Installation Energy Test Bed
The Department of Defense Installation Energy Test Bed was established in 2009 to demonstrate new energy technologies in a real-world, integrated building environment so as to reduce risk, overcome barriers to deployment, and facilitate wide-scale commercialization. DoD has 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of space—three times the footprint of Wal-Mart and five times that of the General Services Administration. The Department spends $4 billion a year on the “facility energy” to power these buildings. Thus, the potential savings are large.
The rationale for the Test Bed is straightforward: Emerging technologies offer a way for DoD to cost effectively reduce its facility energy demand by a dramatic amount and to provide distributed generation and storage to improve energy security. Absent outside validation, however, these new technologies will not be widely deployed in time to meet our requirements. The impediments to commercialization of technology for the building energy market are well documented. Among other problems, the first user bears significant costs but gets the same return as followers. These barriers are particularly problematic for new technologies intended to improve energy efficiency in the retrofit market, which is where DoD has the greatest interest.
As a distributed testbed, our facilities can serve two key roles at which the military has historically excelled. One is as a sophisticated first user, evaluating the technical validity, cost, and environmental impact of advanced, pre-commercial technologies. For those technologies that prove effective, DoD can go on to serve as an early customer, thereby helping create a market, as it did with aircraft, electronics, and the internet. This will allow the military to leverage both cost savings and technology advances that private sector involvement will subsequently yield.
The Test Bed requires no new physical infrastructure; rather, it operates as a distributed activity whose key element is the systematic evaluation of new technologies, both to determine their performance, readiness, and life cycle costs and to provide guidance and design information for future deployment across installations. Test Bed projects are demonstrating new commercial technologies in five areas: advanced components to improve building energy efficiency; advanced building energy management and control; smart microgrid and energy storage to improve energy security of DoD installations; tools and processes for design, assessment, and decision-making for energy use and management; and renewable energy generation.
The energy test bed concept is being used to advance the following:
Smart Microgrids and Energy Storage
The current state-of-the-art power grid includes minimal renewable energy, no intelligent distribution, minimal or no energy storage, ad hoc dispatch, uncontrolled load demands, and excessive distribution losses. Microgrids are envisioned as local power networks that utilize distributed energy resources and manage local energy supply and demand. Microgrids can improve operating efficiency, enhance the use of renewables, and increase the reliability of electric power delivery systems. Energy technology demonstrations are enabling DoD to better plan, analyze, and evaluate the operational benefits and risks of deploying microgrids. The introduction of dynamically stable, modular, and cost-effective energy microgrids that can seamlessly operate in grid-parallel and off-grid modes will reduce DoD energy costs and carbon emissions and make mission-critical loads more resilient and secure.
Renewable Energy Generation
To meet its goals on environmental, energy, and economic performance, DoD requires rapid and effective deployment of new clean, secure, low-carbon energy technologies for its installations. Increasing the use of renewable energy sources and achieving efficiency improvements in other noncentralized energy generation alternatives are essential to reduce installations’ energy consumption and carbon footprint and improve energy security. Demonstrations are focused on renewable energy sources that are mission compatible and at the appropriate scale for military installations. Cost, performance, and reliability data gathered from operational deployment of innovative renewable energy sources on DoD installations will inform decisions on their widespread applicability across DoD. Demonstrations involve advanced solar, geothermal, and waste-to energy technologies.
Advanced Component Technologies to Improve Building Efficiency
Innovative technologies in energy efficient lighting, heating, and air conditioning can reduce energy demand for all types of DoD buildings. Advanced lighting control technologies integrate scheduling, personalized dimming, daylight harvesting, and occupancy sensing to reduce the energy consumed for building lighting needs. Effective use of waste heat and high-performance cooling technology can enhance energy efficiency and comfort while leading to substantial reductions in peak demand on the power grid. Other technology demonstrations focus on advanced controls for increasing boiler efficiency, roof systems, building envelopes, and waste heat recovery.
Advanced Building Energy Management and Control Technologies
Building energy systems often consume much more energy than is necessary due to system deviation from the design intent and energy managers' lack of visibility of system performance. Demonstrations of emerging capabilities in building energy management systems, performance monitoring, and diagnostics can enable DoD energy managers to increase building efficiency and reduce utility costs. Retrofitting existing building stocks represents the largest and fastest way to reduce DoD’s energy consumption. Existing modeling and simulation tools, however, cannot accurately capture the dynamic coupling among building subsystems. Demonstration projects also focus on developing the methodology and the physics- and dynamics-based analysis tool set necessary to deliver higher energy performance for building retrofits.
Tools and Processes for Design Assessment and Decision Making
Building managers, facility managers, regional managers, and DoD portfolio managers require tools and methods to improve their decision making related to energy usage and investments. Demonstration projects are focused on advances both in the design of new buildings and in the identification and design of major retrofits. Energy savings can occur through improved understanding of energy usage, energy needs, and opportunities, but managers often lack adequate information and analytic tools to make optimal decisions. Demonstrations will gather the data needed for DoD to deploy cost-effective, innovative methods to meet energy goals by increasing the performance of decision makers at all levels of the energy usage and management system.
Symposium & Workshop
FY 2013 Awards for ESTCP Installation Energy Technology Demonstrations
NEW! Natural Gas Study: Interdependence of the Electricity Generation System and the Natural Gas System and Implications for Energy Security
Microgrid Study: Energy Security for DoD Installations
Solar Energy Development on DoD Installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts
Quadrennial Defense Review
Executive Order 13514