Solar projects save money, conserve energy
August 30, 2012
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Aug. 30, 2012) -- To comply with federal, DoD and Army regulations, the Directorate of Public Works' energy group has applied for funding to install high-efficiency, solid-state lighting on the outside walls of garrison buildings.
The group also recently completed two solar energy projects that comply with military regulations to explore opportunities for solar hot water heating and solar lighting.
Three weeks ago, the energy group submitted a proposal to the Installation Management Command to apply for funding from "shovel-ready" money from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act to fund the installation of high-efficiency, solid-state lighting on the exterior of garrison buildings.
Solid-state lighting, which uses light-emitting diodes and organic light-emitting diodes instead of traditional bulbs, has the potential to be 10 times more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's website.
Altramesia Grady, a general engineer for the energy group, said DPW received guidance from the Department of the Army in April that Army garrisons have a choice of high-efficiency lighting applications of either solid-state lighting or induction lighting.
Energy Manager Assaf Dvir said that IMCOM notified all Army garrisons in the spring to "find out if they had any 'shovel-ready' projects [of] less than $1 million to be funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act."
In July, Sgt. Maj. Lorrie Nichols of DPW authorized a lighting survey. Personnel from the energy group, with help from eight service members from the Defense Information School, conducted a survey of wall-pack lighting fixtures on the exterior of buildings throughout the installation. The survey results, along with an economic analysis proposal, were submitted to IMCOM for the ARRA funding application.
Wall-pack lighting fixtures have been used for many decades as exterior lighting for security purposes. The number of wall pack lighting fixtures on each building was counted and the type of lighting was documented.
The proposal outlined future savings to be realized by reducing power consumption through the use of high-efficiency, solid-state lighting.
Andrew Bagnell, master planner at DPW, said Fort Meade could reach a 60 percent reduction in power over the current exterior lighting by the use of high-efficiency, solid-state lighting.
The energy group is now waiting for notification from IMCOM in regard to the ARRA funding, which must be committed before Oct. 1.
In May, a solar thermal roof was installed at Gaffney Fitness Center. The $325,000 DoD-funded project, which began in February, was completed by American Solar, Inc., which is based in Annandale, Va.
Anthony Karwoski, the Sain Engineering resource efficiency manager for DPW, said American Solar is a partner with Fort Meade in "working within Army regulations and mandates to explore other solar hot water and space heating opportunities on post."
The new roof was installed to replace part of the old roof and to help reduce the facility's high energy bills.
Most of the energy at the facility is used to heat hot water for showers and to heat the gymnasium during its daily 18 hours of operation, Karwoski said.
"The right things came together," for the project, Karwoski said, noting that Gaffney had the "right solar orientation" to take in the sun's energy and convert it to hot air for heating, as well as the preheating of hot water.
Karwoski said the solar thermal roof is less expensive than solar heating panels, which can cost up to $1,000 per panel. The roof is expected to operate for 20 years and produce about $10,800 worth of energy per month.
"It is much more efficient and is a good match of technology and opportunity," Karwoski said, adding that a much needed roof also was installed.
In March, CJW Contracting, Inc., a Greenbelt-based company, installed solar photo voltaic (PV) lighting in the outdoor yard at Bldgs. 8478 and 8479, two student barracks at the Defense Information School.
The solar PV lighting is a renewable energy form with an economical impact on energy reduction where the buildings do not receive power from the utility company electrical grid.
The same lighting was installed in the yard outside Youth Services at 909 Ernie Pyle St.
The solar lighting projects are a "capital project investment," which are paid back by the savings in power consumption. It is expected that the $128,000 student barracks project and the $83,000 Youth Services project will each be paid back in seven years, Grady said.