The Opportunity for Deployable Wind Turbine Generators to Support Missions at Contingency Bases

B. Naughton, T. Brown, S. Gilletly, C. Kelley
Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, United States

Keywords: deployable wind turbine, energy harvesting, resiliency, operational energy, contingency bases, renewable energy, hybrid power

The U.S. military has been exploring pathways to reduce the logistical burden of fuel on virtually all their missions globally. Energy harvesting of local resources such as wind and solar can help increase the resilience and operational effectiveness of military units, especially at the most forward operating bases where the fuel logistics are most challenging. This report quantifies the potential benefits of wind energy provided by deployable wind turbines as measured by a reduction in both fuel consumption and supply convoys to a hypothetical network of Army Infantry Brigade Combat Team bases. Two modeling and simulation tools are used to represent the bases and their operations and quantify the impacts of system design variables that include wind turbine technologies, battery storage, number of turbines, and wind resource quality. The results of both tools show that wind turbines can provide significant benefits to contingency bases in terms of reduced fuel use (83% reduction) and number of fuel convoy trips (26% reduction) to resupply the bases. New wind turbine designs and battery storage can be optimized to provide these savings compared to what is commercially available.