Industrial Energy: Next step in shore energy conservation

Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of products used to educate and inform leaders, Sailors and other personnel about the Navy Shore Energy Program. This is the fourth blog penned by CNIC N4.

By Capt. Pat Rios, U.S. Navy
Director, CNIC Facilities and Environmental

Data center facilities manager Bobby Nutting examines color-coded wires, which replaced more expensive copper wires at the NEDC San Diego.

Data center facilities manager Bobby Nutting examines color-coded wires, which replaced more expensive copper wires at the NEDC San Diego.

Commander, Navy Installations Command has invested significant resources to improve the energy efficiency of our facilities. We’ve installed high-efficiency air conditioners, replaced lighting with more efficient LED and fluorescent lights, upgraded windows and roofs, and added intelligent energy control systems. These investments save energy, save money, and help move the Navy closer to the Secretary of the Navy’s consumption reduction and energy security goals.  If we are going to achieve the Secretary’s goals, a broader look at energy consumption is required.

Approximately 13 percent of the Navy’s facilities house industrial activities, which focus on maintenance, production, and research and development, account for 27 percent of the Navy’s energy use. These facilities support energy intensive processes that involve large motors, test equipment, compressors and tools. While we’ve invested in improving the host facilities, we haven’t invested in improving the energy efficiency of these industrial processes.

A great example of this type of project is underway at the Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station in Philadelphia. The station is installing an electric power conversion infrastructure to dramatically reduce energy required during large scale propulsion system testing for the Ohio Replacement Program and other ship propulsion systems under development. By using more efficient power to test the propulsion drive train on land, this upgrade reduces fuel usage and will save the Navy $7 million annually.

We estimate there are at nearly 500,000 MBTUs annually of available energy, the equivalent of 185 steaming days for a guided missile destroyer, by just installing more efficient industrial tools, motors and drives. Investments in energy efficient industrial equipment often payback within 3-4 years, and are some of best performing energy investments around. There’s no better place to reduce the costs of energy than those industrial facilities that maintain and produce our Navy’s warfighting platforms!

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Industrial Energy: Next step in shore energy conservation