Conserving Energy and Lighting Arifjan

By Sgt. James Bunn (USARCENT)October 7, 2015

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1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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Conserving Energy and Lighting Arifjan
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. General William B. Hickman, U.S. Army Central Deputy Commanding General unveils the first of 250 solar light towers during a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 2 on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The solar lights will replace the gas power light towers current... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Maj. Gen. William B. Hickman, U.S. Army Central Deputy Commanding General of Operations, unveiled the first of 250 solar power light systems on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Oct. 2 to kick off energy conservation month.

By implementing the solar power light systems, USARCENT is practicing good resource conservation across their area of responsibility.

"Operational Energy is something that affects every Soldier. It is very important to us," said Maj. John Forte, Area Service Group-Kuwait the officer in charge of Area Service Group-Kuwait Department of Public Works. "Anytime we can reduce our energy consumption, it's a win for every Soldier and unit."

The cost savings from the solar power lights is immediate. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Weaver Prosper, USARCENT Engineering Directorate said in the first year USARCENT will save about $2.8 million in gas by switching to the solar power lights.

"If we were to replace every single generator in theater right now we would save about $56 million in the next five years just in fuel costs and maintenance," said Prosper. "It's a huge savings for us."

Before implementing the light system USARCENT tested and refined them to meet their mission needs.

"One of the concerns was that this is newer technology and the Army was making sure it would be good for the application we are trying to put it in," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Cipriano Trujillo, USARCENT Engineering Directorate. "The manufacturer sent solar power light carts out we tested them and gave feedback about what we needed. The latest version of the cart meets all the requirements we have for this system."

"This is the third generation of this light cart," Prosper added. "It uses LED lights and the batteries last for years."

Installing solar power light carts is one of many initiatives from USARCENT to conserve energy and resources.

"The next two major projects we are working on, first here on Camp Arifjan, we would like to implement solar panels on the parking stalls so we can convert some of the vehicles to electric," said Trujillo. "The second project we are looking in to is at the Dining Facility on

Camp Buehring, we want to install solar shade to power that area and get it off spot generation."

Forte said the use of the solar light systems is fully automated, unlike the gas generators that force Soldiers to travel across the base and spend hours turning each system on at night and off in the morning. The solar systems allow Soldiers to spend their time accomplishing other takes and saves a considerable amount of fuel.

Once the lights where turned on, the Soldiers at the unveiling noticed the benefits almost instantly. The noise from the gas generators stopped and the solar power light system began producing the same amount of light as the gas cart with none of the noise.

"Immediately you notice how quiet the solar light set is, there is no noise pollution with them as opposed to the loud gas generator lights," Forte said. "The LED lights will provide the same amount of light and last for years so you get more longevity from them than with the gas powered lights."