by Tech. Sgt. Kelly White
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs
10/18/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- In
today's culture of cost-consciousness, the onus for frugal spending of
taxpayer dollars must be the priority for every uniformed and civilian
member of Air Education and Training Command, throughout the Air Force,
all the way to the top of the Department of Defense.
At Joint Base San Antonio, there's an energy team committed to reducing
energy consumption and operating costs - and doing so in ways that
result in zero perceived impact on its mission or personnel.
"Our long-term JBSA energy plan includes a blend of technologies that
will lower monthly utility bills and increase our maintenance budget for
energy-related equipment," Ruben Ramos, 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron
energy manager, said.
The plan is called demand side management.
"Large electric utility customers such as JBSA pay a unit cost for each
kilowatt-hour consumed, and a demand charge which is the rate (kw) at
which those kwh are consumed," Ramos explained. "Utility companies must
meet the total peak demand of all customers at all times. If they can't
meet customer demand, they either buy additional capacity or curtail
customers' use via rolling blackouts."
JBSA's electricity provider, CPS Energy, offers its Demand Response Program.
"Under this program, if JBSA can reduce the rate at which it uses energy
during critical periods, specifically noon-7 p.m. daily, June through
September, the utility pays JBSA," he said. "It's cheaper for the
utility to reward its own customers than to activate an additional
generating plant or buy supplementary capacity on the open market.
"Air conditioning is the most expensive electrical load at Randolph, as
well as the other JBSA locations," he continued. "The 902nd CES has
systematically cycled air-conditioning system components on and off to
reduce the total demand during cooling seasons. Since 2010, these
'events' have occurred at Randolph up to 25 times, providing CPS with
200-400 kilowatts, lasting 3-6 p.m. as needed."
Randolph's reward has totaled about $73,000 over the last three years,
and the JBSA energy team intends to expand this strategy across all its
locations, turning the 300kw from Randolph alone into 10-12 megawatts
To achieve this, the JBSA energy team and CPS will seek financial means
to put thermal energy storage tanks at major chiller plants on each
installation that will store cold water needed for air conditioning,
while allowing the machines that produce the cold water to be dropped
off-line during peak demand periods, Ramos explained.
"The chiller plants will be turned back on to 'charge' depleted storage
tanks with cold water during off-peak or evening hours," he added. "By
shifting the load and leveling generating profiles, CPS generating
plants will run more efficiently, ultimately keeping customer rates more
But the JBSA energy team isn't stopping there.
"The second highest load is lighting," Ramos said. "When thermal energy
tanks are added to JBSA and chiller plants run at night, the base load
will understandably increase.
"To counter this, we'll improve the efficiency of night-time exterior
lighting through solid state lighting, more commonly known as
light-emitting diodes, and related controls, across JBSA to lower energy
consumption and also become a key tool in demand side management,"
This technology cuts energy requirements by considerably more than half
and is a light source that can be dimmed or started instantaneously to
illuminate roadways, parking lots and building exteriors across the
locations nightly, he said. Adding timing devices will result in JBSA's
utility bills being significantly cheaper.
For more information about energy conservation, call the JBSA energy
manager, Anthony Martinez, at (210) 808-0180 or DSN 420-0180.