Fuel transportation is a risky affair and technically complex task for soldiers. In a bid to relieve them from the tangles of energy management, U.S. military scientists are testing microgrids that will provide clean energy, produced in the field. There are two primary systems, RENEW and REDUCE, which are being developed and tested by U.S. Africa command as the possible solution to this problem. Read after the break to learn more about the operation of the two systems.
RENEW is a mixed system that can operate with both the use of solar energy and wind energy. Depending on what’s available, locally, one can adjust it for harnessing both forms of energy. Designed to power small communication systems in far away remote areas, the logic behind its development was reduction of risk involved in fuel transportation. This system can easily power four laptops store energy for a five hour backup. It weighs 45.3kg, which seems too much by civilian standard, but is reasonable for military use.
REDUCE on the other hand is system in the early stages of development and is designed to be towed by Humvee trailer. This one is not completely independent of fossil fuel. Fossil fuel works in tandem with clean energy for managing the power. Whats great about this automated system is that, soldiers no longer have to worry about compatibility issues i.e. they will not have to configure anything.
The above mentioned innovations not only reduce risks, but they are pragmatic as they make more environmental and economical sense than others of the same kind. It is a stated fact that U.S. Army guzzles down 90 percent of the energy consumed by the federal government, therefore, the application of renewable energy can save it a big deal of money by making its operations sustainable.