NREL is helping Fort Carson, Colorado, meet its net zero energy, water, and waste by 2020 goal by conducting technology demonstrations and providing support for microgrid and buildings projects.
From 2009 to 2012, NREL conducted a technology demonstration of the Dewpoint Evaporative Comfort Cooling technology called Coolerado, which can reduce peak power demand by more than 20% and reduce electricity costs for air conditioning by 50% to 75% compared to packaged rooftop units at Fort Carson.
NREL is also assisting in the demonstration of the 100-kilowatt (kW) Biomax biomass modular power system at Fort Carson, which is fed by wood chips and provides a source of secure, onsite renewable power.
Other projects at Fort Carson that NREL has provided support to include:
- Design assistance for a 1.5-MW microgrid to power critical assets during a grid outage of up to 72 hours. The microgrid would be powered by 50% photovoltaics and 50% diesel fuel and incorporate plug-in electric vehicle battery storage.
- Technical assistance to the Army Corps of Engineers in developing performance-based metrics for Combat Aviation Brigade net zero ready buildings.
- Research, in partnership with the General Services Administration, on methods for reducing energy use in new and existing buildings, focusing on optimum building envelopes, daylighting, behavior change impacts, and advanced retrofit strategies for maximum energy reduction.