The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC) has awarded Honeywell a $4.6 million contract to test and demonstrate its Micro-Grid system at Wheeler Air Base, Hawaii, over an 18-month period, including 12 months of operation and evaluation, beginning in September 2010.
The technology, developed by Honeywell Aerospace, can use solar power and other sources of electricity, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The U.S. military is pursuing opportunities in renewable energy systems as a way to reduce energy costs, shorten supply lines, and improve force protection, and has implemented several green initiatives including the use of alternative energy such as solar and wind over the past few years.
With the Micro-Grid system the Army hopes to increase efficiency, cut fuel consumption by up to 60 percent and decrease the number and/or size of the generators it currently uses. The Micro-Grid can also interface and control legacy generators and provide electrical energy autonomy in remote locations and improve power availability.
The mobility of the Micro-Grid is also expected to improve warfighter safety in remote locations because of reduced fuel consumption, which decreases the number of convoys needed, according to Honeywell.
In July last year, GE was awarded $2 million in Federal stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for a similar demonstration project at the Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms Base, in California. The project was designed to serve as a model for other bases and to demonstrate how similar types of facilities, such as industrial complexes and universities, can take advantage of a smarter grid.