Lightweight, Solar-Powered Generator
- Tuesday, 03 January 2012
An Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded solar generator has recently entered full production, with several systems already in the field. The Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) is a portable, 300-watt, hybrid battery generator that uses the sun to produce electric currents.
GREENS was developed to provide Marines with continuous power in the field. Cliff Anderson, logistics program officer in ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare & Combating Terrorism Department, says the objective was "to get warfighters out of harm’s way and reduce the cost of transporting fuel.”
The system — which rapidly transitioned from ONR to Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) and then into production — provides Marines in remote locations with battery and plug-in power for charging various devices. Several small Marine Corps outposts have successfully used GREENS as their sole energy source. This is notable because transporting fuel to these remote locations is often challenging and expensive.
GREENS supports the Marine Corps’ objective of generating all power needed for sustainment and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence equipment in place in the field by 2025. This vision, as laid out in the USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy, aligns with the Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025. The goal is to enable Marines to travel more lightly and quickly by reducing the amount of fuel needed.
GREENS worked at 85 percent capacity after being subjected to continuous power testing in temperatures exceeding 116 degrees Fahrenheit. This result exceeded expectations and led to an MCSC request that the product be rapidly developed and readied for acquisition.