The U.S. Marine Corps and Sandia National Laboratories have teamed up to increase the Marine Corps’ energy security and reduce fuel dependence through alternative technologies, including renewable energy and microgrids.
Sandia said it is working with The Marine Corps to develop analytic software tools that will support military decision makers in long-term renewable energy planning.
According to Sandia, the project primarily uses a Sandia-developed software tool known as the Microgrid Design Toolkit (MDT). The toolkit allows microgrid designers to understand different technology options and make smart decisions about technology solutions early in the design process. The software uses search algorithms to identify potential trade-offs among factors such as cost, performance and reliability.
Sandia computer scientist John Eddy, the project’s technical lead, said in a May 5 statement that the tool’s unique multi-objective optimization offers many different solutions to build a system. On the new project, Sandia will customize the toolkit to enable the Marine Corps to make smart choices in planning investments in microgrids, solar and batteries. Future applications may also include wind power.
Sandia originally developed the technologies underlying the MDT through sponsorship from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense to design reliable and resilient microgrids. Applications have included the award-winning Joint Capability Technology Demonstration program known as the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) program and the design of the microgrid-based backup power system for the city of Hoboken, N.J., in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.