By Adrienne AndersonApril 20, 2011
FORT BENNING, Ga., April 20, 2011 -- Fort Benning, Ga., is the first military installation to acquire the Flex Powerstation. The power station will be tested at Fort Benning this summer to see if it can successfully generate cost-effective electricity.
The "Flex" was developed specifically to convert greenhouses gases to electricity. In cooperation with Fort Benning and the Department of Defense's Environmental Security Program, this will be the first such power station on a military installation.
The Flex will be used to convert methane gas into heat and then into electricity.
According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, methane gas remains in the atmosphere nine to 15 years and affects the Earth's temperature and climate. For that reason, methane is considered a greenhouse gas - a gas more harmful to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide.
"As a matter of fact it's 30 percent greater as an ozone-depletion source," said Peter Lukken, strategic sustainability planner.
Lukken said the Flex is a breakthrough in technology because of its ability to harvest very weak gasses as low as 1.5 percent methane.
Methane gas is often found in places such as coal mines, waste water treatment plants, areas with agricultural activity and landfills - the location where the technology at Fort Benning will be housed.
According to the FlexEnergy website, the Flex is able to clean up methane gas and generate electricity with almost zero emissions and no fuel clean up. This will be the first major project used by Fort Benning to meet guidelines set by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which requires at least five percent of electric energy consumption to be renewable energy, said Vernon Duck, Directorate of Public Works installation energy manager.
System weight: 54,000 lbs
Near zero emissions
Operates on gases down to 50 BTU
No fuel conditioning
Meets all regulatory standards
Ease of operation
Hot clean exhaust can