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Powering the U.S. Army of the Future (2021)

Chapter: 7 Forward Operating Base Power

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Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
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Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
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Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
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Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
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Page 73
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
×
Page 74
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
×
Page 75
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
×
Page 76
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
×
Page 77
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
×
Page 78
Suggested Citation:"7 Forward Operating Base Power." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Powering the U.S. Army of the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26052.
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Page 79

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7 Forward Operating Base Power OVERVIEW OF FORWARD OPERATING BASE POWER NEEDS Forward-operating bases have substantial power needs on the order of 1 to 5 MW to support communications, information processing, climate control, and other personnel needs. Today these needs are typically supplied by a variety of dedicated generator sets. As part of the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) envisioned for 2035, there will be an increasing focus on highly mobile forward-operating bases (at times supported by vehicle-based electricity generation). By repetitively finding new locations and striving to reduce source signatures (acoustics and infrared) in which to operate, expeditionary forces hopefully will be able to evade detection and avoid exposure to enemy forces. In defining how power is delivered to forward operating bases, care must be taken in choosing the appropriate number and size of power sources. Of particular concern, centralizing the power supply into one or more larger units may adversely impact warfighting because of concentrated single target vulnerability and somewhat reduced mobility. Another key consideration related to power supply vulnerability on forward-operating bases is detection avoidance. Specifically, the capabilities of peer adversaries to detect and target sources using sophisticated acoustic and infrared sensors is well understood. The actual level of power supply signature and suppression needs to be better understood and established in a realistic warfighting model. TODAY’S JP8-POWERED GENERATOR SETS The AMMPS (Advanced Medium Mobile Power Source) product line consists of a series of JP8- fueled mobile generators in five unique power ratings (5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 kW), available in either skid, trailer-mounted, or microgrid configuration. AMMPS represents the latest and third generation of mobile power source available, providing a 21 percent fuel-efficiency improvement while reducing size, weight, and noise. 1 The size of the particular AMMPS generator to be used is selected to best match the intended peak load. This sizing choice improves the AMMPS positioning on a brake-specific fuel–consumption map but is not as effective from a fuel-efficiency standpoint as a hybrid configuration. Use of larger genset hybrids, replacing numerous smaller gensets sized for particular applications, would also reduce the number of gensets needed in the field and improve overall system efficiency Supporting higher power needs, the MEP-PU-810 DPGDS (Deployable Power Generation and Distribution system) Prime Power Unit (PPU) is a wheel-mounted, dual diesel engine–driven power plant of 840 kW, 4160 V at 60 Hz (see Figure 7.1). There are two versions. The Army Version was designed to 1 U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC). Advanced Medium Mobile Power Source (AMMPS). https://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/cs-css-advanced-medium-mobile-power-source-ammps/. Accessed November 2020. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-1

be highly maneuverable in support of ground units and includes a 5th wheel configuration approved by the Department of Transportation for over-the-road use at 55 mph. The U.S. Air Force unit is a towed trailer configuration that is capable of being air transported by a C-130 aircraft. 2 In Chapter 6, “Vehicle Power and Large Weapon Systems,” and within Appendix J, there is discussion of improvements that can be made to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engine– based generators. The same opportunities available to ground vehicles are applicable to generator sets supporting forward operating bases. Improvements in efficiency are particularly important as they shorten the fuel supply line and therefore reduce the risk of soldiers and contractors involved in fuel transport. FIGURE 7.1 MEP-PU-810 DPGDS Prime Power Unit. SOURCE: PD Power Systems, LLC. 2020. Promotional materials provided directly to study committee. LARGE-POWER FUEL CELL SYSTEMS Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power systems in the 100 kW to megawatt sizes are now being commercially produced and installed in almost every sector of the economy to provide primary power; to date, more than 550 MW of SOFC power systems have been installed to provide primary power. These systems operate primarily on natural gas or on biogases and can be operated on reformed JP8 fuel as well. Such systems can provide primary power or emergency power on fixed Army bases. 2 Badr, M. 2017. PD Power Systems, Inc. Receives a $1.1M Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Delivery Order for the Recapitalization of the Deployable Power Generation and Distribution Systems (DPGDS). https://www.pd- sys.net/pd-systems-inc-receives-a-1-1m-firm-fixed-price-ffp-delivery-order-for-the-recapitalization-of-the- deployable-power-generation-and-distribution-systems-dpgds/. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-2

