Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Energy Storage

Air Force Pilots New Solar Power Storage System

In yet another demonstration of the US military’s transition to renewable energy, the Air Force Research Laboratory is eyeballing a computer center in Hawaii to demonstrate an advanced system for collecting, storing and using solar power. The aim is to show that solar power can contribute to a seamless energy management system for a sensitive, high-demand facility. If the pilot project is successful, it could be implemented at other Department of Defense facilities worldwide and make its way into the civilian sector as well.

The Air Force Advanced Energy Storage and Management System

The brains behind the new Advanced Energy Storage and Management System (AESM) is the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Power Technology Office. If that name rings a bell, the office is also the driver behind another forward-looking renewable energy project we covered earlier this month, which involves using on site wind turbines to avoid rough-weather fuel drops at a remote monitoring station in Alaska.

Air Force moves ahead with solar energy storage system.

Proposed AESM system courtesy of US Air Force.

The proposed AESM will be installed at the Air Force’s Maui High Performance Computing Center, which is managed by the University of Hawaii (note: as of September 2013, UH was still the manager and has been disputing recent assignment of the contract to an out-of-state company).

Based on a rendering of the project, it appears that AESM will include roof mounted solar panels over part of the facility’s parking lot, forming a solar carport. The system is also capable of integrating wind power as well as grid-supplied power and power from on site generators.

In addition to their use in solar power generation, solar carports provide a sustainability twofer by helping to reduce wear and tear on vehicles that would otherwise be parked in the open, and by helping to reduce the amount of fuel used to cool the interior.

The project is currently in the technology selection phase. Once everything is installed and the go button is pushed, the demonstration period is expected to last up to two years.

More Renewable Energy For Hawaii

Of all the 50 states, Hawaii is the most vulnerable when it comes to fossil fuel dependency and it is also the site of key Department of Defense facilities, notably Pearl Harbor, so the state’s transition to locally harvested fuels is a vital national defense issue as well as a boost for consumers and businesses beset by high fossil fuel costs. In that context it’s little wonder that Hawaii was chosen as the shakedown site for the new AESM system.

AESM also dovetails with another solar project the computer center is pursuing, the Maui Solar Initiative. This will consist of a proposed 1.5-megawatt, 13-acre solar farm located nearby. Aside from reducing fossil fuel dependency in Hawaii, the project is expected to save big bucks for the Air Force, which according to hpcwire.com currently foots the center’s annual electricity bill of more than $3 million.


As for the Department of Defense, AESM is just one among a flood of military-backed renewable and advanced energy projects in Hawaii. The Navy alone just pumped $30 million into a statewide clean tech initiative called the Energy Excelerator.

Among the military’s many other projects on Hawaii are a grid-connected wave power demonstration, a fuel cell vehicle fleet initiative in partnership with GM, and even a full scale rainwater harvesting system to help address Hawaii’s shrinking prospects for rainfall in the future.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

In October, I published reports on the top US solar states per capita, the top US solar states as a percentage of electricity, and...

Autonomous Vehicles

Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States of America, and Kamala Harris will break through many barriers to become the...

Energy Efficiency

Tinker Air Force Base has a head start on the road to an energy efficient, carbon negative -- yes, carbon negative -- US Department...

Clean Power

After years of experimenting, DOD is plunging into the sparkling green future of ultra-resilient microgrids and renewable energy.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.