Optimizing gas generator efficiency in a forward operating base using an energy management system
Kelly, Ryan L.
Julian, Alexander L.
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A Forward Operating Base (FOB) is designed to support combat operations in an austere environment, which often lacks pre-existing infrastructure. On-site diesel generators are the primary source of FOB electricity. Traditionally, each generator is connected to its own set of loads and operates independently from other generators. The benefits of transitioning from traditional generator employment to an alternative architecture using an Energy Management System (EMS) were investigated in this thesis. The EMS provides an interface between power sources, loads, and energy storage elements to form a microgrid. Using power electronics and programmable logic, the EMS provides capabilities such as power source selection, power metering, flow control, and peak power management. These capabilities enable more efficient generator utilization by matching real time load demand to the smallest capable power source, reducing overall fuel consumption. The EMS offers redundancy as it can connect any one of multiple power sources to critical loads. A hardware-based laboratory experiment demonstrated the ability to transition from one power source to another while providing uninterrupted current to the load. The results of the experiment validate a Simulink model of the EMS. An example load profile was applied to the model to compare overall fuel consumption between the traditional architecture and EMS-enabled microgrid.
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