Conclusion: SOFC power systems would offer the same advantages and disadvantages in semi- permanent operating bases as in the commercial market. Their use could facilitate use of local fuel sources. (Tier 1, Watch) NUCLEAR REACTORS FOR THE BATTLEFIELD The U.S. Army demonstrated various nuclear reactor designs during the 1950s and 1960s on various scales, from an air/truck transportable model to fixed installations. In fact, the reactor (MH-1A) installed on a liberty ship (renamed Sturgis) supplied power to the Panama Canal Zone from 1968–1975 to reduce the need to divert lake water to hydroelectric production. 3 Eventually, the Army dropped its nuclear power program because of the overhead associated with required safety and security standards, which in turn drove high operating costs to outweigh the fuel logistic advantage. At the time, military planners did not anticipate anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) as a prominent consideration, nor was sustainability a concern. The Army is reconsidering fission nuclear power as a tactical solution because of chronic logistics and security challenges in operations in Southwest Asia and anticipation of future persistent conflict with A2/AD. As recommended by the Defense Science Board, 4 a demonstration (Project Pele) is under way to incorporate technology advances from the past seven decades to inform today’s “art of the possible.” The specifications would provide electricity at up to 5 MW scale, which would displace fuel needed to power a typical brigade or larger-scale base camp. The 5-year project will demonstrate an “inherently safe” prototype reactor. 5 In order to deploy such a system, the Army must address integration needs such as transportation, installation, operation, and removal. Particular challenges will include methods to provide requisite visibility and security associated with the nuclear material contents during all phases, and methods to provide appropriate physical protection using various local materials or transportable modules. Moreover, the Army will need architecture solutions that enable the energy to be utilized effectively. Although a nuclear reactor core itself could have extremely high energy density, the overall system footprint would be driven by needs for shielding, ballistic protection, and, especially, heat rejection equipment if closed-loop cooling is required. Creative system integration could enable the Army to minimize the required system size (and associated transportation, infrastructure, and security demands) by maximizing utilization of the reactor as it operates continuously near capacity. The committee observes a possible disconnect between the emerging concept of MDO and the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) ongoing nuclear reactor program objectives. The Westinghouse Government Services Mobile Nuclear Power Plant project targets a nominal 2 MW of electrical power production, which would correspond to observed sustainment needs of a brigade or larger force operating from a forward base during recent operations in Southwest Asia. However, literature and briefings provided to the committee characterize MDO as highly mobile, with hours-long halts at the longest, to minimize force vulnerability. With no base camps being established, it would be impractical to use a nuclear reactor (or any prime power source) in such a forward area. The committee did not examine the expected restructuring of sustainment architecture to determine if or where such a capability would provide the intended benefit. Westinghouse is presently working at the state of the art and is one of the leading contenders to continue this work. 3 The Maritime Executive. 2019. Floating Nuclear Plant Sturgis Dismantled. https://www.maritime- executive.com/article/floating-nuclear-plant-sturgis-dismantled. 4 Anastasio, M., P. Kern, F. Bowman, J. Edmunds, G. Galloway, W. Madia, and W. Schneider. 2016. Task Force on Energy Systems for Forward/Remote Operating Bases. Government report. Defense Science Board. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L)). https://dsb.cto.mil/reports/2010s/Energy_Systems_for_Forward_Remote_Operating_Bases.pdf. 5 Waksman, J. 2020. Project Pele Overview: Mobile Nuclear Power For Future DoD Needs. Strategic Capabilities Office. https://ric.nrc.gov/docs/abstracts/waksmanj-th34-hv.pdf. Accessed November 2020. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-3

