The Edge of Energy



LOCATION

U.S.M.C. FORWARD BASE TRAINING CAMP | Balikatan, Philippines


ASSIGNMENT

PROVIDE A RENEWABLE ENERGY ARCHITECTURE FIELD TEST TO REVEAL STRATEGIES THAT REDUCE FUEL CONSUMPTION IN CRITICAL SITUATIONS


SPONSOR

U.S. Office of Naval Research


MKThink was invited by the US Office of Naval Research to field test interdependencies among energy systems, critical function shelters, and user decision making to evaluate the impact of use choices on energy consumption versus idealized predictive models and product specifications.


The objective is to reveal means to create intelligence for more energy efficient operations and productive environmental operations in both extreme environments as well as standard Navy and civilian facilities.


CHALLENGE

Determine the relationship between energy use and site, environment, user, and technological factors in real, critical, unforgiving situations


CONTEXT

The site a dried Lava flow created during the cataclysmic eruption of Mt Pinatubo in 1991. It was hot, dry and unforgiving. The base camp structures consisted of field assembled tents specially designed to assist passive comfort strategies. The tents served 8 weeks of functions including command operations, food service, field hospital, barracks. Air Conditioning was provided to the operations center and field hospital. All other facilities had power and ceiling fans.


APPROACH

Embed research team for 6 weeks in a forward-deployed United States Marine Corps base; collect live environmental, cultural and energy data; organize & analyze data to provide findings related to the alignment between predictive modeling and actual use.


RESULT

The findings from the field test and subsequent analysis revealed three distinct and valuable paths of improved strategic operations.


As much as 18% of energy use could be reduced by improved specification and base camp planning decisions set-up and facilities specifications.1


Means to save an additional 34% of energy use – were identified without any loss of user performance - through improved equipment monitoring, controls, and usage information interface.2


As these field facilities are critical for both the service of defense and community engagement and disaster relief, their effective performance and efficient use of energy is critical to the success of the mission. The findings are helping to guide the next generation of logistics planning as well as facilities and equipment design to be more responsive to actual user decisions and patterns.


AWARD

Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit - Defense Energy Challenge Award Winner


In the field, MKThink’s REACHE Team spent six weeks in the field at the Balikatan 2012 field exercise in the Philippines. Here, the team collects field measurements.


FIELD KIT DEPLOYMENT PREPARATION

The REACHE team sets up custom sensor kits for data collection in the field.


MULTI-DIMENSIONAL DATA ANALYSIS

MKThink Innovation Team collected occupancy pattern data to correlate use patterns with other factors, including indoor/outdoor climate differential, CO2 levels and tent physical attributes.