Eaton has introduced a new microgrid management solution designed to improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of military forward operating bases (FOBs).
Known as the Intelligent Mobile Power Distribution System, the new system is capable of transforming independently operating generators into a demand-managed microgrid, providing adequate power to address the military’s existing requirements.
Specifically, the system reduces energy waste and provides enhanced power surety to bases by preventing grid collapse caused by generator fault, and by shifting demand onto supporting generators for a reliable, safe supply of power.
Eaton Electrical Engineering Services and Systems Division vice-president and general manager John Stampfel said the reduction in energy demand is a critical priority for the military, not only to save revenue but to also enhance the safety of soldiers.
"By increasing the efficiency of onsite power, the Intelligent Mobile Power Distribution System can help limit the risks that troops face as they use, transport and store fuel," Stampfel said.
Designed to be compatible with generator manufacturers to help simplify installation and boost scalability for future power system expansion, the demand-managed system can be further enhanced with optional solar and energy storage connectivity for seamless integration into renewable energy microgrid installations.
The system has reduced an FOB’s fuel consumption in excess of 30% during an initial testing conducted by the US military at Fort Devens in Massachusetts, US.
The US Army is pursuing energy alternatives and resource management strategies due to a reliance on energy and water, and the threat faced by the soldiers in military zones.
US Army, Installations, Energy and Environment assistant secretary Katherine Hammack said during a panel at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting: "The success of Army missions and the security of our soldiers are dependent on reliable access to energy and water."