FIGURE 7.2 Defense eVinci MNPP technology overview. SOURCE: Blinn, R. and A. Harkness. 2020. Westinghouse Defense eVinci™ Micro Reactor (Mobile Nuclear Power Plant). Presentation to the study committee. Westinghouse Government Services, LLC. As detailed in Figures 7.2 and 7.3, the Westinghouse system is contained within two 20-ft ISO- certified container trailers weighing a total of 39 tons. It can be transported to the battlefield with a C-17 Globemaster and two M-1070 tractors with trailers. Set-up time is estimated to be less than 3 days. Disassembly must allow for a 2-day cool down. This schedule works for a domestic or permanent overseas operating base but does not provide the desired mobility for an expeditionary or defensive force. At 2 MW, the value of a nuclear power plant for an expeditionary force is also somewhat limited. As described in the earlier description on all-battery electric vehicles, to recharge just one heavy ground combat vehicle within 15 min, a 14 to 29 MW power source is required. A 33 MW charging source would be needed to refuel a fleet of 25 class-8 trucks within an hour. So, although energy dense, these nuclear powerplants would not provide the power capability needed for an all-electric combat vehicle fleet. An additional program of note, in the Department of Energy, is the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. This program is supporting advanced reactor demonstrations of several technologies, having awarded as of this writing more than $50 million. Notable technologies include demonstration reactors by X-Energy and TerraPower along with other concepts such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Horizontal Compact High Temperature Gas Reactor. The Army can stay in touch with these developments as they mature and decide if there are new reactor technologies of interest to its missions. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-4

FIGURE 7.3 Defense eVinci Logistics. SOURCE: Blinn, R. and A. Harkness. 2020. Westinghouse Defense eVinci™ Micro Reactor (Mobile Nuclear Power Plant). Presentation to the study committee. Westinghouse Government Services, LLC. Nuclear energy brings inherent complexities associated with engineering itself (materials, radiation, energy conversion), as well as additional issues of safety, security, and regulation. Each of these factors imply their own technology development opportunities. In the context of tactical military operations, key challenges include rugged packaging to provide high levels of assurance against personnel exposure and reliable ways to automate material tracking and accountability. In any event, each energy source (combustion, nuclear, renewable, etc.) brings different characteristics that imply new technology needs. In that context, the Army must explore integrating technology implications as it considers nuclear energy solutions. At a higher level, the complexity of military nuclear energy applications may call for advancement of methods for development of performance and trade-off criteria, adopting research in the emerging field of resilience as an alternative (or supplement) to contemporary cost and risk methods. Conclusion: The Pele nuclear power plant program now under way may prove appropriate for domestic and permanent overseas bases. It will not, however, adequately meet the needs of expeditionary and defensive operations due to its limited power rating and mobility concerns. The committee also found disparate views as to the level of effort needed to comply with regulatory and safety requirements. 6 6 See Appendix M for additional information. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-5

Recommendation: It is recommended that the detailed safety and regulatory requirements of a nuclear power plant be clearly defined and agreed to by all appropriate government agencies before prototype definition proceeds further. Furthermore, use cases for these reactors need to be carefully defined given the limited power and mobility of the envisioned systems. Additional safety and regulatory considerations of micro-nuclear powerplants are summarized in Appendix M. (Tier 1, Lead) LINEAR GENERATORS At least one start-up firm is fielding a compressed natural gas (CNG) stationary power plant that provides 250 kW of electrical power. The engine is configured now for homogeneous charge-compression ignition of CNG. Because of the linear generator’s ability to vary compression ratio while operating, the fuel source does not need to be of high quality, such that even landfill gas may be acceptable (see Figure 7.4). Designed for commercial businesses, the engine will provide up to 250 kW net AC (3-phase, 480 V) in a compact, standard 8.5′ × 20′ package (see Figure 7.5). Mainspring reportedly is targeting a net electric thermal efficiency (fuel source to electricity) of greater than 48 percent. Conclusion: Given their high net electric thermal efficiency, a wheel-mounted linear generator running on JP8 fuel could be as mobile as the Army’s present MEP-PU-810 DPGDS Prime Power Unit (PPU). Development of the fuel system substituting JP8 for CNG would be required. (Tier 2, Lead) FIGURE 7.4 Mainspring Linear Generator Technology. SOURCE: Mainspring Energy, Inc. Technology. https://mainspringenergy.com/technology/. Accessed November 2020. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-6

