Thursday, August 29, 2013

Army Selects Solar Contestants

Congratulations to the awardees of the Army's solar MATOC including:
  • NRG Energy
  • Dominion Energy
  • Enel Green Power
  • Solar Power Ventures
  • SunPower Corp
  • Acciona Energy North America Corp
These co's are now approved to compete for some very significant projects.  Other categories in the $7 billion cleantech program include wind and biomass.  

Good luck to all; now go out and get er done!

Monday, August 26, 2013

We Needed it but Didn't Have it. Now it's 2013: Is Better Field Generation for DOD Here Yet?

Since this blog's inception, we've been calling for accelerating the work to improve the efficiency of field generators.  In the context of rising assaults (and many successful attacks) on fuel convoys in Afghanistan, here's a DEB post from 2009, referencing a similarly aligned point of view at NDIA, pleading for speed.

Now Federal News Radio covers a recent announcement that the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is getting closer to fielding a practical 10 kilowatt fuel cell generator.  Cumbersomely designated: "Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Tactical Electrical Power Unit" the benefits jump right out are you:

  • Require approximately half the fuel to generate the same output
  • Much quieter
  • Smaller - easier to transport

Drawbacks in include a longer start-up time, and almost certainly until production ramps up, higher acquisition costs.

But for sure, using the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel (FBCF) metric will show these units are massively more cost effective over the full lifecycle.  And they'll save lives by requiring fewer and/or smaller convoys and by being harder to detect.

Unfortunately, despite the optimism from ONR, sounds to me like deployment may still be years off. I wonder if they can be better marketed to the private sector, hungry for better disaster preparedness and resiliency solutions in the wake of hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and others.  That kind of market demand would could be a real expediter.  ... and perhaps a different name :)

Here's the full article.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

2013 TIDES DOD/USG Energy Technology Demos Coming to You ... Now

Correction just in:

The TIDES Demo is NOT this week but in October. We have a large TIDES Demo at Fort McNair from 1-4 OCT and a smaller display inside the PENTAGON COURTYARD from 7-9 OCT.

Well, that is if you work at Fort McNair or the Pentagon. Or if you live nearby, and convince them to let you in. This blog first covered the STAR-TIDES program back in 2008, but it's a great success and just keeps humming along.  Let's revisit the acronym before we begin:

STAR = Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research.
TIDES = Transportable Infrastructures for Development and Emergency Support. 

Got it?  OK, thanks to National Defense University's Lou Elin Dwyer for the heads-up and most of the verbiage on this. And BTW, this is going on right now at Fort McNair and next week at the Pentagon!

I'll get out of the way and let Lou Elin do the talking:
This year's theme is "Innovate, Improve, and Imagine: Operational Solutions for Stressed Environments" This event is widely attended by the Department of Defense officials; government agencies (DOE, USAID, DHS, FEMA, State Department, as well as an array of private, for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

US Navy Set to Lauch Floating Macro Micro Grid

You can do a lot with 78 megawatts, including power 26,000 homes, for instance. Or you use it to run absolutely everything on one of the Navy's newest warships.

I'll let IEEE explain:
The Zumwalt’s propellers and drive shafts are turned by electric motors, rather than being directly attached to combustion engines. Such electric-drive systems, while a rarity for the U.S. Navy, have long been standard on big ships. What’s new and different about the one on the Zumwalt is that it’s flexible enough to propel the ship, fire railguns or directed-energy weapons (should these eventually be deployed), or [all] at the same time.