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Solar shade produces electricity in Djibouti.

A year-long limited-user test of a solar shade by Kansas National Guard Soldiers at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, has proven successful. The solar shade system consists of 72 solar panels located on top of a 40- by 60-foot tent and generates 2 kilowatts of power from the sun daily. The power is stored in high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle batteries housed in three metal boxes.

According to Major Tim Franklin, the uniformed science technology advisor to U.S. Army Africa, "The solar shade produces the same amount of power that would be produced by a gas-driven generator using 8 gallons of fuel a day, or approximately 2,900 gallons in a year."

Franklin said that when the costs of transportation for fuel and generator maintenance are figured in, a system like this could save the Army as much as $40,000 a year.

"Most importantly, the reduction in fuel convoys equates to a reduction in associated casualties from IEDS [improvised explosive devices] and small-arms fire when used in a hostile environment," Franklin said.

The system has proven itself to be relatively maintenance free, despite its exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as harsh winds, high temperatures, and dust. Now that the limited-user test is complete, it is ready for use in the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of operations.

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Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:HEADLINES
Publication:Army Sustainment
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6DJIB
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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