FIGURE 7.5 Mainspring Linear Generator: Pilot Unit. SOURCE: Mainspring Energy, Inc. Technology. https://mainspringenergy.com/technology/. Accessed November 2020. FIGURE 7.6 Microgrids setup time opportunities. SOURCE: Cummins, Inc. Tactical Energy Storage Unit. https://www.cummins.com/generators/defense/tactical-energy-storage-unit. Accessed November 2020. MICROGRIDS A microgrid is a localized group of interconnected electricity sources that operate as a system including generation and demand management. A microgrid can function autonomously in island-mode or can connect to a larger commercial power source. A microgrid can also contain energy-storage devices. Tactical Energy Storage Units (TESUs) can enhance the fuel efficiency and performance of AMMPS generators by enabling hybrid operation. That is, the generator or generators to which the TESU is coupled can be operated at their fuel efficiency “sweet spot” when used with energy supplied by the batteries when they have enough charge to support the present electrical demand. Since the demand can be supported by the batteries and associated power electronics alone, this approach also enables silent operation for a limited time when desired. TESUs can be operated with a single or multiple AMMPS generators to form a small microgrid, as shown in Figure 7.6. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-7

Microgrid Setup Time Opportunities STAMP (Secure Tactical Advanced Mobile Power) is an example of a highly mobile, cybersecure, and lightweight microgrid presently under development (see Figure 7.7). This microgrid concept integrates multiple power sources to achieve optimum power performance, improving power distribution, storage, monitoring and maintenance. “This is the first demonstration of future battlefield power, our universal battlefield power, UBP,” says Thomas Bozada, senior project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and co-technical manager for the technology demonstration. “That’s the ability of the commander to utilize any power source on the battlefield whether it’s traditional generators, energy storage, vehicles with onboard exploitable power, and eventually host-nation power.” 7 FIGURE 7.7 Notional micro-grid implementation. SOURCE: McGrew, D. 2020. Email exchange with individual committee member. U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center. The STAMP program is based on science and technology products from the Army’s Energy Informed Operations program. The effort officially kicked off in June 2020, and it involves organizations from across DoD. The STAMP Operational Problem Statement for this system provides a comparison to today’s microgrid systems. The STAMP microgrids will utilize a Tactical Microgrid Standard now under development, which provides the integrating architecture. Essentially, this Tactical Microgrid Standard is a common way for all the components to talk to one another and then be capable of reporting the results. Microgrid objectives include a 1-hour set-up time and ½-hour teardown time. Conclusion: Cutting-edge commercial chargers and auxiliary batteries automatically adapt to charge or deliver power at the appropriate voltage, current, and duty cycle. Implementing similar 7 Seffers, G. 2020. Army Microgrid To Power Multidomain Operations. AFCEA. https://www.afcea.org/content/army-microgrid-power-multidomain-operations. Accessed November 2020. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-8

