ESS Tech, Inc., a manufacturer of long-duration energy storage systems for commercial and utility-scale applications, has commissioned the Energy Warehouse (EW) system at the Contingency Base Integration Training Evaluation Center (CBITEC) in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).
The recently commissioned unit at the CBITEC replaces a prototype ESS system and is incorporated into a tactical microgrid at CBITEC. The system will demonstrate the key role that long-duration energy storage – specifically iron flow battery technology – can play in reducing fuel consumption at Contingency Bases, including Forward Operating Bases or other temporary use locations providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
“Flexible, long-duration energy storage reduces runtime on generators while increasing efficiency and allowing generators to last longer at Forward Operating Bases,” said Tom Decker, Operational Energy Program Manager at USACE ERDC.
“ESS’ technology can dramatically reduce refueling logistics requirements and has the potential to assist in the transition to renewable energy. We look forward to demonstrating to all service branches how incorporating an iron flow battery can increase resiliency in military power applications,” added Decker.
Currently, most Contingency Bases are powered by diesel generators, which continually adjust output to meet demand. Variation in output results in inefficient operation and an increase in fuel consumption. Fuel delivery to military bases overseas often happens at a 4:1 ratio but can increase to as much as 10:1, potentially putting personnel at risk.
By reducing the demand for fuel at Contingency Bases, the Army can reduce costs and emissions while reducing unnecessary fuel resupply.
ESS’ iron flow technology can provide resilient long-duration energy storage and is ideal for applications requiring up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity. The tactical microgrid will be used to simulate a variety of conditions experienced at Contingency Bases and will demonstrate the opportunity for energy storage to optimize generator performance.
It is expected that the addition of long-duration energy storage to the Contingency Bases’ microgrids will enable generators to operate at peak efficiency and reduce diesel consumption by up to 40%. In addition, the microgrid can be leveraged to test the incorporation of solar generation – further reducing the need for diesel fuel.