PM MEP, users to lay out present and future power generation requirements
April 17, 2009
- A wide range of opportunities have culminated across the Army as a result of power generation
- One of the most important conference objectives is to obtain user feedback on the AMMPS program, which has a greatest impact on the field
- PM MEP is currently pursuing potential upgrades to PDISE such as intelligent power management.
For the second year in a row, Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power will host its user community to provide a review of its current state, discuss future technologies, and garner feedback from those who operate and support MEP's fleet of generators.
The conference, themed, "Power to Enable Warfighter Capabilities; Today and Tomorrow," will be held April 22-23 at AFRC's Shades of Green.
This joint effort between PM MEP and its users, will yield the best possible equipment and power generation tool for the Soldier, said Alan Coady, PM MEP's chief logistician.
"This conference is another way that PM MEP can get more in touch with the Warfighter in the field," he said.
It's a chance for the PM office to fulfill its role in obtaining user feedback to enhance its products.
"Of course, everyone knows that our job would not exist; without the warfighter," he said.
In addition, for the first time, PM MEP will present awards to specialists and technicians across the services, recognizing them for their work in supporting PM MEP's power management capabilities for the warfighter.
The conference's two-day agenda consists of product updates from Product Managers Small, Medium and Large Power Sources, award presentations, and breakout sessions.
A wide range of opportunities have culminated across the Army as a result of power generation, said Nick Justice, the Army's Program Executive Officer for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical.
"Despite some of the draw downs in the funding, this is one area that won't draw down, because this is an opportunity where the whole nation benefits from our research and development (R&D)," he said.
Opportunities lie in both power management and the development of a tactical power grid, he said.
Currently, generators provide power to individual pieces of equipment in a Forward Operating Base or a Command Post. One PEO C3T objective is to create a power grid that would simultaneously supply power to each piece of equipment.
"When you lose that or you have to pull maintenance on those mechanical devices, it causes mission failure, you're not ready," Justice said. "So, what we want is redundant 7/24/365 power available and I want it to come from multiple sources."
PM MEP is developing a Command Post Central Power Solution for effective power management and distribution. This approach, in line with PEO C3T's system of systems concept, uses fewer, larger Tactical Quiet Generators.
In this concept, power is distributed using the Power Distribution Illumination System, Electrical. PDISE is used to form a consolidated power network by adding components to meet specific organization missions and requirements. Instead of requiring multiple 3kW, 5kW, or 10kW generators to power individual areas of the TOC, PDISE allows for the use of one, larger, 15kW, 30kW or 60kW centralized power plant to power the entire TOC.
This reduces preventative maintenance checks and services on multiple generator sets, allows for more efficient fuel consumption and common parts for generator sets on hand.
In addition, in an overload or fault situation, PDISE will shut down only the faulted circuit, without eliminating power within the entire TOC. The result of this process is increased reliability within the TOC.
PM MEP is currently pursuing potential upgrades to PDISE such as intelligent power management. The system is an intelligent form of power distribution that automatically balances the power load across the three phases of the generator set.
Innovative approaches to power distribution will be a major talking point at the conference, Coady said.
"One of our breakout sessions will be controlled by our SoS director," he said. "He intends to use Auto DISE to talk to them and PDISE to show them how to develop grids and what we are trying to do to get the grid system out; the central power solutions."
Keeping with the theme of the conference, another major subject will be the Advanced Mobile Medium Power Sources program. The AMMPS fleet of generators, which will replace the current fleet of TQGs, will be smaller and lighter, and will demonstrate a markedly increased reliability and maintainability.
The AMMPS sets are required to increase the mean time between essential function failure across the generator fleet from 500-600 hours to 750-1250 hours and decrease the median repair time from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. AMMPS generators will also reduce fuel consumption by 15-25 percent.
One of the most important conference objectives for PM MEP is to obtain user feedback on the AMMPS program, which "has the greatest impact on the field," Coady said.
Lt. Col. Tim Wallace, product manager for Medium Power Sources, will update users in attendance on the status of the AMMPS program. Users will also have the opportunity to obtain a first hand glimpse of and provide feedback for the prototype of an AMMPS generator.
The feedback obtained during the conference will be essential for developing future requirements.
"If there are deficiencies that show up that can be put into a requirements document, they will be sent to TRADOC (United States Army Training and Doctrine Command) through Combined Arms Support Command into the process so that we can incorporate them," Coady said.
PM MEP will also present awards to its users. Awards will be presented to an Army specialist; an Army non-commissioned officer; a prime power technician; and then a single award for each of the remaining services.
"We wanted to recognize young Soldiers, Airmen and Marines that are performing as a power technician, who normally are not going to get any kind of recognition," he said.
"Our logistics support in the field is what sets us apart - period," Justice said. "With quality talented support and good products, you become something that the Soldiers and combat formations rely upon, and that's where you want to be. You want to be something they count on and feel confident to count on. So, it's exciting to see our field support teams out there being recognized for what they do."
Justice spoke highly of the dedicated PM MEP team.
"Mike [Padden, Mobile Electric Power project manager] and his team have the initiative and they are doing great work and it is just a pleasure to be around them and watch what they are grabbing hold of and tackling," he said. "They don't see any boundaries."