Friday, December 5, 2008

Two interesting wind technologies for the US Military

520H Aeroturbine is essentially two 510V turbines joined horizontally by a shared alternator. The approximate weight of the 520H is 750 lbs. which includes the alternator. The 520H can be bolted or ballasted down horizontally and, like the 510V, is stackable end-to-end. While the 510V works well in multi-directional winds, the 520H requires a dominant wind direction; for maximum efficiency, the rotational axis of the 520H must be oriented perpendicular to a location’s dominant wind direction. The building must have a special shaped roof, a pitched roof is best for the wind to rise above and flow into the turbines, like a wind ramp (see the Mercy Lakefront project roof detail). Flat roofs will not work because the wind will blow over the turbines instead of into them. The standard 520H Aeroturbine is 9 ft. tall and approximately 21 ft. long end to end.

In order to operate efficiently, Aeroturbines must be building attached and above or away from surrounding trees and other obstructions, and in an area with average wind speeds of at least 15 mph.

All Aeroturbines are designed and custom-built to fit the architecture of the building. Exact costs will depend on project location, number of turbines purchased, and the required mounting method. The 520H Aeroturbine has an estimated cost of $20,000. This price includes the 2 rotors, cages, all the custom mounting structures, and electronic equipment.

I could see Aerotecture technologies being used on large military buildings. In addition, possible uses on military command posts. There best power outputs would probably be on naval bases, and bases generaly near lakes, and oceans.

Annual Energy Production (AEP) 2000 kWh*
Instantaneous Power Rating (IPR) 1.2 kW (1200 watts)*
Standard Unit Height 30 ft | 9.1 m
Total Weight 600 lb | 273 kg
Color Soft Silver
Sound imperceptible @ 10 mph;
8.8dB above ambient @ 50 mph
Warranty 5 year limited warranty

Rotor Type Vertical Axis - Low Speed Giromill
Rotor Height; Radius 20 ft | 6.1 m; 2 ft radius | 0.6 m
Swept Area 80 sq ft | 7.43 sq m
Max Rotor Speed 500 RPM*
Peak Tip Speed Ratio 2.8
Speed Control Dual Redundant: passive aerodynamic; electronic
Wind Tracking Instantaneous

Generator High Efficiency Brushless Permanent Magnet
Inverter Custom Integrated Grid Tie 120 VAC 60 Hz
Inverter Certification ETL: Meets IEEE 1547.1; UL 1741
Performance Monitor Integrated Wireless Zigbee Modem

Wind Ratings
Cut-in Wind Speed 9 mph | 4 m/s
AEP Average Wind Speed 12 mph | 5.4 m/s
IPR Rated Wind Speed 25 mph |11.2 m/s
Survival Wind Speed 100 mph | 45 m/s

Foundation Poured Concrete
Foundation Size 2 ft diameter by 6 ft base*
Rotor Material Aircraft Grade Extruded Aluminum
Monopole/Structure Material Recycled High Grade Steel
Coatings Corrosion-resistant industrial grade paint

Mariah WindSpire technologies could be used in parking lots of military bases, and places that have no operational use. In the future I could see small windspire farms powering entire military bases, in addition solar power could be used to power military plug in electric vehicles.

As a quadropple threat; solarwall, high efficiency solar panels, windspire and aeroturbines could be used in area's with decent sunlight and windspeeds. Therefore providing 3 sources of energy and one great source of heat.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Green Ray Solar Solar Panels and there applications for the US Military

a simple idea – a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) module that produces AC power. Simple to install and simple to use, it’s the next appliance for your home.

How is that different?

Today’s PV modules generate DC power. Additional electrical components must be connected to convert this into AC power which can be used by your home or fed to the electric grid. This requires system engineering and time for installation. In comparison, an AC Module is an integrated system which is ready to go. No engineering required.

Why is it better?

Each GreenRay AC Module is an independent building block and achieves higher levels of system optimization than ever before. This leads to the following advantages:

- Reduced design and installation time

- Optimized site performance

- Flexible system size

- Ability to expand your PV system over time

One of the biggest hurdles to solar electricity is the up-front cost. While costs have been dropping, the main emphasis has been on improvements to the PV modules. Modules, however, are only a third of the system cost. GreenRay’s technology focuses on an untouched area of cost reduction – system design and installation which is 40% of the total cost.

