ESS commissions ‘energy warehouse’ with battery storage at US Army base

January 16, 2024

Long-duration energy storage system manufacturer ESS has commissioned an ‘Energy Warehouse’ (EW) system – incorporating iron flow battery storage – at a site run by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) located at Fort Leonard Wood in the US state of Missouri.

The EW system will be situated at the USACE’s Contingency Base Integration Training Evaluation Center (CBITEC).

The EW has been incorporated into a ‘tactical microgrid’ at CBITEC and will “demonstrate the key role that long-duration energy storage, specifically iron flow battery technology, can play to reduce fuel consumption at contingency bases (CB) such as forward operating bases or other temporary use locations providing humanitarian assistance or disaster relief,” an ESS statement said.

Currently, most CBs are powered by diesel generators which continually adjust output to meet demand. Variation in output results in inefficient operation, increasing fuel consumption. The delivery of fuel to military bases overseas often happens at a 4:1 ratio in previous conflicts and could be as much as 10:1 in future conflicts, “potentially putting personnel at risk”, the statement said.

The tactical microgrid at the CBITEC is used to simulate a variety of conditions experienced at CBs in the field and will demonstrate the opportunity for energy storage to optimise diesel generator performance. It is expected that the addition of long-duration energy storage to microgrids at CBs will enable generators to operate at peak efficiency and could reduce diesel consumption by up to 40 per cent.

Tom Decker, operational energy program manager at USACE ERDC, said: “Flexible, long-duration energy storage, like the ESS system, reduces total runtime on generators while increasing efficiency and allowing generators to last longer at Forward Operating Bases. ESS’ safe and resilient technology can dramatically reduce refueling logistics requirements and has the potential to assist in transition to renewable energy. We look forward to demonstrating to all service branches how incorporating an iron flow battery can increase resiliency in military power applications.”

Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS, said: “This project will demonstrate the critical role of energy storage for energy security in remote and challenging locations. We are proud to provide a solution that can support the critical mission of our armed forces worldwide.”