With Hurricane Season Here, Energy Reliability Comes into Focus
June 05, 2015
The season for severe weather in the Atlantic region is upon us. And while many Americans associate “severe weather” with devastating events such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, the reality is that a storm of almost any size can create serious issues for homeowners, businesses and government agencies — especially when it’s accompanied by a power outage. All organizations want to maintain power and keep running when severe weather strikes, and for many, such as military installations, it is mission-critical. Honeywell is working with several of these organizations to strengthen their energy infrastructure using microgrids.
Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional power grid to operate autonomously, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply to commercial facilities, industrial operations, campus environments and military bases. Microgrids help ensure that mission critical infrastructure can remain fully operational, secure and energy-independent when power on the grid is unreliable. Honeywell has used microgrid technology to help strengthen the energy infrastructure in facilities including Fort Bragg in North Carolina and White Oak, a Food and Drug Administration office and lab compound in Maryland.
Honeywell’s Secured Network of Assured Power Enclaves (SNAPE) allows Fort Bragg to enhance the reliability of its current generation capacity and utilize it in a far more cost- and energy-efficient way. Through SNAPE, Fort Bragg can share emergency generation between multiple buildings and decrease overall energy use by requiring fewer generators to address energy interruptions. Additionally, the post will leverage its existing assets, helping reduce capital costs while bolstering security.
The White Oak project optimizes the efficient delivery of utilities to the entire campus and strengthens energy security by reducing reliance on the traditional electrical grid, helping to improve energy security and reduce utility costs. The centerpiece of this project is two separate but interconnected central utility plants that meet the heating, cooling and energy requirements of a 3.4-million-square-foot campus that is home to most of FDA's centers and its headquarters.
In addition, compared to traditional construction techniques, the project is expected to save almost 915,000 MBtu per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 77,000 metric tons annually. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing 16,200 cars from the road. While the severity of the 2015 hurricane season and the potential impacts on our country’s power grid remain unknown, microgrids are enabling leaders of critical infrastructure and military bases to rest easier, knowing they have the right technology in place should disaster strike.