Navy Uses New Technology to Save Energy at Naval District Washington

Story Number: NNS100623-16Release Date: 6/23/2010 4:32:00 PM
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By Darren Harrison, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington (NDW) is pursuing several improvement projects to reduce energy consumption - from testing experimental technologies to replacing steam pipes, and light bulbs for ballpark lighting.

Several improvement projects have been completed and others are underway.

"There are a handful of executive orders and policies that mandate energy reduction and energy conservation efforts," said David Capozzoli, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington utility and energy product line coordinator.

One such policy is the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that mandates that federal agencies reduce their energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015. The policy baseline is the energy consumption figures of 2003.

"Energy consumption is based on energy use per square foot so the Navy can build new buildings as long as our consumption per square foot is going down," said Capozzoli.

Last year, several energy conservation projects were funded throughout the region by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA funded projects included solar systems installed on the roofs of buildings at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Anacostia, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and NSF Carderock.

These projects, titled Various Energy Improvements, concentrated on a variety of energy issues, and also featured ball field lighting at the U.S. Naval Academy, HVAC and steam line improvements at NSF Carderock, new ground source heat pumps at NSF Indian Head, and various HVAC improvements at Suitland and Bethesda.

Emerging technologies are being studied through pilot programs across the region through the Technical Validation Program. Following trials at NDW locations, these technologies will be evaluated by the Naval Facility Engineering Service Center (NFESC) in Port Hueneme, Calif.

"We actually have three Technical Validation projects going on right now, and we have one upcoming," said Capozzoli.

These projects are a solar roof with small solar panels built into the roofs membrane at a building at NAS Patuxent River, the use of spectrally enhanced lighting in Building 166 at the Washington Navy Yard, where the lights operate in a different area of the spectrum so personnel will not notice the reduced lighting levels, and a new boiler control technology at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Individual tenant commands are also instituting energy conservation projects. One project, in particular, replaced incandescent lights with LED lights in the elevator and other common areas at Military Sealift Command headquarters.

"By reducing our footprint, I am not only helping the environment but also our operating budget," said Juan F. Prieto, Military Sealift Command HQ facilities manager. "My initial investment is obviously high - I have to fix and reduce my energy consumption - but then in the future I can put those [saved] funds into maintaining the facilities and giving my users a more comfortable work environment."

Prieto replaced nine 60-watt bulbs with 6-watt LED lights and as a bonus, he says, he has not had to replace a LED light since they were installed in September 2009, whereas with the incandescent bulbs had to be replaced every few weeks.

Another example of an energy saving measure undertaken by one of the tenants on the Washington Navy Yard is the replacement of windows by NAVSEA in Building 197. Naval Support Activity Washington (NSAW) Energy Manager Nery Duron Licona said this was significant because the drafty old windows caused the air conditioning and heater mechanical systems to use more energy.

In addition to the regional infrastructural energy improvements there are several basic things that individuals can do to help the Navy accomplish their energy conservation goals.

"We are trying to increase awareness among all of our tenants that they control a great portion of the energy use on our installations," said Licona.

A few energy saving tips that tenants can use include turning off the lights at the end of the day, consolidating kitchen equipment, removing personal heaters from work spaces and turning off computers when leaving work spaces.

"That is one of the messages we are trying to drive home. If people turn their computers off they will be helping us save a lot of energy," Licona said.

Capozzoli said that individuals need to treat their work space just like they do their home where they receive a gas or electric bill.

"If you were spending 20 percent more on your utility bills at home, you would want to come up with a way to reduce it," said Capozzoli. "It's no different in the workplace, every dollar you save in energy can get turned around and go to the mission and the mission for the Navy is ships, planes and keeping the country safe."

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