PEARL Microgrid Shows New Possibilities in Military Energy Resiliency

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April 24, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: April 24 on

The Air Force Research Laboratory is leading the way for resilient, cleaner, and cost-competitive energy solutions for military installations.

AFRL’s Advanced Power Technology Office and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies have initiated the design of the Pacific Energy Assurance and Resiliency Laboratory, or PEARL, a renewable energy microgrid laboratory that is part of an ongoing effort to demonstrate new ways military facilities can address energy needs.

PEARL will allow researchers to evaluate renewable energy generation, storage, and control technologies by demonstrating new variances of hydrogen fuel cell, gasification/waste-to-energy, and wind turbine technologies, in addition to new battery and photovoltaic (solar) systems. Mission assurance and cybersecurity are also critical facets of the project.

The Air Force is increasing its focus on microgrid technologies in an effort to achieve new levels of energy resiliency for military installations.  Microgrids such as PEARL support the Air Force’s overarching energy goals to improve resiliency, optimize demand, and assure supply.  Additionally, they can help reduce fossil fuel use, minimize solid waste, and lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with military operations.