Rapid Equipping Force develops 'Energy to the Edge' program

By Ali Zimmer Sanders, U.S. Army Rapid Equipping ForceAugust 5, 2011

Clean water for Soldiers in Afghanistan
A Soldier in Afghanistan tastes clean water from a carbon water purification system provided by the U.S. Army's Rapid Equipping Force through its "Energy to the Edge" initiative. The system helped build morale and sustainability to the post, and dec... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BELVOIR, Va., Aug. 5, 2011 -- The U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force has partnered with the Defense Technical Information Center’s Weapon Systems Technology Information Analysis Center to procure, deploy and assess hybrid alternative and renewable energy systems in an effort called “Energy to the Edge”.

The effort is a response to the growing energy demands among troops in theater and in distant, hard-to-reach locations, referred to as the “tactical edge.” The initiative also seeks decreased reliance on JP-8 diesel fuel for military vehicles and equipment.

Energy to the Edge is a subset of Rapid Equipping Force's or REF's, Net Zero effort, which focuses on meeting energy and water requirements at locations that are hard to reach with logistical aid, while simultaneously reducing dependence on ground and aerial resupply operations.

REF’s strategic partnership with Weapon Systems Technology Information Analysis Center, or WSTIAC, ensures expert, in-depth analysis of both requirements and results as well as wide dissemination of all knowledge gained.

Selected renewable and alternative energy solutions include Solar Stick 360 3kW hybrid energy system, ZeroBase H-Series 5kW Regenerator, Skybuilt's Skycase portable power system, Iris Technologies Personal Power System and Qinetiq's 1kW JP-8 generator.

REF, along with significant input from the United States Marine Corps’ expeditionary energy office, PM Mobile Electric Power, PM Ground Soldier and U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Research Development and Engineering Command, selected the solutions based on immediate availability, deployment performance, and DoD safety certification testing.

REF will begin equipping units in August and September of 2011 for initial assessments. Operational feedback is welcome and encouraged, as it will shape the future expansion and spiraling of REF’s Net Zero effort.

Related Links:

New lab aims to save energy at base camps

Army deploys microgrids in Afghanistan for ‘smart’ battlefield power

Army.mil: Energy News

STAND-TO!: Army Renewable Energy Initiative

U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Research Development and Engineering Command