TROPEC assesses materiel and non-materiel solutions to energy reduction at contingency base camps based on technical merit, operational utility and impact on energy consumption. Criteria considerations include the following:
- Ruggedization, all-weather operation, compactness, and other design features to enable operational utility in austere and tropical environments. Energy-saving equipment typically used in fixed locations will be considered with appropriate modifications.
- Weight and volume of base camp equipment. Since expeditionary base camps are temporary, the energy required to transport equipment is sometimes more significant than the energy used to operate the equipment, so associated logistical effort is a consideration. In addition, military doctrine is changing to require even greater mobility for troops, which puts even more of a premium on small, lightweight equipment.
- Overall impact to energy efficiency, including reductions in the amount of fuel burned by generators (especially by reducing load on the generators) or in the fuel consumed in logistics transport (especially the transport of fuel and water).
- Reliability and ease of use for troops to operate, maintain, and repair in the field — expeditionary base camps must be self-sufficient.
- Rugged and robust equipment, that can survive rough use and re-use in field environments.
- Maintenance or improvement of the security position of the camp; energy savings devices and approaches cannot introduce new vulnerabilities to the camp, either intended or unintended.
- Integration with existing equipment, as well as renewable energy systems, to take advantage of new energy production systems being fielded by the military. Examples include dc-powered devices and equipment that is able to scale its energy use according to the availability of renewable energy.
TROPEC conducts a multi-stage assessment process to identify promising solutions to reducing energy consumption in forward operating areas. Assessment stages and associated criteria include the following:
Candidate technologies are evaluated via a paper review (based on your application and information on your technology shared by partners) to ensure they address military requirements and appear technically capable of reducing energy use at contingency outposts in tropical environments. Please see Contingency Bases to learn more about the scope of solutions being sought by TROPEC. Applicant solutions should also be a Technology Readiness Level of 5 or greater.
Technologies that pass this initial screening are further assessed in a controlled environment at one of the Department of Energy national laboratory team members — Oak Ridge National Laboratory or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — to confirm the potential for energy savings, and suitability in expeditionary environments.
Candidates that complete the lab assessment showing strong positive outcomes may be invited to deploy to one of several military exercises in the Pacific for operational assessment by the NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center's Systems Experimentation Division. Field assessment criteria include ruggedness, ease of use, appropriateness for austere and temporary locations, interoperability, and more. Candidates who show strong positive outcomes during operational assessment will receive assistance in transitioning to a military acquisition program.
Candidates will receive feedback and suggestions for improving their energy-saving innovations after each assessment phase. Feedback is the opinion of the reviewers and does not constitute an official request or directive from DOD or the Department of Energy, and is not to be used for marketing purposes. Candidates who successfully complete operational testing will receive assistance in transitioning to a military acquisition program.
We accept applications year-round.