Execution of military operations is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, primarily petroleum-based products. Current delivery systems and methods are vulnerable to attack and disruption, are costly, and divert military forces from operational missions to logistical force protection. The result is a suboptimal repurposing of military capability, excessive costs for operational energy, and unnecessary casualties in logistic support elements. Inefficient energy consumption at the forward edge of operations reduces mission effectiveness and increases costs to the warfighter.
Launched in 2012, with the objective of reducing energy demand at expeditionary military outposts, TROPEC operates with a particular emphasis on tropical environments (defined as high vegetation, high mean temperature, high average rainfall, and/or high and persistent humidity). TROPEC is a collaborative DOD and Department of Energy program which identifies, assesses, and helps transition innovations for energy reduction. The program is wide reaching, and offers an end-to-end pipeline to identify and assess appropriate energy reduction approaches, filter them through requirements and selection criteria to select the most promising solution sets, develop near-ready methods and/or assess them in a lab- or field-based testbed, and then work with acquisition partners to transition the solutions into field use. Managed by the Resources and Assessment Directorate at United States Pacific Command, the program is operated in partnership with the NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center's Systems Experimentation Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.
TROPEC was enabled by seed funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs (OEPP) under the 2012 Operational Energy Capabilities Improvement Fund (OECIF). TROPEC is a “fee-for-service” model in which government sponsors and others interested in energy-saving innovations fund TROPEC assessments. TROPEC has built a system to take new technologies and other innovations from assessment to field demonstration. The TROPEC system provides an opportunity to test your ideas and technologies in tropical environments. The TROPEC efforts may serve as a gateway to DOD utilization of innovations. In parallel, TROPEC provides additional opportunities for nontraditional innovators, small business innovators, or innovators without government sponsors to participate in the program. These innovators could be sponsored by TROPEC, or TROPEC could help match them to a government sponsor.
TROPEC assessments are not marketing events or trade shows, but rather rigorous studies designed to identify innovations that save energy and perform well for the warfighter. Assessment activities offer a unique environment in which to work with and assess new and innovative solutions to address energy challenges specific to tropical environments in the Pacific theater and especially in expeditionary base camp settings.
- TROPEC Overview Presentation
- Report: Technologies for Deep Reductions in Military Operational Energy Use
- U.S. Pacific Command — Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative