By Cameron Chai
Members of AFCENT are taking initiatives to increase the energy efficiency in locations where they have been deployed. They are implementing strategies to increase supply, reduce demand and conserve energy.
Brian Jarvis and Robert DeRuyter check instrumentation hooked up to a chiller Sept. 29, 2011, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Jarvis is trying to determine at what level of use the air conditioning units will run most efficiently. Jarvis is the U.S. Air Forces Central Command energy manager, and DeRuyter is an air conditioning service technician assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron.
AFCENT had hired Brian Jarvis in March, as energy manager for setting up a theater energy program. Jarvis has a mechanical engineering background. He started the initiative by collecting baseline data sets and creating analyses tools for identifying the wasteful systems. He stated that his goal was to save energy without affecting the mission.
Jarvis said that the first goal of the project was to gather data of utility cost, followed by identifying and targeting the major energy consumers and then developing projects for reducing energy demand. The fourth and last goal would be project execution, he added.
As part of the AFCENT energy program in Afghanistan, operational energy of air conditioning units and efficiency of lighting technology have been improved. The analysis found that making adjustments to refrigeration components in the environmental control units of billeting tents could help reduce the total number of units necessary for cooling tents. The number of units could be reduced by 33%. Implementation of new technology for lighting towers will help save 55,000 gallons of diesel every year.
The chief of the AFCENT Installations Directorate operations division, Capt. Shamekia Toliver, stated that the practice websites and telephone conferences were being facilitated to allow engineers to discuss energy-related issues. An energy awareness design review tool is being developed for the Air Force engineers, to provide alternative design options for their projects.