concepts among military systems, such as the STAMP microgrid, could build upon the Tactical Microgrid Standard effort to develop collateral standards and hardware/software technologies that provide “plug and play” functionality and intelligent control of all connected power devices. (Tier 1, Watch) Vehicle Electric Power Sources for Microgrids In addition to the above mentioned dedicated mobile generators, a number of onboard vehicle power generation options can be used to feed a microgrid. • Vehicle alternators. On many existing vehicles, there is an alternator typically driven by the engine’s front-end accessory drive providing electric power to meet onboard power needs, including charging the vehicle’s battery. • Army Tactical Vehicle Electrification Kit (TVEK). This power architecture kit which can be added to select tactical vehicles includes a generator, battery storage, and controller. 8 It can provide 15 kW of power to the grid. In addition, since power can be drawn from the battery in lieu of idling the engine, tactical vehicle fuel efficiency savings of roughly 25 percent are anticipated. Higher power versions providing 110 kW are also under development. Target times for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-grid connection times are 2 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively. • Transmission integrated generators (TIGs). A number of TIGs are either currently available or being developed for ground combat vehicles. These generators include near-drop-in replacements for Allison 3000 (3TIG) and 4000 series (4TIG) transmissions, each providing a 120-kW continuous power capability. The Allison transmission is presently used on Stryker. • Integrated starter generators (ISGs). Typically, located between the engine and transmission, these devices provide a replacement function for both the alternator and starter. Significantly higher power levels can be provided as evidenced by the 160 kW HMPT800EG from L3- Communications for Bradley-class military vehicle applications (see Figure 7.8). • The Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) is presently executing the VMD/APOP development (discussed above), which modifies the Stryker platform to include a 120 kW ISG, electrified auxiliary systems, and 28-V lithium-ion energy storage. The power electronics are all silicon carbide to save space and reduce thermal burden. The resultant system increases electrical power generation from approximately 12 to 120 kW, with approximately 90 kW available for non-propulsion/auxiliary functions. Size, weight, package, and cost are not affected. • Full and partial hybrids. Besides the integrated starter generator, as discussed above, there are a number of other hybrid concepts (both series and parallel) that are capable of providing significant electrical power to a microgrid. Using vehicle hybrids with larger engines to provide power as part of a microgrid structure will be much more energy efficient than the deployment of multiple smaller generator sets often used today. As hybrids, their engines are operating only when there is insufficient energy left in the batteries to meet the current power demand. In addition, since the vehicles typically have much larger displacements than the generator sets now being used, they are more efficient. Larger displacement/cylinder engines generally are more efficient because they have a more favorable surface-area-to-volume ratio. 8 Aliotta, J. 2017. Driving the Army’s energy-efficient future. TARDEC. https://www.army.mil/article/181692/driving_the_armys_energy_efficient_future. PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-9

FIGURE 7.8 HMPT800EG with 160kW ISG for Bradley class military vehicle applications. SOURCE: S.A. Johnson, J. Larson, P. Ehrhart, and J. Steffen, 2015, “Inline Starter Generators (ISG) and Improved Motor Components for Electric Power Supply and Hybrid Drives in Vehicles,” in Proceedings of the 2015 Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium (GVSETS) Inline Starter Generators (ISG) and Improved Motor Components for Electric Power Supply and Hybrid Drives in Vehicles, http://gvsets.ndia- mich.org/publication.php?documentID=144. Furthermore, getting a suitably sized vehicle hybrid to the battlefield does not necessarily require an all-new vehicle. As just one example, the Hybrid Bradley Fighting Vehicle now being developed as a retrofit under an $32 million Army contract could provide up to 735 kW of electricity and be more mobile and maneuverable than the 60 kW AMMPS (Advanced Medium Mobile Power Source) and 840 kW MEP- PU-810 DPGDS (Deployable Power Generation and Distribution system), both of which need to be towed to the battlefield by a truck. Conclusion: In the future, the ability to use onboard vehicle electricity from a variety of mobile platforms, both tactical and tracked, will enable microgrids for mobile command centers to be quickly set-up under a variety of terrain conditions, including soft ground, where trailer towed MEPS systems cannot reach. (Tier 1, Lead) PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 7-10

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At the request of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, Powering the U.S. Army of the Future examines the U.S. Army's future power requirements for sustaining a multi-domain operational conflict and considers to what extent emerging power generation and transmission technologies can achieve the Army's operational power requirements in 2035. The study was based on one operational usage case identified by the Army as part of its ongoing efforts in multi-domain operations. The recommendations contained in this report are meant to help inform the Army's investment priorities in technologies to help ensure that the power requirements of the Army's future capability needs are achieved.

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