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SAGE aims to save fuel in Afghanistan.

THE Army has been developing programs and technologies to slice its high fuel demand and has rolled out an operational energy strategy.

The Smart and Green Energy for Base Camps initiative is one effort that will show how available technology can help the Army work toward that goal.

The SAGE initiative will test renewable energy, new structure designs, energy storage and control systems by using them to manage the power for forward operating base camps that serve between 150 and 2,400 people.

The key to SAGE is the smart micro-grid. The grids harness a generator's full power instead of the 20 per cent used now, allowing fewer units to do the same work. One generator could be wired to five tents instead of one, for example.

The Army is not stopping at base power. A popular phrase around the Pentagon is "make Soldiers power managers." PEO Soldier's program integrator, Steve Mapes, is helping them in the age of the digitized Soldier.

"What we've tried to do is introduce a variety of tools in a commander's box, so that he can employ the best he sees it," Mapes said. "Right now, he's either going to have to reduce his battle rhythm--which means don't send guys out--or just walk around being the light-switch police."

The 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, led by Lt. Col. James Smith, has the unique responsibility of testing new technologies PEO Soldier pushes to the field. Right now, they have 15 Soldier power managers, 11 fuel cells of different types and sizes, and were scheduled to receive six JP-8 generators at the end of July.

"They're the evaluation unit right now," said Mapes, who was days from initial feedback from Smith at the end of June, "They're going to inform the Army's larger operational energy strategy and where we invest our dollars."

--Megan Neunan for ARNEWS

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Title Annotation:ARMY NEWS: From Army News Service and other sources; the Smart and Green Energy for Base Camps initiative
Author:Neunan, Megan
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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