Nelis Solar Power Plant is the largest solar photovoltaic system in North America,[1] and is located within Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, on the northeast side of Las Vegas. The Nellis solar energy system will generate in excess of 25 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and supply more than 25 percent of the power used at the base.[2] The system was inaugurated in a ceremony on December 17, 2007, with Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons activating full operation of the 14 Megawatt array.[3][4]

Occupying 140 acres (0.57 km2) of land leased from the Air Force at the western edge of the base, this ground-mounted solar system employs an advanced sun tracking system, designed and deployed by PowerLight subsidiary of SunPower. The system contains approximately 70,000 solar panels, and the peak power generation capacity of the plant is approximately 14 megawatts.[2] This means the ratio of average to peak output of this plant is around 20%.

The energy generated will support more than 12,000 military and civilians at Nellis who are responsible for Air Force advanced combat training, tactics development and operational testing. Construction began on April 23, 2007,[2] and operation of the first 5 MW began on October 12.[5]

In terms of the Power Purchase Agreement, MMA Renewable Ventures, who own the panels, is leasing the land at no cost and Nellis is agreeing to buy the power for 20 years at about 2.2 cents/kWh, instead of the 9 cents they are paying to Nevada Power, saving the Air Force $1 million each year. None of the $100 million cost came from the Air Force, but instead from subsidizing taxpayers and Nevada Power customers who are paying for the RPS credits.[6]

The partners will be able to build the plant, recover costs and produce electricity at a savings, because of the fairly complex financing structure arranged among MMA, its investors, Nevada Power, and Nellis -- in addition to multimillion-dollar government incentives.[7]

Now think about this Nellis Airbase Power purchase agreement, while they technically invested no upfront money. If they did they could of bought this system on there own for around 60 million dollars! Assuming either greenray solar panels high efficiencies or greenray's AC technology being adapted to sunpowers solar panels. It would also work out to savings of $1,330,000 dollars a year of savings compared to 1 million dollars with the power purchase aggreement.

According to, Zilmer’s request singles out the Mobile Power System (MPS) (also knows as transportable hybrid electric power station, or THEPS), a containerized solution built by SkyBuilt Power. THEPS reportedly provides about 5kW of power on average, depending on weather conditions – not a huge amount, but potentially a useful amount for tactical scenarios.

SkyBuilt is an Arlington, VA firm who aims to become “the Dell of renewable energy systems.” Hopefully, this won’t entail the same drama of success, followed by government-subsidized Chinese competitors, but we digress. The firm has received funding from the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, a venture arm set up to fund innovative technologies that could benefit US national security
Comparison of the true costs (capital costs, maintenance, fuel, fuel logistics, etc.) of a 10 kilowatt diesel generator shows that a SkyBuilt Power MPS solar/battery system can cut those costs by at [least 75%] while improving reliability, saving manpower [and] spare parts, reducing or eliminating fuel costs, handling, and logistics, and providing a low heat signature…. The up-front capital costs of a 10 kilowatt diesel generator are around [$7,500-$10,000], much less than a MPS (around $100,000 depending on the configuration), but after only [three to five] years these costs are recovered

With AC Solar Panels it would require much less technical information if something went wrong with Skybuilt's system. Therefore reducing or eliminating the need for engineers and spare parts to replace damaged systems.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Solar Wall plus PV is revolutionary!

"Conserval Engineering originated the concept of combining PV with SolarWall. The goal was to address some of the problems inherent with conventional photovoltaics, and to develop a solution that would further enhance PV as a viable renewable energy solution. Two problems that make PV unattractive are the long payback periods and the low efficiencies. These occur because of the excess heat accumulation on the PV panels. For every 1ÂșC rise in PV panel temperature, there is a 0.4% - 0.5% drop in the electrical output efficiency, and this is why the concept of “PV cooling” has become so important.

The SolarWall PV thermal (PV/T) co-generation system was recently tested at the Canadian National Solar Test Facility in conjunction with the International Energy Agency Task 35. The results documented that adding a solar thermal component to a PV array boosts the total solar efficiency to over 50%, compared with 10 to 15% efficiency for most PV modules alone. The heat from the PV panels, captured by the SolarWall perforated absorber, was documented to be three times more than the electrical energy generated from the PV modules. This means that by utilizing the excess heat, it becomes possible to realize a solar capture efficiency improvements of up to 200-300%."

