Energy Results, 180th Fighter Wing, OHANG

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. William Giezie
  • Civil Engineering
At the end of FY 2003, the 180th Fighter Wing (FW) had peaked with an energy intensity of over 115,000 BTU/SF and ranked as the third largest ANG F-16 wing in energy consumption. This high level of energy use was also being experienced at each of Ohio's 4 flying wings and other installation across the state. As a result, the Adjutant General for the State of Ohio required each wing to develop an energy conservation committee. The committee began to implement programs to reduce energy intensity to comply with the Federal mandate established in EPAct05 of a 2% energy intensity reduction per year from a 2003 baseline. At the 180th FW, the initial focus of energy conservation was on energy engineering and improving building envelopes. The base developed a systematic approach to the replacement of built-up roofing systems with "cool" roof membranes which incorporated R-25 insulation under white high solar reflective index roofing systems. Efforts to reduce building consumption also included a complete inventory of interior lighting and resulted in the upgrade of florescent lighting to T-5 bulbs and fixtures. This combined effort reduced the energy intensity by 8% over the course of 3 years. In 2006 the Governor of Ohio mandated an additional 20% reduction in energy intensity for all state agencies to include the Ohio National Guard from FY 2007 through FY 2012. Due to the fast and drastic nature of this requirement more than just energy engineering was needed to reach the final objective. A modern and innovative attitude along with cooperation from all levels of airmen was instilled to meet the new mandated requirements. The 180th FW initiated an aggressive energy awareness program to education and make all base personnel aware of the base's energy performance, requirements, and end objectives. The base energy conservation committee executed an aggressive heating and air conditioning policy which adjusted facility operations. This program established set points that increased the facility temperatures in the summer and decreased temperatures in the winter and created shoulder periods where heating and air conditioning systems were turned off to conserve energy. The base established a heating season which runs from 1 October through 15 April and a cooling season which runs from 1 June through 1 September. At times outside of these periods the facility heating and cooling systems are not operational. By adjusting the temperature set points and the heating and cooling seasons the base was able to conserve an additional 19% of energy intensity.

In 2007 the installation broke ground on the development of a utility scale photovoltaic solar electric generation plant. Over the course of 4 years the base incrementally researched, designed, constructed and implemented a 1.2 Mega-Watt plant which has the capability of generating approximately 37% of the bases' annual electrical requirements. As the installation is located in a northern tiered state with low and diffuse levels of solar irradiance, the 180th Civil Engineer Squadron chose to develop the solar field using thin filmed semiconductor technology which maximized the year round production of Kilowatt-hours in locations with less than ideal solar conditions. Over the past 2 years the solar field has been able to generate a savings of almost $275,000 and reduced the total energy intensity by 14%.

The next aspect of the base's energy improvement program consisted of teaming with the NGB A7 staff and targeting ageing boiler systems. The base's 50 year old centralized steam boiler system was removed and replaced with individual high efficiency modulating hot water boiler systems in the various facilities. This allowed the base to remove thousands of feet of overhead steam lines with minimal insulation. In addition, the domestic hot water systems were separated from the boilers allowing the base to shut down the large boilers in the summer months and provide hot water through the use of small high efficiency units. This effort alone saved approximately 30,000 CCF (3,100 MBTUs) of natural gas per year. The base also targeted exterior lighting across the installation. First the base reduced ramp lighting by 30% by performing a lighting survey and ensuring the lights were installed in the correct locations and angled properly to cover the open area. By adjusting the angles and removing unneeded lights, approximately one third of the light fixtures were eliminated with no mission impact. Like most installations the base parking and street lights were operated by photocells which kept the lights on all night long after the staff had left for the day. By implementing an automated base wide light management system, all exterior street and parking lot lights automatically turn off at the end of the work day and turn back on prior to the next scheduled shift. In addition to high level lighting schedules, the base has upgraded all exterior lighting to high efficiency LED fixtures which operate on less than 40% of the electricity of standard light fixtures.

The members of energy management steering group conducted an internal energy audit of all of the base's facilities to determine where potential "low hanging fruit" conservation opportunities existed. This cross functional organization identified excess refrigerators, vending machines, space heaters, televisions, and lights being left on for extended periods across the base. In addition, numerous potential maintenance and energy scheduling issues were identified. This allowed for removal of excess items, the installation of occupancy sensors for light operations, and provided for the scheduling of equipment items like compressors to limit their operations to meet user needs.

The 180th FW has installed dedicated air conditioning units in communication rooms and closets base wide to ensure proper protection of critical communication nodes while providing the ability to operate the associated facilities at more efficient set points. The facility envelopes of all buildings is always a focus. By combining energy conservation with anti-terrorism/force protection requirements the base has begun a program to replace windows on numerous facilities with AT/FP compliant and efficient units. As this process has just begin end result data of its implementation has yet to be realized.

Second to reducing building energy consumption, the 180th FW is endeavoring to reduce use of ground and aviation fuels. Ground fuels use is being modernized by replacing existing low speed vehicles with rechargeable electric or bio-diesel vehicles. Rechargeable electric vehicles will be obtaining their power through a solar powered vehicle recharging station being constructed to offset the electrical use. A bio-diesel fuel tank supports all low speed vehicles and lawn maintenance equipment, to help preserve the supply of defense fuels. For aviation fuels, the operations group has developed an energy conservation training program and procedures to fly the F-16 more efficiently while at the same time meet mission requirements. In addition, pilots are receiving training each year on measures they can use to reduce fuel consumption. Each pilot's performance in terms of aviation fuel consumption is being evaluated during stan/eval flights. The realization of ground and aviation fuels conservation has yet to be determined as the new policies and programs have just been implemented.

Over the period of time from FY 2003 to FY 2010, the 180th FW has accomplished a variety of energy conservation and production measures designed to reduce the installation's energy intensity and usage. These efforts have focused on making energy a consideration in all operational planning, involving base personnel in energy conservation efforts, using cross functional teams to identify potential savings opportunities, implementing various facility energy improvements, and development of onsite renewable energy projects. Together these efforts have taken the 180th from a peak energy intensity of 115,000 BTUs/SF in 2003 to a projected intensity of approximately 73,000 BTUs/SF in 2010, or a 36% reduction in carbon footprint. This has moved the base from one of the 3 largest F-16 energy consumers in the ANG to one of the top 3 F-16 energy performers in the nation.

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