Environmental Protection

Eaton Wins Federal Stimulus Grant to Develop Microgrid for U.S. Army

The project is intended to achieve an uninterrupted power supply, independent of commercial utility power, for critical mission and support functions on military bases.

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation will receive a $2.4 million federal stimulus grant to develop a microgrid to help military bases better manage power and storage while reducing their carbon footprints, according to a recent press release from the company.

The project is intended to achieve an uninterrupted power supply, independent of commercial utility power, for critical mission and support functions on military bases. It will also help to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The first year of the 18-month project, administered through the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), will focus on research and development activities at Georgia Tech University, the University of Wisconsin and Eaton’s Innovation Centers in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. Eaton and the university research teams will demonstrate how the new system can operate independent of a civilian grid while balancing the use of solar, wind, and natural gas backup power, and storing energy for future needs. The final six months of the project will focus on research and development activities and a demonstration project at Fort Sill, Okla.

“Eaton is proud of our selection as the only commercial partner for this effort to help the Army increase its energy efficiency and lower its carbon footprint,” said Jerry R. Whitaker, president, Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Americas Region.

The CERL project will apply to civilian and other government applications and is part of the U.S. Army’s Net-Zero Energy initiative that promotes the construction and modification of buildings or installations that create as much energy as they consume.

According to the 2009 Defense Department Appropriations Act, U.S. military installations consumed 3.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2008, enough to power 350,000 households and spent $4.1 billion on energy and fuel.

The microgrid will include important additional functionality such as integration of renewable resources, optimization of fuel mix, energy storage, and system operation to minimize cost, carbon footprint, and system architecture and control to maximize system reliability and uptime.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2010 sales of $13.7 billion. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.

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