Just think of the amazing energy savings for the military! And it gets better when you think of advanced thin film and SUNGRI's technologies. Lets look at Fort Drum whic is currently the largest deployer of SolarWall.

"one of the largest and most extensive solar
air heating projects in the world has now
been completed for the United States Military
base at Fort Drum, in upstate New York.
The project is extremely significant in terms
of the sheer magnitude of energy and CO2
savings, and it shows the tremendous potential
for solar thermal when it is deployed on a
large scale.
In the fall of 2005, the Army Corp of
Engineers at the base commissioned a multimillion
dollar retrofit program to upgrade 27
of their vehicle maintenance buildings.
Conserval Engineering and Conserval
Systems worked closely with the military
base over the two year duration of the
contract in the design and installation of the
SolarWall systems. SolarWall technology
had previously been used at eight other U.S.
military bases.
This project was one of the reasons why the
U.S. Corp of Engineers, in 2006, identified
the SolarWall® system as one of two costeffective
technologies ideally suited for
military buildings, such as vehicle
maintenance garages.
The world’s largest collection of solar air heated buildings is located at Fort Drum, New York.
Project Summary
• 50 SolarWall® heating systems installed on
27 buildings
• 110,000 square feet (10,220 m2) of
SolarWall® panels
• 300,000 cfm (510,000 m3/h) of air heated
with 99 fans
• Projected fuels savings of 44,000 million
BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year
• 4 MW of thermal energy capacity
• 2,000 tons of CO2 displacement per year"

Now combine nano-solar thin film photovolaics, which have efficiencies of around 15% with all the solar wall installations and you have an energy output of around 12 MW!

Then combine Solar Duct (which would be placed on the roof) with Sungri's solar cells which have efficiencies of about 37%, and you have even more energy produced.

I sent an email to Fort Drum and intend to send more!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Army positioned to save tens of millions of dollars with new mobile cannon system!

The FCS Non-Line-Of-Sight cannon will help the military not only in lethality,
deployability, and protection but also in fuel savings. Below is a link that
shows the specs of the vehicle that the new cannon system is replacing.

Cruise Range 186 miles
Fuel Capacity 133 gallons

This is the link for the NLOS-C that is replacing the Paladin
30 km/20 miles (objective)
30 km system demonstrator

Assuming all of the Paladins are replaced fuel savings could be as high as 24.5 million dollars in four years. My fuel savings calculations come from assumptions, that once I find the data I will hopefully back up. The Paladin has a fuel efficency of about 1.5 miles per gallon assuming every paladin drives 2500 miles yearly, the cost would be 26,664,000 dollars. The NLOS-C vehicle on the other hand has a fuel effiency of 20 miles per gallon, assuming the same amount of driving the costs would add up to 2 million dollars. And this is just for one vehicle! Every vehicle in the FCS Combat Vehicle Program will have a hybrid electric drive system, and those vehicles will be lighter then the cannon, so one could expect greater fuel savings with those vehicles. Another thing that adds to those vehicles potential efficiencies is that battery technology will be much improved by then and they are coming out later then the NLOS-C vehicle therefore lessons learned from the NLOS-C vehicle might go to improvements in the latter released vehicles. And yet another factor that adds to more fuel savings is that a lot of the other vehicles will be procured in greater amounts then the NLOS-C and most likely will have higher op tempos resulting in more fuel savings because they drive more miles per year. I will try and get some more info on the fuel effiency of the other vehicles to see what savings we can expect.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fort Drum saves money on heating

The largest collection of solar air heated buildings in the world can now be found at the military base of Fort Drum, in upstate New York. 50 SolarWall systems (totaling over 110,000 ft2) have been installed on 27 military buildings and will collectively generate over 4MW of peak thermal energy.
The project is extremely significant in terms of the sheer magnitude of energy and CO2 savings, and shows the tremendous potential for solar thermal when it is deployed on a large scale.

By using the free energy of the sun - instead of burning fossil fuels for heating purposes - the base will displace over 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide each and every year at one of the coldest locations in the United States. The base is also projected to realize fuel savings of 44 billion BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year.

The SolarWall air heating system heats the ventilation air that is required in commercial and industrial buildings using a patented transpired solar collector developed by Conserval Engineering. Ventilation heating is typically one of the largest single energy requirements for these types of buildings, which is why solar air heating can generate such significant overall energy savings.

