-50 kW energy savings, for a total fuel economy improvement of 8 to 10 percent.

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