A systemic thermodynamic analysis of fuel consumption at forward operating bases

Valentina Prado, Thomas Seager, Abigail R. Mechtenberg, Erin Bennett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fuel delivery to forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan and Iraq is problematic. Fuel in transit requires personnel and equipment for storage, handling, transport, and protection. More importantly, attacks to fuel convoys accounted for more than 50% and 30% of casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively during 2009. Therefore, reducing fuel consumption at FOBs will translate directly into reduced casualties. Photovoltaic (PV) energy technologies could reduce fuel consumed at FOBs for electricity generation, thus reducing supply chain burdens. Current approaches to microgrid optimization are solely concerned with fuel consumed at the FOB itself during operation (i.e. running diesel generators). This point-of-use energy analysis fails to consider the supply chain implications. By contrast, this study performs a systems energy analysis by modifying existing microgrid optimization tools and extending the system boundaries to include an estimate of the supply chain effects. It considers the fuel required to deliver and maintain equipment at a hypothetical FOB, simulating conditions in Afghanistan. Results from the case study show that PV and battery storage can reduce fuel demand. However, the fuel required to deliver additional energy equipment to the FOB can exceed the fuel savings at the FOB. Consequently, there is an optimum PV quantity that results in minimal fuel consumption, thereby significantly reducing risk of casualties and loss of transport equipment. The systems energy analysis presented in this study can be applied to any power load at any geographical location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 29 2011
Event2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: May 16 2011May 18 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011

Other

Other2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011
CountryUnited States
CityChicago, IL
Period5/16/115/18/11

Keywords

  • Forward operating base
  • HOMER Energy
  • Microgrid
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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    Prado, V., Seager, T., Mechtenberg, A. R., & Bennett, E. (2011). A systemic thermodynamic analysis of fuel consumption at forward operating bases. In Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011 [5936866] (Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2011). https://doi.org/10.1109/ISSST.2011.5936866