One of the SolarWall systems
(4,100 ft2) on Building 91 is
currently being monitored by
NREL (National Renewable Energy
Laboratory). The preliminary
results from one month of
monitoring were calculated as
• Building 91 @ $0.90 /therm,
• Boiler efficiency 70%
• Solar energy gain - $36/day
• Natural gas savings for the
one SolarWall system for one
month were approximately

Assuming this is true for every solar wall system installed, their saving about 600,000 dollars a year, which means they will recoup their investment costs in about five years. The website mentions that good places to install this technology are on garages, hangars, warehouses and mainentence facilities. In addition to Fort Drum, eight other bases use this solar wall technology. Its encouraging to see the military thinking green and saving a lot of money in the process. Efforts like and similar to these are key to bringing the military's budget under control. And will only help in lowering our defecit and debt.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Smith Electric Vehicles, possible military applications?

The Smith Edison offers a payload of 2925 pounds, and a range of 150 miles per charge! I can imagine this vehicle delivering such things as supplies and mail too and around military bases in friendly countries.

The Smith Newton can carry payloads up to 3.5 tons! And has a range of 130 miles per charge! It would be ideal for delivering such things as fuel, and spare parts too and around bases in friendly countries.

The Smith Faraday, has a payload of greater then two tons! The great thing about the Faraday is its variety of potential uses, it could be used as a recycling and trash pickup truck, while also having potential to deliver much needed supplies that need refigeration.

I think the US Military should be investing in such trucks. With modifications these trucks might even be able to operate in combat environements! Therefore saving the military hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars a year in transportation costs! And with much fewer parts then conventional diesel delivery trucks, the savings in maintenance costs would be astonishing!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

US Air Force, renewable energy for planes program!

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research here recently awarded the University of Washington and three partner universities a grant worth approximately $6 million over 5 years to study the design of air vehicles capable of collecting and storing solar and heat energies.

One of the goals of the research is to enhance Air Force air vehicle systems but there are many potential applications in other areas such as space platforms

While running air vehicles or space platforms, there are presently three main sources for harvesting energy with non-fossil origins – sunlight, heat, and vibration,” said Dr. B. L. “Les” Lee, program manager at AFOSR’s Aerospace and Material Sciences Directorate. The source of the heat energy, he said, can be aerodynamic heating caused by high flying speed or the recycling of waste heat around an aircraft cabin or engine. Each of the three sources, he explained, is capable of generating electricity, but sunlight and heat energies show the greatest potential in terms of significant power output. As a result, the proposed research will focus primarily on these two energy sources

Researchers will explore a variety of topics concerning materials and micro devices associated with so-called photovoltaic energy – or electricity generated from light sources – and thermoelectric energy – or electricity generated from heat sources. Once fully developed, these systems may one day enable air vehicles to fly solely on solar energy and aerodynamic heat. The systems may also find application in cabin operation on commercial airplanes

This is so awesome! First we use it in unmanned planes, then we use it in small manned planes. And then we just keep on progressing. Even if it didn't soley power an airplane, it could still reduce gas money! Looks like the Air Force is thinking smart now I tell ya. Although the money there allocating is pretty small. Hey you have to start somewhere! And here is the cool thing! If Air Force planes could be electricaly charged eventually. They could run on that for a little bit, intill the solar and thermal energy harvesting systems kicked in! I mean just think how quiet electric cars are, now apply that to a plane. I mean that would probably give a steath advantage of some sort. Another thing it would help with is thermal signature. Electric cars don't give off emmisions, electric planes won't either. And last but not least, the money savings. There will probably be four phases this technology will mature through.

1. Unmanned Aircraft Unmanned aircraft are usually pretty small and don't have half as much power needs as regular manned aircraft. Just think if we could power our unmanned fleet with solar and thermal energy. The money savings for fuel would probably be at least in the tens if not the hundreds of millions of dollars. This technology would also provide us with a potential to keep borders, etc, under surveliance for long periods of time.

2. Small Aircraft An example of a small aircraft would be the F22 Raptor, or JSF. The savings for using no fuel in these aircraft would be in the hundreds if not the billions of dollars.

3. Medium aircraft. The B2 Spirit or B52 bomber would be a medium sized aircraft. The savings for these aircraft would be the same as phase 2.

4. Big Aircraft. The C-130 or the AWACS, or even the JSTAR. Would be in this category. The savings would be on the phase two scale.