Military Microgrid Tested in Missouri to Meet Growing Energy Needs in the Battlefield

May 8, 2015
The U.S. Army has demonstrated a military microgrid that can provide 24-hour power to soldiers in the battlefield.

The military microgrid supported 24 hour operations for soldiers. U.S. Army photo

The U.S. Army reported May  7 that it has demonstrated a military microgrid with open architecture and plug-in and play ability that will help soldiers meet growing demand for energy in the battlefield.

The demonstration took place last month at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The microgrid provides power for soldiers during 24-hour operations, both in night-time housing and day-time field exercises.

The Army calls the unit an ‘Energy Informed Operations’ (EIO)  microgrid. It includes technology that lets soldiers monitor and manage power supply to ensure energy is available for mission-critical systems. A dashboard interface shows grid status for easy troubleshooting.

During the demonstration, the microgrid responded  to changes in power demand as the soldiers pursued various activities.

“During early morning activities, there were instances where power demand reached 90 percent of a generator’s capacity,” said Garret Clarke, an engineer with the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “To compensate for the demand, the microgrid turned on a second generator and shared the loads between two generators.”

The military microgrid  is part of a larger sustainability project to reduce fuel resupply by 25 percent, reduce water resupply by 75 percent, and decrease waste generation for back haul by 50 percent at base camps.

In a future test, the EIO team plans to demonstrate intelligent load shedding of environmental control units and user defined prioritization of loads.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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