By Mark Fricke, Energy ManagerOctober 22, 2019
Chièvres, Belgium -- By modernizing facilities through the garrison footprint, U.S. Army Garrison Benelux also took up the challenge to reduce energy consumption of the Army Prepositioned Stock sites, hence enabling energy resilience and security.
Within these modernizations, the team also ensured that resiliency played a key role.
Radiant heat panel systems are being considered as an alternative heating system to heat up the maintenance and supply warehouses at all the APS sites. These systems use half the energy for heating up buildings in comparison to the old blower systems. The first APS radiant heat panel system recently got installed in a maintenance bay at Zutendaal thanks to the combined efforts of the Belgian Army, their contractor and USAG Benelux.
To provide the necessary heat for those radiant heat panels we are currently investigating the possible use of ground source heat pumps. The first step, conducting a test bore at the sites in Eygelshoven and Zutendaal, is on its way. Those ground source heat pumps can be combined with solar panels and have the necessary environmental offset needed to cool the buildings in the summer.
In our pursuit of lowering the energy consumption and being more resilient, natural gas has been added as an extra energy source at the new Brunssum site and will become available at Chièvres Air Base. Combined with a better insulation of the newly renovated buildings and the use of alternative heating solutions at these locations, these measures will make it much easier to fulfill our energy needs when something goes the wrong way.
The above-mentioned examples give a good idea of the commitment of USAG Benelux towards contributing to energy resilience and Army readiness. What is your commitment?