NATO tests smart energy technologies at exercise in Poland

  • 03 Jun. 2019 - 13 Jun. 2019
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  • Last updated: 13 Jun. 2019 15:14

NATO tested new energy-saving technologies in Poland during Exercise Capable Logistician 2019 (3-13 June 2019), including to make Allied militaries more energy efficient, reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in the field, and enhance interoperability between national armed forces. Combined with linked national activities, the exercise included around 3,450 troops from 30 nations, and tested some 1,000 pieces of equipment.

French Airforce personnel unfold photo voltaic solar panels connected to a “green to grid” portable trailer that can be deployed rapidly at the NATO Smart Energy Training and Assessment Camp (SETAC), at the Drawsko Pomorskie training area in Poland. The SETAC concept is deployed as part of the multinational Exercise Capable Logistician 2019, a regular exercise for NATO and Partner nations to test interoperability and assess NATO standards. Photo: YANN VERBEKE

Capable Logistician 2019 demonstrated innovative smart energy technologies with potential to reduce fuel waste and improve operational effectiveness. Some of the technologies tested were modern diesel generators, hybrid power generation units, photovoltaic panels, insulated tents, energy-efficient air-conditioning and LED lights. The exercise used various scenarios such as power cuts, diesel contamination and pollution of primary water sources, which required a smart energy response.

“We had two major break-through successes at Capable Logistician 2019,” said Dr Susanne Michaelis, Energy Security Officer at NATO. “First, the energy data that Canada collected with a universal energy monitoring kit was crucial for advising other logistic units on how they can reduce their fuel consumption. An example is the water production unit that could save up to 60% fuel, while still purifying the same amount of water. Second, the US and Italy succeeded in building a smart micro-grid for supplying energy to camp tents by connecting their hybrid power sources via an interoperable software that powers-up diesel generators only when needed. Using the Canadian energy monitoring kits, we measured a 90% fuel reduction compared to powering the tents 24/7 with diesel generators only,” she said.

The lessons learned during Capable Logistician 2019 will be a basis for future improvements in NATO policies and standards.