In an effort to create a green environment, coalition forces are proposing to the Iraqis to build a reusable energy system with a combination wind turbine power plant and solar panels to support Iraqi border fort outpost around the country. This will provide a reliable power source to the watch tower and it would require minimal logistical chain to support the Iraqi Security Forces.
Multi-National Security Transition Command â€“ Iraq, J7 Engineering is developing a concept to utilize renewable energy for future security of Iraqâ€™s border, and using solar energy as a source of power for all the border outposts is a step in the right direction. The proposed location for the test project is the Al Shiha Outpost South; it was recently built by the Government of Iraq and is in excellent condition. The site has been previously wired, but it doesnâ€™t have a power source installed. This location is accessible for trucks and can easily be monitored from COP Shocker, Zurbatiyah, Iraq.
The costs associated with completing this project is $220Kâ€”this includes site prep, wiring of the tower, power controlling, inverter and batteries. Solar panels and controllers will be part of the cost component, with the majority of funding being allocated for mobilization, design, profit and Golf Region District Army Corps of Engineers fees.
This wind turbine is the most economical option for the Iraqis as a power source because it provides 2,000 watts of energy with average wind above 14 mph, 24 hours a day without a generator or associated logistics. Solar panels will also be used because the location can provide 6 hours of full sunlight a day. There will be a portable room heater available for the winter months and equipment for cooling of electronics for the summer months. The batteries will provide backup power to the plant for 10 hours with no wind, and longer if power usage is conserved. Currently, they use car batteries primarily to keep the radios operational. The inspection and maintenance on the wind turbine will occur yearly, with periodic inspections of the batteries, terminal lugs and other electronic devices used to assist in its operation. For optimal performance, the system should be kept in a clean, dry space between 50 and 80 degrees fahrenheit.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Tom Williams, Ph.D, P.E. Planning, MNSTC-I stated, â€œMNSTC-Iâ€™s role is to build the infrastructure so the Department of Border Enforcement can achieve their mission of protecting the borders. We are pushing to complete this project with ISF funds by the end of this fiscal year so we can hand over the concept to the GoI for their considerartion and possible implementation. This is a step towards the United States and Iraq meeting the requirements of the Security Agremment.”